Last month, members of the City of San Diego Planning Department released their findings from the Online Community Engagement Tool (OCET) at the Clairemont Community Planning Group – Community Plan Update Sub Committee meeting.
You might recall the planning department asked folks to locate 5,000 new housing units throughout the area and place 2,000 units or 40% near the 3 Mid-Coast Trolley stops.
The online tool was met with some skepticism because it was new, a little difficult to navigate and not to mention who really asked for 5,000 new units in the area?
I would urge you to visit www.ClairemontPlan.org to see the results
According to results released from the City there 850 responses:
- 716 from OCET
- 41 who completed a hard copy form of the OCET tool
- And 94 responses from folks who attended the in-person workshop at North Clairemont Rec Center.
I applaud the City for the technological tool; however, it did prove to have some flaws. Ideally the City was hoping for the residents of the neighborhoods to participate in the exercise, however, if you lived in UC, NYC or LA you could partake in OCET. In addition, you could also fill out the form multiple times. If you were a NIMBY or a YIMBY or Mayor Quimby there was no restrictions on the number of times to participate.
With that all being said and as shown from the screenshots the City was pretty happy that 75% of the participants voted for “change” or more housing while 25% voted to essentially keep everything the way it is, no more housing we like things the way they are.
If you are into math and numbers the data are there (clairemontplan.org) the visuals are nice because you can really get a feel for what the City is thinking and where there could be an opportunity. And again as I have stated in the past, it takes two to tango. The City is looking and thinking these could be opportunity areas, however you need buyers and sellers. All of the properties for example the old Keil’s Shopping Plaza, Diane Shopping Center, Clairemont Town Square somewhere there are the owners of the those properties keeping a close eye on all of this, could they be sellers? Maybe. Maybe not.
The Community Plan Update (CPU) is an update to a document that was last completed in 1989. If you would like to read it google “Clairemont Community Plan” this will bring you to the Clairemont tab on SanDiego.gov website (note the online article will have a direct link). The CPU is intended to look another 30 years into the future. For all we know Clairemont Town Square could be totally renovated or gutted in 5 or 10 or 15 years, but it could also just be Clairemont Town Square with new retail tenants. Until people start pulling and filing documents down at City Hall this is all speculation about all these areas and future housing/development.
Were the OCET results the be all end all from the City perspective? I would hope not. The workshop the City held at North Clairemont Rec could be argued is more a true reflection of how the locals feel. The workshop was similar to OCET but there you could ask questions not fuss around on a computer screen etc.
The workshop also introduced two new areas Clairemont Dr just south of Ute Dr (sub area 5) and the Keils/Sprouts Plaza as well as across the street the old Jack Lalanne property (sub area 9) both of which were not on the online OCET tool. Here you can see people at the workshop were almost 50/50 for change vs no change i.e. more housing or not.
The City has gathered their data. How much do they weigh what they are hearing at community meetings, emails, OCET, the workshop etc. Hopefully OCET was just one piece of the puzzle in how they move forward.
What’s next? Well head over to Alcott Elementary on Hidalgo May 14th 6pm is when the CCPG CPU committee meets again. This is a hard date 2nd Tuesday of the month but it is of course tentative should something come up either by the committee or the City.
As if the 5,000 new units the City was asking the community to place, it should be noted there are roughly 6,000 units in the current community plan (1989) that are still on the table and not built. The members of the CPU committee asked the City to provide the location of those existing 6,000 units and present their locations at the May meeting.
A bit of role reversal here, the City asked the community to place 5,000 units now the residents are asking where are the units located you (City) already have? Should be an interesting/informative meeting.
I would urge you all to visit www.ClairemontPlan.org to see the OCET results as well research The Community Plan Update thus far.