Rescue Hillcrest - Community Organization in San Diego, California

Rescue Hillcrest challenges developers and their lobbyist

Gateway lobbyist submits "rebuttal"

Rescue Hillcrest responds - Honesty should be the best policy

I could spend a lot of time exposing the obvious misdirections in Ms. Robinson’s rebuttal: Her arguing about density using maps based on proposed densities rather than maps showing existing conditions. Or her ignoring that the Interim Height Ordinance was the result of the community soundly rejecting the 100- and 200-foot heights allowed in the old plan, and the continued desire of almost every community group to maintain its limits. Or her repeated assertion that the massive development Gateway proposes will automatically result in affordable housing, despite evidence elsewhere to the contrary, unanswered questions from the press, and Gateway’s own letter to the city that argued against “restrictions such as affordable housing requirements or open space requirements which would reduce land value.”

Instead I’d rather bring attention to the use of climate action to promote the pro-developer agenda.

As I mentioned in my guest editorial, the lobbyist behind the Gateway group is the same as behind One Paseo, Marcela Escobar-Eck.

Ms. Escobar-Eck was also the City of San Diego’s Director of Development Services when the Sunroad developer was allowed to cut back on parking since it is near transit—which is what is proposed for Hillcrest. And since Hillcrest already meets the ten accepted principles of smart growth, except for a deficit of green space and parks, there has yet to be an explanation of how development in Hillcrest doesn’t already fit the Climate Action Plan.

Ms. Escobar-Eck is also, along with the developer who wrote up Gateway’s “financial feasibility” study, Gary London, on the board of Circulate San Diego. Circulate San Diego has a history of its associates taking public positions in conflict of interest and has endorsed one of their employees, Maya Rosas, for election to the board of Uptown Planners next Tuesday. Ms. Rosas is also an employee of the Gateway's paid lobbyist, the Atlantis Group. I would be remiss not to mention that Ms. Robinson is also running for the board.

When you consider that Circulate San Diego was also instrumental in crafting the Climate Action Plan—and endorsing One Paseo—and that the former Deputy Director of Circulate San Diego, Elyse Lowe, is the current Deputy Director of Project Submittal and Management for the City of San Diego, the real purpose of the Climate Action Plan becomes suspect.

All of which begs the question: Who is the city listening to—the community, or a developers’ special interest group?

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Last updated 29th of February 2016

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Rescue Hillcrest - Community Organization in San Diego, California