Uptown Planners: Working for the Community (?)

| June 4, 2021 | 0 Comments

by Tom Mullaney

Many residents are unaware that we live in the Uptown Community.  The reason is that we have a strong identification with our neighborhoods.  We see ourselves as residents of Mission Hills, Presidio Hills, Hillcrest, Bankers Hill and University Heights.  Don’t forget Middletown and Western Slopes, rising above San Diego Avenue.

Uptown is a big community, stretching from Presidio Park to Trolley Barn Park, near Park Boulevard.  It’s home to 40,000 residents, which is twice the population of Coronado.

What’s happening in Uptown?  Let’s look at one aspect, land use. Driving around, it’s hard to miss the new development projects: 

  • Fort Oak, the 85-foot tower which blocks the morning sunlight on Green Manor.
  • Hillcrest 111, a large project under construction at Robinson and 7th Avenue.          
  • 5th and Olive, which will tower over St. Paul’s Cathedral when completed.  The zoning allows 150 feet in height; got an exception for 220 ft.   The sky is the limit!

The current Community Plan and zoning allow enough development for 10,000 more homes in Uptown, enough to add 20,000 more residents to our community.  But that’s not enough for some.  In 2016,  city officials hatched a plan to upzone four blocks in the core of Hillcrest. Now, the project has grown to 14 times that much area, from Park Boulevard to Dove Street.   Illustrations show buildings of 10 to 15 stories on Washington Street near the Wells Fargo Bank. 

Your community planning group, Uptown Planners, is aware of all this. What do they think?  Many of their members want more.

They belong to a group called “Rise Up Town.”  Their website states:  “more neighbors,”  “tall buildings” and “increased zoning height.”  

Increased over what?  Mission Hills got zoning forced upon the neighborhood in 2016, allowing 100 feet heights, despite a strong community consensus for a 50 feet limit.  Much of Hillcrest is already zoned for 100 feet and higher.  What’s the need for more?

Looking ahead to this summer, Uptown Planners has scheduled an election for July 6.  Residents, property owners and business owners can vote and will have this choice:

            *Rise Up Town candidates, who want more neighbors, tall buildings, and increased zoning height.

            *Eight independent candidates who have banded together to support their vision for Uptown. 

Here’s what the eight independents have written as their goals: 

            “Quality neighborhoods, thriving businesses” 

            “A focus on quality of life”.  “Responsible development”

            “Compatible with neighborhood character & historic preservation”

            “Afford­able housing, transportation improvements, bicycle safety”

            “Adequate parking, open space and parks”

            “Neighborhoods that stay beautiful and welcoming even as they change”

The eight independent candidates:

Helen Rowe Allen                   Mary Brown                Christopher Cole

Roy Dahl                                 Stuart McGraw            Mary McKenzie

Lu Rehling                              Mat Wahlstrom

To get the details about the July 6 election: Connect to the website, provide your email.  We’ll send you updates. Website:  www.UptownForAll.org.

Tom Mullaney has been a Mission Hills resident since 1983, and is a member of Uptown Planners.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Architecture, Events, feature, Government, Historical, Local News

About the Author ()

General articles by the Presidio Sentinel and Associated Partners.