City planners visited the Barrio Logan community planning group Wednesday as part of the latest attempt to separate homes from industrial businesses there.
It didn’t go well. Community members said they were confused by the process, and multiple planning group members objected to the city’s approach and said it felt like they were being forced to go along with it.
The meeting fell apart after the city proposed a new shortcut approach to the neighborhood’s old problem. Staffers wanted to discuss only the most contested portion of the community, leaving the rest to a solution that was broadly agreed upon back in 2013.
That’s an unwelcome tactic to community members who say Barrio Logan has changed too much since then, after a sudden surge of recent redevelopment kicked up dormant gentrification fears. They want to start from scratch with a new plan.
Four years ago, the City Council passed a new community plan for the area, which suffers from some of the most polluted air in the state. The new plan scrapped zoning that currently allows industrial businesses to open next door to schools and single-family homes, replacing it with an orderly separation like most neighborhoods enjoy.
Existing businesses could have stayed where they are but over time, if they went dormant, the zoning for their properties would change.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
This is the story of an ethnic neighborhood begging white neighborhoods as far away as Carmel Valley and Rancho Bernardo for permission to set its own land use policies. Or, two wolves and a sheep voting on what to eat for lunch.
It seems like the nice folks from the City Planning
Department have not heard about foreplay.
With most groups you have to start slow. Talk about what you are thinking, take some input, and then actually start later. I believe the exercise was a good one, but people were fearful that they would make wrong decisions, and this was their final chance to give input.
You generally go faster, and get farther, by going slow at the start. Get some buy in, get some understanding of what is happening-and what has happened in the past, maybe build a little trust, adjust if needed, THEN do the exercise.