Monday, September 16, 2013
The San Diego City Council is scheduled tomorrow to consider zoning changes in Barrio Logan that a councilman said could affect the character of the community for decades to come.
City staff will present two options for the council to update the Barrio Logan Community Plan for the first time in 35 years.
The neighborhood south of downtown includes a mix of low-income residential, along with major industrial uses by shipyards, Navy Base San Diego and the 10th Avenue Marine Terminal.
According to a city staff report, the mix of uses is incompatible in some areas and has led activists to raise environmental justice concerns over the years on behalf of the more than 4,000 area residents.
"Hopefully, at the end of the day, we'll have a resolution to include a plan update that really defends and protects our industrial uses and our maritime industry, which is so important to San Diego in maintaining those jobs, but also defends and protects the neighborhoods, and people who live there, so that there is no conflict between industrial uses and residential uses,'' City Councilman David Alvarez said.
The main difference between the two options to be considered by the council is the nature of a "transition zone'' between homes and industrial areas.
One calls for "community and neighborhood commercial uses'' in the buffer area but no houses. Maritime interests could be included if coastal development and conditional use permits are obtained.
The other would allow "heavy commercial'' and "maritime-oriented commercial'' uses without the condition use permit requirement.
City staffers said they preferred the first option.
According to Alvarez, both options have supporters and detractors. He called them "flawed'' because the buffer area only consisted of a roadway.
The councilman said at a news conference he has been trying to fashion a compromise that would make the buffer area between the industrial and residential zones five square blocks. The buffer would consist of a commercial zone that would allow stores but no homes, he said.
Homes and enterprises that have their zoning changed would continue to exist under a grandfather clause, according to Alvarez.
The councilman said representatives of the maritime industry have not yet accepted his compromise offer.