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Committee OKs Southeast San Diego Community Plan Update

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An update to the city's 28-year-old community plan for Southeast San Diego was given a tentative go-ahead Wednesday by the City Council's Smart Growth and Land Use Committee.

The action, if ratified by the full council, would also create a separate plan for the Encanto neighborhood, which had been included in the current document for Southeast.

The plans set out zoning, design and environmental standards for mostly residential areas of the city between the 5 and 805 freeways, with state Route 94 to the north and National City to the south — for the Southeast San Diego community plan.

The Encanto document is for neighborhoods lying to the east of the 805 and west of Skyline.

The update is one of many by city planning officials in a painstaking process that has led to controversy between property owners and neighborhood advocates in Ocean Beach and a successful referendum in Barrio Logan.

Councilman Todd Gloria said he was pleased by the "relative consensus" reached by the various stakeholders in the Southeast and Encanto plans, which received backing by various community groups.

Among other things, the plans call for more than 3,000 additional residential units in Southeast San Diego, and nearly 7,900 new homes in Encanto, especially near public transit. Lara Gates of the Planning Department said the development would take place over 20 to 30 years.

The plans also spell out Grant Hill and Sherman Heights as historic districts where future development would have to abide by U.S. Department of the Interior guidelines, according to Gates.

None of the three council members who represent the affected neighborhoods — David Alvarez, Myrtle Cole and Marti Emerald — sit on the committee that considered the plans Wednesday. They're expected to weigh in when the plans go before the full City Council in the near future.