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Normal Heights Residents Rallying To Save Community Garden

Emanuela Lisa Rossi, left, and Danielle Nuzzo Meyers stand by the entrance of the Vera House Community Garden in Normal Heights, June 11, 2021.
Andrew Bowen
Emanuela Lisa Rossi, left, and Danielle Nuzzo Meyers stand by the entrance of the Vera House Community Garden in Normal Heights, June 11, 2021.

Residents of San Diego’s Normal Heights are rallying Saturday morning to save their neighborhood's only community garden, after the property owner decided to put the land up for sale.

The Vera House Community Garden sits on roughly 2,400 square feet at the corner of 34th Street and North Mountain View Drive. The property, which is zoned for one single-family home, was put on the market this week with an asking price of $399,000.

Normal Heights Residents Rallying To Save Community Garden
Listen to this story by Andrew Bowen

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"Build yourself a brand new home in one of the best and most peaceful areas of this highly desirable neighborhood in the heart of San Diego," the listing says. "You will love the friendly neighbors and great walkability of this location."

Normal Heights Residents Rallying To Save Community Garden

One of those friendly neighbors is Danielle Nuzzo Meyers, who rents one of the 12 plots in the garden. She said the garden has served the community for 29 years and is more than just a piece of land to grow vegetables.

"We're always bringing schools in and trying to educate children about the importance of gardening and being outside," Nuzzo Meyers said. "And it's just a really nice gathering place for the entire community."

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The property owner, speaking through their listing agent, declined to comment for this story.

Nuzzo Meyers said she agrees San Diego has a housing shortage, but argues the property has greater value as a community gathering place than as a single-family home. She hopes the seller will consider selling or leasing the property to the gardeners themselves — or to the city of San Diego for designation as parkland.

"I think we're ready to launch a fundraising effort if needed," Nuzzo Meyers said. "We're going to do everything we can to save the garden, because we're not ready to give up on it."