Meeting Minutes December 2023

Minutes for Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Normal Heights Community Center/Zoom

4649 Hawley Avenue


X = in attendance

XPaul Coogan ©XJim BarossXScott Kessler (AABA)
XAllan Harjala (VC)XDan SoderbergXEmily Kaman
XBrian Schrader (S)XGreg StoneXSami Burrows
XFrances Prichett (T)XNancy Lawler  

Non-Agenda Public Comment

  • Alex Wong: Discusses the Airport Trolley vs. People Mover and advocates for the People Mover. “Airport People Mover is a train”. They are used in a variety of cities and can be expanded outside the airport uses. “Less wait time”. RideSD. Will do a longer presentation on the topic next month.
  • John Savinsky: Conducted anecdotal neighborhood survey on the public knowledge of ADU laws in the city of San Diego. 
  • Gary (Weber?): Noticed a change in the plan for the ramps off the 15. Throughway traffic might be implemented. Suggests neighborhood implications for the proposed plan change.
  • Jim Barros: Cookies and coffee announcement.
  • Paul Jameson: Comment on the ADU policy from earlier. Discusses State RHNA numbers for housing goals and mandates that aim to address housing costs & affordability. “Use every tool”.
  • [Unnamed]: Discuss email exchange with City Council regarding street sweeping. Ecosystem concerns regarding trash and runoff. Health hazards from city living and suggestions for improvements.
  • Paul Coogan: Discusses email sent to the board with concerns about a resident who faced eviction after property was sold. 4515 Felton St.

Action/Decision Items


·       Presentation on permit search map – Paul Coogan 

o   This solves the “what is that being build down the street?”

o   DSD Permit Finder


·       Questions regarding transit and housing zoning regulations & discussion regarding parking requirements and minimums.

·       Update on construction project at 35th and Adams – Paul Coogan

o   Project on hold until city revisits permits. Cannot break ground until then. Hope to break ground next year.

·       Q&A with Council President D9 – Sean Elo-Rivera (unconfirmed but reserved spot) 

o   Councilmember was not able to make it.




·       City, County, and State government agency representatives, if present. 

o   District 9 Councilmember Elo-Rivera – Sara Al-Agha 

§  City is accepting applications for serving on the committee of police practices. Deadline is Wed Dec 13th

§  Mayor’s Housing Action Package 2.0 will be coming back to the Council for a vote.

·       Allows for more housing

·       Expands Complete Communities

·       Anti-Displacement Measure

·       Question regarding building affordable housing offsite. Will it make it into the bill.

·       Discussion about the affordable housing question, and some demographics.

·       Question regarding the plan for the needed infrastructure that additional housing incurs without charging DIFs.

·       Question regarding vacant lots in Normal Heights. Are there any plans to address these lots and build there?

·       Question regarding the number of parking spaces and buildup of transit to cross Mission Valley.

·       Discussion of the cable car/gondola to the trolley from Trolley Barn Park.

·       Question to ask about transit route recommendation questions.

o   Assembly Member Ward – Christopher Gris not Present

o   Mayor’s Office – Lucero Maganda not Present

o   State Senator Atkins –Andi McNew not Present

o   Congressmember Sara Jacobs Office

§  Introduced package of legislation regarding Higher Education costs and tax deductions for loan interest replacements.

§  Attended tree lighting, Attended Spirit Stroll, Attended Mama’s Tree of Life Ceremony

·       Chair report 

o   Community Planners Committee

§  Ad hoc subcommittee opinion letter on Grand Jury Report on DIF

·       Letter has been drafted and sent off to the Judge, Mayor, City Council.

·       Meeting again in January to request City Planning Dept information. Contents TBD.

§  Presentation on Mobility Department – Mobility Plan

·       Period of input and do projections for the Master Plan.

§  Presentation for San Diego Engagement

·       Gather input from communities (broader than CPG) to get a broader view of the population’s needs for the General Plan

o   Board Seat tenure info

§  Sami will take Emily Kamen’s appointed seat until April 2024.

§  Add standing agenda item for appointing new members.

·       Community Group updates when present

o   Adams Avenue Business Association – Scott Kessler 

§  Spirit Stroll sold out. Promotes small business on Small Business Saturday.

§  “It’s working”

§  Tree Lighting

§  Dec 10th Snow Day Event – 9 tons of Snow + Santa. Hot Chocolate.

§  New Street Banners on Lamp Posts in January.

§  Replace 70 street trees in Kensington suffering from blight.

§  Annual Breakfast Meeting, Feb 7th @ The Vibe, 8AM. $10 Breakfast Bar. Election of Board of Directors. Open to the Public.

o   El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association – Gary Weber 

§  Bridge Lighting 

o   NH Community Association and NH Urban Arts – Greg Stone/Norma Stafford 

§  The mosaic mural is on track to be installed in Feb. 8 of 11 panels complete. 18ft long.

o   Adams “Community Recreation Advisory Group” – Nancy Lawler 

§  OWL recording device loan is appreciated.

§  Discussion of the expansion and redevelopment of Ward Canyon Park. Heard in October that CalTrans had changed the reconfiguration of the On-Ramp and the Park space would be reduced. The community has pushed back on the decision on what/how things get changed. Email sent to Park & Rec.

§  Appreciate Planning Group Complaint once things are made more known.

§  MOC building is being demolished and park space will be expanded to the corner. However information has now arisen about new buildings which are not in the current plan.

§  Discussion of policing of Homeless Encampments in the area.

§  Discussion of CalTrans direction and turmoil internally.

§  Discussion of the Park & Rec and the issue of the homeless question.

o   NH for Smart Growth – Paul Coogan

§  Put out newsletter with link to a poll for a vision of the community.

§  Working on getting the results of the poll into Engagement San Diego.

§  Question on whether a list exists about who the developers are that have worked on projects in San Diego in the previous year.

Standing Committees 

  • Joint Mid-City Communities Plan Update Committee – Greg Stone
    • Next meeting is Wed Dec 13th.
  • Historical Property Review Report – Dan
    • Nothing to report

Advisory Committees 

  • Nominating Committee – Greg Stone, Jim Baross
  • Utility Undergrounding & Street Lighting MAD – Emilie Colwell & Francis Prichett 
  • Caltrans Grant Submission – Paul Coogan
  • DEI Program – Paul Coogan, Scott Kessler, Jim Baross
    • Board agreed to discontinue the committee as policies are adopted.
  • Tree Replacements – Greg Stone, Emilie Colwell, Gerald Schoelen
  • Traffic Issue Taskforce (Report on Vision Zero) – Allan Harjala
    • Update on unfunded needs
  • Community Engagement Poll – Paul Coogan
    • In progress