Beach Communities Can No Longer Trust ‘Circulate San Diego’ to Look Out for Our Interests

by on July 30, 2020 · 44 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

The beach communities of San Diego can no longer trust that the organization, Circulate San Diego, is looking out for our interests. Why or why not?

Colin Parent, the group’s Executive Director and General Counsel, penned an article published in Voice of San Diego on July 21 about how great the “public benefits” were in the new proposals for the redevelopment of the Sports Arena area. Parent apparently is a prime mover in one of the proposed developments by Midway Sports & Entertainment District and the Toll Brothers development corporation.

Parent has joined those who are pressuring the rest of us – like Jen Campbell – to get rid of the 30 foot height limit in the Midway District. Here is what he and his two co-writers at the Voice stated:

“… the only way our plan or the competing one will be achieved is if the current 30-foot height limit is removed from the Midway area. The City Council is expected to put the question before voters this November, so we all will be asked if we want to remove the long-standing barrier to improving the Midway District. Our plan is anchored by a new centralized 12-acre park, which will help the ballot measure succeed rather than turning voters off by offering them a massive traffic-generating development with no local flavor.” (our emphasis)

Colin Parent, CEO of Circulate San Diego

Circulate San Diego has some fine people on its board and they come off as a non-partisan group that lobbies for more bicycle lanes. But they’re more than that, of course. They’re an advocacy group for all kinds of things they think San Diego needs. But for their CEO to jump with both feet into this controversy over the redevelopment and the destruction of the 30 foot height limit in the Midway District belies their true commitment to their stated “values.”

For instance, one of their stated values is “environment” and another “Health.” Here’s what Circulate San Diego says:

Environment: We believe transportation and land use choices are crucial to environmental protection. A transportation network that promotes transit, walking, cycling, and rolling reduces greenhouse gas emissions, limits pollution, and protects undeveloped habitat.

Health: We believe transportation and land uses should encourage physical activity, clean air, and safe use of our streets and roads by all modes of transportation.

Yet, seeking public approval for the Midway Sports & Entertainment District’s plan for redevelopment violates several of these stated elements of their values. There’s no sense in Parent’s defense of his plan that destruction of the 30 foot height limit will harm the environment or lead to worsening pollution or help protect “undeveloped habitat.” How about “clean air” from the impacts of the increased traffic that will inevitably result from any major redevelopment of the Midway. Also what does his plan say about affordable housing? It’s promised of course to be “on-site” which is good, but there is no guarantee of affordable housing in the redevelopment.

There are enough questions about Parent’s stance and the overall effect of Circulate San Diego if its values are undermined by its positions on development. It’s not just some benign biking-advocacy group. The head of the group wants to undermine 50 years of citizen and resident-driven urban planning at the coast. What does that say? If Parent and Circulate are not willing to join other environmental, conservation and grassroots neighborhood organizations in preserving the height limit at the coast, then residents of the beaches and coast cannot trust them to look out for our interests. Period.

I know this post, me and the OB Rag will soon be branded as NIMBY – I can hear the click of the keyboards now.

Oh, hey, I was an Eagle Scout, too, Colin.

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Phil Lawrence July 30, 2020 at 11:25 am

I respectfully disagree. I don’t have an opinion one way or the other on Circulate San Diego, but eliminating the height limit in the sports arena area makes all the sense in the world. Whether we like it or nor, San Diego isn’t a small town anymore. Limiting building heights in the sports arena area to that of a single family home is pointless. Add more apartments. We need them.

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Avatar Ol OB Hippie July 30, 2020 at 11:27 am

I’ve had a sneaky feeling for a while that Circulate SD had a developer-friendly agenda despite their lofty goals.

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Avatar Tyler July 30, 2020 at 11:41 am

Let’s not conflate the extremely vocal, older contingent of the peninsula as “the beach community.” There are plenty, particularly in the silent majority, who have no major issue with this proposal (while at the same time completely ok with keeping the 30 foot height limit in place outside of the Midway/5 points zone).

