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Quality of Life

University City community plan update nearing end, still riling feathers

The city of San Diego is in the midst of updating its community plan for University City. But residents disagree on some major issues, as KPBS reporter, Claire Strong, found out.

There's a backlash as the city of San Diego’s University Community Plan Update is picking up steam, with some residents now organizing a rally against the proposals.

The plan would see thousands of high-density residences built in a bid to increase the amount of housing in the area.

Bonnie Kutch moved to south University City in 2016 because she loved the "family feel" of the neighborhood. Now she’s worried that will change if the plan update is adopted.


“Adding that many housing units to our tiny 7-square-mile (area) is pretty crazy. It’s unreasonable,” she said.

Kutch, who's a retired public relations executive, is also concerned about the increase in traffic, particularly if two shopping centers on Governor Drive are turned into housing. She’s worried about the impact on public services, such as schools and libraries.

“We currently have three schools, a park, and we have the library on Governor Drive, and they’re talking about making it one lane," Kutch said. "It’s not going to work having that much traffic on Governor Drive.”

In addition to creating more housing, the plan aims to utilize the multibillion-dollar Blue Line Trolley Extension and create more walking and biking paths to help reduce greenhouse gasses.

Aidan Lin, a student at UC San Diego, thinks more housing is essential to encourage students to remain in the area long after they’ve graduated.

The region doesn't do a great job of keeping students around after graduation.

“There is a large section — thousands of students that want to stay in San Diego — they’ve made San Diego their home,” he said. “But they may or may not have the opportunity to do so after they graduate, depending on whether they can find housing and a good paying job."

Fellow student, Nicole Lillie, agrees.

“We need more housing," she said. “I would love for all of that to be affordable housing, but that’s not always realistic. To solve the housing crisis, we simply need to build more housing. We need to meet our housing goals”.

Kutch is now helping organize a rally for March 11, which will be held on the corner of Governor Drive and Genesee Avenue. She doesn’t know whether she’ll stay in the area if the plan goes ahead.

“There's a lot of people here that bought into this south UC area," she said. "Young families, older people and such that bought (property) here for a reason. They like the atmosphere, the single-family neighborhood. They’ll be a lot of people, like myself, (who) may consider moving away.”