Sherman Heights vs. Walmart – Press Conference Today

by on April 20, 2012 · 4 comments

in Civil Rights, San Diego

Farmers Market Building Demolition by Walmart

By Save Our Heritage Organization / April 19, 2012

On Tuesday – April 17th, Walmart began demolition of the historic Farmers Market, an iconic building that is an important link to the heritage of the Logan Heights and Sherman Heights communities. This was done without community notice or the preparation of an Environmental Impact Review or even review by the historic resources board which should have occurred prior to approval.

On Wednesday a judge issued a stay, stopping the work, pending a hearing. The hearing is scheduled for this coming Monday, April 23 at 9am, at the Hall of Justice, 330 W. Broadway, Dept. 66. The public is encouraged to attend.

Elected representatives of the community will rally with neighbors at the site on Friday to speak out about Walmart’s treatment of the community, the ongoing fight to save the historic Farmers Market building, and some of the steps that are available going forward.

Join State Senator Juan Vargas, Assembly member Ben Hueso, Council member David Alvarez, and other leaders of the community will gather at the historic Farmers Market building Friday, April 20, at 1pm to speak about Walmart’s partial demolition of the building and the treatment of the community

WHEN Friday, April 20 · 1pm

WHERE Farmers Market Building

2121 Imperial Avenue,

San Diego CA 92102

This is the city’s response, which SOHO disagrees with.

Thank you for your questions regarding the Farmer’s Market Conditional Use Permit and Site Development Permit at 2121 Imperial Ave.


The City reviewed and approved a Conditional Use Permit and Site Development Permit for the Farmer’s Market site to allow the use of an existing 45,800-square-foot retail and grocery/market establishment through October 26, 2034. Conditions of Permit 99-0003 required a minimum of 15,000 square feet of “supermarket” use and retention of 106 parking spaces. The Southeastern San Diego Community Planning Group recommended approval of the project on June 9, 2009.


The applicant submitted a permit application in August 2011 for a seismic retrofit (URM) and tenant improvement under PTS 255161. Staff sent out a public notification on August 26, 2011 and received input from members of the public that the building is potentially historic. Staff concurred and required a copy of a previously prepared historical report that evaluated the building’s history and significant character defining features.

Based on the information in this report, staff reaffirmed the determination that the building is eligible for designation and required revision to the project scope to ensure consistency with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Staff worked with the applicants on the revisions between August and November 2011. The final approved scope of work included the following:

Removal of a portion of the north wall facing Imperial Avenue and a small section of west wall facing 21st Street. The wall sections date to the 1940’s and the 1960’s and are constructed of hollow clay tile which is in poor condition. The north wall does not contain any significant character defining elements. The west wall contains a metal sliding door which will be mounted to the new wall in the same location.

Construction of a new masonry wall with an entrance at the north elevation. The entrance will be simplified but differentiated from the historic building through the use of more contemporary fenestration.

Removal of the non-historic windows within the original openings and installation of historically appropriate 3-over-3 windows, consistent with the historic photographs.

Removal of the non-historic recessed entries, which will be replaced by new, appropriate doors and windows in the original openings.

Retention of the grain silo and exterior access stair (the lower rung will be removed for security).

Demolition of the floor and roof, which will be leveled out for access and functionality.


The proposed project will retain the significant character defining features, including the east, south and west walls and approximately 1/3 of the north wall; as well as delivery doors and the large grain silo. Restoration elements of the project include replacement of existing non-historic windows with historically appropriate windows. New construction will be compatible in materials and scale but slightly differentiated in style. As a result, staff approved the above scope of work on November 16, 2011 as consistent with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and the plans were stamped. All future projects or construction changes associated with this site will require departmental review.


Multiple ministerial permits were approved for the tenant improvements of the interior and exterior of the site. The scope of work includes seismic retrofit, foundation repair, partial exterior wall replacement, roof replacement, new stairs, door in-fills, fencing, doors & windows, interior partition walls, reflected ceiling, electrical, lighting, mechanical, and plumbing. Additionally, new accessible ramps, driveways, curbs and gutters will be installed.

Development Services and Neighborhood Code Compliance staff visited the site April 18, 2012 to respond to community concerns that demolition was being done without a permit. The City’s copy of the stamped approved plans was compared with the plans on site and both were found to be identical. The work performed is in compliance with the stamped approved plans and well within the scope of the work authorized. The demolished section of exterior wall adjacent to Imperial Avenue was measured and it is within the dimensions as noted on the approved plans.

At this time, the required permits have been issued and the work is being legally performed. We will closely monitor all construction with respect to the approved set of plans.

Lynda Pfeifer

Senior Public Information Officer

Customer and Media Relations – Development Services

1222 First Avenue, M.S. 301

San Diego, California 92101-4154

(619) 687-5977 · email:


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Bruce Coons April 20, 2012 at 9:38 am

The press conference was moved up to 10:00 AM today.


Frank Gormlie April 20, 2012 at 10:03 am

According to today’s U-T: Supporters and critics of the retailer are both holding rallies at the site Friday, ahead of a Monday hearing in San Diego Superior Court on whether a permanent restraining order should be issued against the construction activities pending further review. Demolition had stopped Wednesday, per the presiding judge’s orders.


Jo April 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm
Ben Rivera April 23, 2012 at 12:02 am

I’m on the planning group and none of this was ever brought before us. As a matter of fact the preservation and restoration of the building was one of the selling points of WM and their advocates. From where I was standing it didn’t appear that they had any intentions of stopping their demo at the north wall. Looks like they and the planning department are trying to cover their tracks. Reminds me of the sunroad fiasco.


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