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie July 30, 2020 at 11:51 am

Is this the same “silent majority” that Nixon once touted? Maybe it’s the “extremely vocal, older contingent of the peninsula” that remembers the huge, resident-driven campaign to put the height limit on the ballot; perhaps we recall the push to develop the coast back in the 1970s that forced us to rebel and support things like Prop D, the OB Planning Board and the Calif Coastal Commission.

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Avatar Tyler July 30, 2020 at 1:12 pm

I understand why you feel strongly about this, Frank. But I also think that what occurred 50 years ago is also clouding the judgement of some folks who can’t weigh the variables of 2020. I’m not a fan of black/white absolutes when it comes to policy outside of social issues, so I see a lot of grey area for discussion as it relates to Midway vs everything else west of the 5.

Development is such an interesting issue. It’s one of the few issues I see split between generations of Democratic voters rather than others that are more split between progressive/moderate.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie July 30, 2020 at 1:16 pm

Tyler, okay, let’s just keep the discussion going as it’s very difficult these days for the public to have any input into what local government is doing.

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Avatar Tyler July 31, 2020 at 11:50 am

Can’t disagree with you there.

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Avatar DrTom July 30, 2020 at 3:14 pm

Frank, you got it right in your article and in this comment. I’m an old guy that’s opposed to these commercial interests trying to greatly increase the value of their properties and degrade my standard of living.

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Avatar Gabs July 30, 2020 at 10:49 pm

Nice! Knowledge dropped yet people surely not really from San Diego, whether OB, PB, IB,…..etc. each beach town knows their culture, their “roots,” trying to keep nature as beautiful as possible, a God given right!
So what, find something you can afford and available to live, adapt. Us, true San Diegans seen the changes of our towns and have to “adapt” to visitors that stay. Be Fair! Quit pushing, and work together in maintaining and nurturing a place to Chill and Relax. Hustle bustle please keep it fair! I’m 3rd generation San Diegan from the south bay area… have some respect for our families heritage to us! Much Love!

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Avatar Paul Webb July 30, 2020 at 12:06 pm

I want to take a moment to discuss Colin Parent. In addition to Circulate San Diego, he is a council member of the City of La Mesa City Council. I note that his proposal to radically alter land use and transportation patterns are always proposed for the City of San Diego. I have never seen them proposed for La Mesa, where he is an elected decision maker (if my knowledge is incomplete, I apologize).
I suspect he dabbles in San Diego because he knows what will happen if he tries to remake La Mesa – a booting out of office.
I resent this carpetbagger coming into our community where we have no ability to have any kind of vote over him and his political future.

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Avatar Belinda Appleyard July 30, 2020 at 12:43 pm

Sports Arena is hardly a coastal community.
This development is good for the environment because it allows people to live, play, and work all in one spot, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions due to travel. Essentially, everything is within a quick walk. This is what smart growth is.
Lastly, it’s Dr. Jen Campbell. And she knows a thing or two about what makes for a healthy lifestyle. Certainly being able to walk everywhere is good for one’s physical and mental health.

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Avatar Paul Webb July 30, 2020 at 4:05 pm

Belinda, let’s take a step back and look at what is actually happening here.

This is not a case of a developer buying a piece of land, formulating a plan and then going through the entitlements process. This is publicly owned land, and has been for a very long time. There is absolutely no fundamental necessity for any uses other than public uses on this property. We live in a city, and, in the case of those of us in the Point Loma/OB area, a neighborhood that fails to meet any standards for parkland per 100,000 population put forth by any rating organization. If there is a need for housing, there is also a great need for increasing park land available to the public. There is also a great need to improve the traffic circulation of the the Midway area and surrounding communities. Any development of this, I repeat, PUBLICLY OWNED PROPERTY should address park deficiencies and circulation/transportation issues first, before we even consider what other uses can or should be made of the land.

I would also take issues that “everything is within a quick walk.” We don’t actually know what types of uses would go in all those buildings. What we have in front of us are two extremely vague conceptual development plans, which do not commit to providing public amenities, do not commit to a firm number of parking spaces, and do not specify or commit to any specific uses or development types other than the sports arena.

