The Hillcrest Business Association (HBA), along with many business people and residents, were successful last week in arguing at City Council for a common sense compromise concerning the Interim Height Ordinance (IHO).
The HBA had formally requested that the City Council set a fixed timeline for the IHO to expire so as to motivate the Planning Department to complete an update for the Uptown Community plan. The HBA voiced their opinion at City Council that the business district is eager to change the perception in San Diego that Hillcrest doesn’t want new growth or investment.
Over the last few weeks dozens of emails and letters were sent to City Council offices and local news outlets from neighbors and business people asking for a concrete timeline on the IHO. Many argued that the IHO had driven creative development and new businesses people out of the neighborhood leaving drug stores like Walgreens to fill the void.
Brick and mortar retailers complained that Hillcrest had lost the “it factor” since the IHO had been in place so long.
Some residents had asked that the IHO continue indefinitely until the community plan update was completed. The City Council did not support this request. The HBA was joined by the San Diego Building Industry Association, San Diego Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Realtor’s Association, Hillcrest Urban Enthusiasts, the San Diego Planning Commission and residents and business owners in its request for setting a fixed time line for the IHO.
City Council voted to approve a fixed time line and the IHO is now set to expire in January of 2014. Additionally, council voted that regular updates on the community plan from city staff would be required.
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