CACC & CACPB
working together for our neighborhoods
College Area June 2014
District 9 Councilmember Marti Emerald attended our June CACC meeting, and there was a lot to celebrate together.
After a busy first half of 2014, assembling facts and figures to document the need for additional code enforcement in the College Area, the City Council voted at their final budget session to include an additional Zoning Investigator II in the Fiscal Year 2015 budget which went into effect July 1. We were gratified that all nine council members supported the need for this additional help, and found the necessary funds to include it in the budget at the eleventh hour. Many thanks go to Councilmember Emerald and District 9 Council Representative Chris Pearson, for pulling this all together. The new position will focus on nuisance rental housing in the City, about 50% of which is located in the College Area. With this new focus on the issue, we should be able to greatly increase compliance with city codes with regard to high turnover, high occupancy housing.
We also celebrated the arrival, after a year of planning and fundraising, of five specially equipped police bicycles for use by the SDPD “C Squad” of Eastern Division when patrolling the College Area. The funds were raised through donations by the College Area Community Council, the Alvarado Estates Homeowners Association, the College View Estates Association and by Councilmember Emerald’s Office. The officers of “C Squad” were present at the meeting to show us one of the bikes, and demonstrate some of the special features. The police will receive special training on bike maintenance, and will do minor maintenance themselves. The bikes should allow our crackerjack “C Squad” to become even more effective than they already are in keeping the peace in the College Area.
In more good news, SDSU Government and Community Relations Director Megan Collins, who sits on the CACC board, announced that the long awaited student housing and retail complex slated for the corner of College Avenue and Montezuma Road will begin construction this fall, and site preparation is already underway. The project has been on the planning boards for at least 20 years, but has encountered a number of roadblocks. In its most recent incarnation, the name will be changed from Plaza Linda Verde to South Campus Plaza. Phase I of the project will cost $143 million and front College Avenue from Montezuma Road to Hardy Avenue. It will consist of a six story complex (225,000 gross square feet), with a community grocery store, restaurant, and other retail shops on the ground floor, and housing for 600 students in the upper stories, as well as faculty apartments and offices, and various amenities. There will be a 300 space parking structure to serve the retail component, but no parking is provided for residents. Students and staff are expected to park in existing SDSU parking structures. According to SDSU, the project, which is adjacent to the SDSU Transit Center, is designed to serve both the university and the community, with walking paths, bike paths, bike storage, and green space. Construction, which is financed with University of California revenue bonds, is projected to be complete by fall of 2016, and negotiation with potential tenants is “ongoing”. University officials hope to be able to announce a community market anchor tenant by fall of this year, possibly in time for a groundbreaking ceremony, also sometime this fall. The College Area community will be invited to attend this much anticipated event.
On a more somber note, we bid farewell to longtime College Area Business District Director Jennifer Finnegan, who is moving to northern California. Jennifer will be replaced by Jim Schneider, who previously served a six year stint as Executive Director of the Adams Avenue Business Improvement District. Jim has extensive experience managing community events, and specializes in business recruitment. We’ll miss Jennifer, but we’re fortunate to have someone with Jim’s excellent background and skills to fill her shoes.
The College Area Community Council and Community Planning Board does not meet in August. Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 10 at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Room of the College-Rolando Library, 6600 Montezuma Road.
Police Bikes Arrive in College Area
The San Diego Police Department Eastern Division’s C Squad, which patrols the College Area, now has five new bikes to make its patrols more effective.
The specially equipped bikes, which cost $2,000 each, were purchased through a $6,000 donation from Councilmember Marti Emerald’s discretionary budget, and $2,000 each donated by the Alvarado Estates neighborhood association and the College Area Community Council.
CACC Committee activity during FY 2013-14
Most of the work that gets done by any board takes place at the committee level. At our April meeting, we reviewed the Annual Reports from our four standing committees for the fiscal year ending March 2014. The hard working people on these committees are not all board members. Most committees consist of board members plus caring community members who have a special interest in a particular issue in the College Area.
Special Report of the CENRP, 2/26/2014
Ann Cottrell, Chair
Code Enforcement and Nuisance Rental Property Committee
This brief report is to acquaint those involved in the governance of the College Area neighborhoods with the extent of over-commercialization existing in RS-1 (single-“family”) neighborhoods, especially those near SDSU. This over-commercialization is due to the large number of rental homes characterized by high tenant turnover and generally high occupancy, called HTHO rentals. A high concentration of transient oriented rentals creates problems on many fronts including noise issues, parking in front yards and reduced on-street parking, trash and poor property maintenance; in short, deteriorating neighborhoods.