City Council Extends Interim Height Ordinance

| December 5, 2013 | 0 Comments

By Barry E. Hager

 On November 5th the City Council voted unanimously to extend the Uptown Interim Height Ordinance (IHO).  The extension will remain in effect until the new community plan and zoning are in place, meaning there will be no need to extend this ordinance again.  Prior versions of the ordinance, first adopted in July 2008 and again in January 2012, had “sunset” dates that expired regardless of the status of the community plan update.  This extension will continue a firm height limit of 50’ in the commercial core of Mission Hills and 65’ in Hillcrest, with certain exceptions for rooftop equipment.  Underlying zoning ordinances would have allowed buildings up to 150 feet (the approximate height of Green Manor) and 200 feet in these same areas.

The concept of a 50 foot building height limit for Mission Hills has gained widespread acceptance over the last several years.  Mission Hills Heritage, the Mission Hills Town Council and the Mission Hills Business Improvement District have all supported the 50 foot limit and extending the IHO until completion of the community plan update.

Our thanks to the members of the City Council, all of whom voted for the extension.  A special thanks to Interim Mayor Todd Gloria who initiated the extension with the Planning Department and helped usher it through the process.  Thanks also to Councilmembers David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer, who made and seconded the motion to adopt the ordinance, and Sherri Lightner, who spoke in favor of the extension. And last but not least, thanks to the residents of Mission Hills who attended this hearing and prior meetings, wrote to council members, and who have supported this ordinance since 2008.  

The focus now shifts to completing the Uptown community plan update. Started in the fall of 2008, the update process stalled when the City cut back planning staff during the recession.  The Planning Department recently released a “discussion draft” of the plan and will begin holding workshops over the next few months.


Barry Hager is a co-founder and board member of Mission Hills Heritage.

Supporters of the Interim Height Ordinance gather outside City Council chambers.

Supporters of the Interim Height Ordinance gather outside City Council chambers.

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