Uptown Planners Under Attack

| May 5, 2024 | 0 Comments

The Uptown Planners board is a recognized Community Planning Group that has been serving six neighborhoods for the past 20 years in an advisory role to the City of San Diego on topics related to land-use, development, and discretionary projects in the six neighborhoods of Uptown.

Uptown Planners is currently being challenged as not reflecting the diversity and makeup of the communities of Uptown and for not initiating active outreach efforts.  Here’s why this statement is incorrect.

As noted by the Planning Department staff, Uptown Planners applications meets the planning group requirements. It has board members who represent decades of volunteer service from the six neighborhoods in Uptown. Well attended, regularly held meetings occur among the board and committees.  Hundreds of people have participated in these meetings during the past year and is considered one of the best attendances for planning groups across the city.

This past April annual elections were held, and Uptown Planners added 10 new people to the board.  Those are people who were elected by the Uptown residents.  This is a very diverse group of individuals ranging in ages (as young as 25) who are renters, homeowners, and business owners who represent Uptown.   They include people of color (Hispanic and multi-rational) with economic diversity, which is more closely aligned with Uptown residents.

With its new, existing board, Uptown Planners is a far better match to Uptown’s demographics than Vibrant Uptown’s temporary, proposed board.

Vibrant Uptown’s proposed board membership will not be representative of the Uptown community.That’s because a third of the voting members would be “appointed” representatives of businesses/organizations that are not required to live or to work in Uptown (and similar representatives of two large businesses also would be additional non-voting members).

The other two-thirds of voting members would allow only two members from each of six neighborhoods, even though those neighborhoods differ significantly in size and demographics. Therefore, some individuals in the community would enjoy a greater proportional share of representation then others.

Making the process more complicated and divisive only leads to confusion, and the belief by the public at large that this an intentional effort to restrict them from having a voice in land use issues in their neighborhoods and communities.

The proven, democratic process that works best is to allow the whole population of Uptown to duly elect their representatives.

Recently, Councilmember LaCava stated in favor of retaining La Jolla’s CPG. He offered, “You shouldn’t get rid of a CPG just because you don’t like its views.”

It is also important to note that the Planning Department staff had a summary of correct demographic information at the time of the Land Use & Housing Committee meeting but chose not to report it. Instead, the staff report provided to the Committee was both inaccurate and flawed.

Uptown Planners is asking that the city officials make the obvious choice, which is also noted by policy. Preference should be given to existing community planning groups.


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