Opportunity or Loop Hole
It has become very obvious to any one living, working or traveling through Mission Hills that the property at 1011 Fort Stockton is undergoing development. After emails and phone calls from local residents regarding this property and the “due process” for the community to be involved in some dialogue on this site, I sought answers from city staff.
What I learned is that the permit applications had been submitted for a mixed-use building at 1011 Fort Stockton Drive (Project Nos. 504916 and 517086). According to the development project manager for the City of San Diego, these requested permits are “ministerial” in nature. Ministerial permit review is utilized for projects designed and built in conformance with the adopted community plan designation and underlying zone. Ministerial review only allows for review and approval by City staff and other governmental agencies, as appropriate. Such projects do not require any special or discretionary permits. The projects, therefore, are not presented to the community. No notice of application is published and no public hearing is held. If the project conforms to the development standards and regulations, then the Development Services Department must issue the project a building permit or public improvement approval.
This development is allowed five incentives because they are providing Affordable Housing. The incentives include:
• The Increased height limit to top of building at 87′-0″, top of elevator tower to 90′-0″
• Reduction of commercial parking spaces from 11 to 0
• Reduction of required driveway width from 20 feet to 14 feet
• Increase in allowable glazing from 50 percent on the East elevation to up to 66 percent
• Not specified at this time
Also here is the definition of very low income per the municipal code.
“Very low income means any household whose income does not exceed 50 percent of median income as adjusted for household size as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the San Diego Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area.”
The proposed building consists of 23 residential units total, including three affordable units for very low-income housing (rents at 30 percent of 50 percent AMI). AMI is Area Median Income. The three affordable units would need to be satisfied with the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) as they are the local housing authority. Additional information regarding affordability should be directed to the SDHC at http://www.sdhc.org/.
The project provides 40 parking spaces – either inside the building or at grade. Project also includes commercial, office and retail/restaurant uses within the building as well.
Again, these types of projects (i.e. building permits) are not subject to public review or participation prior to final approval. More information is available on the Development Services Department’s webpage at: https://www.sandiego.gov/development-services/industry/customerservice/community. However, please note that you can follow along with the status of the permit application via OpenDSD.
An additional concern raised by members of the community that hasn’t yet been answered has to do with remediation of soil contamination. As some of you know, this site was an old Ford Dealership and automobile service station (gas pumps) in the early part of the 20th century.
Recently, the site has been used for servicing automobiles. Residents have stated comments with City staff on the soil status. They feel it would seem inappropriate for any contaminated soil to be churned up right next to a schoolyard and a senior center – let alone to have contaminated soil hauled off without being properly treated.
As I wonder, and others have stated, it’s not that progress is being questioned, just the “due process” of projects that appear to have been given incentives and opportunities to avoid any community input and concerns.
Obviously, I’ve provided you with sources to review this project and would encourage you to share your comments with our Councilman Chris Ward. His office number is (619) 236-6633 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.