We don’t actually know if this will in fact be a walkable community where people both live and work. I’ve been hearing about these magical communities for my entire career as an urban planner and, with the possible exception of downtown, I have yet to see one.

I would also point out that the process put forth by the city was nothing less than insulting. There was no opportunity to criticize either proposal or question the overall process. All you could do was tell what things about each concept you liked. This is not public outreach, it is a charade. At a minimum, there should have been a charette process to develop ideas for what good development of the property should be. If a public process was not possible due to the pandemic, at least a charette involving major stakeholders should have been conducted.

Finally, there’s Dr. Jen. She undoubtedly knows about health and healthy living, but my experience has been that she does not know a lot about urban planning, transportation, parks or many of the other issues over which she now has influence. I have not observed her listening to informed people and gaining insight from what she has heard. I have heard her stubbornly clinging to notions that are wrong-headed and in some cases actually factually wrong.

Frank, I promise not to go on so long next time.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie July 31, 2020 at 12:26 pm

Paul, no worries; your comments are always on point – and anytime you’d like to exercise your keyboard more regularly, let me and Geoff know.

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Avatar Geoff Page July 30, 2020 at 2:15 pm

I wrote this for The Rag a while back.

Circulate San Diego was heavily involved in the planning group “reform” rules, they should not be trusted. The cycling community does not like planning groups and they are behind the majority of the recommendations to “reform” those groups. The reason is that the planning groups do not routinely and happily agree to all of the cyclists requests, which will not end until cars are removed from the roads so the bikes can take over. I urge everyone to become educated about this group. And, Paul Webb is correct, the guy is a La Mesan but where do people love to ride bikes? Certainly not La Mesa.

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Avatar paul jamason July 31, 2020 at 11:32 am

“The reason is that the planning groups do not routinely and happily agree to all of the cyclists requests, which will not end until cars are removed from the roads so the bikes can take over.”

The ridiculousness of this statement, plus labeling safe streets advocates “bicycling radicals”… why would anyone who reads this take you seriously?

Recent planning group data show just how unrepresentative they often are – wealthier, whiter, and older than the communities they are “planning”. Of course this obrag demographic attacks sensible reform to the status quo, because it benefits them at the expense of the underserved (all while proclaiming themselves hippies, lol).

I also urge everyone to become educated about CirculateSD. In the past quarter, they completed a Safe Routes for Seniors project in Chula Vista, helped a downtown business implement curbside changes to survive the economic crisis, helped make Cortez Hill safer for pedestrians, and donated 100 copies of a safe walking/biking field guide to local Little Free Libraries.

Geoff, what did you do in the past few months that helped others, beyond defending the interests of wealthy white OB boomers?

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie July 31, 2020 at 12:15 pm

I knew it would happen, the so-called YIMBYs would push back; – while attacking planning groups, Paul, you didn’t respond at all to the issues that both Geoff Page and I have raised about CircumspectSD . At least you didn’t call us NIMBYs. And now of course, you’ve inserted race into the issues we’ve raised, all those “wealthy white OB boomers”. Arise all ye wealthy white OB boomers, throw off your chains and move to Santee where you belong.

For decades, San Diego has been one of the most racially-segregated cities in the country. Jews could not buy property in La Jolla until the early 1960s when UCSD forced La Jollans to open up; African Americans couldn’t buy property north of 94 for years, and much of San Diego had racial covenants embedded into their deeds. It’s no secret that OB inherited the racial trends of the decades, and OB even had some Klan members for a while, BUT since the 1970s there’s been an anti-racist progressive community taking hold, and to this day, OB is one of the most progressive neighborhoods in SoCal. OB in fact had the very first democratically-elected planning committee in SD’s history. And it is true that there are weaknesses within planning committees and there are several that are not representative.

It’s also true that the SD Planning Dept and developers in general HATE planning committees and have been trying for decades to weaken them or even disband them altogether. And with the origins of CircSD exposed, it’s no wonder that they’re pushing to get rid of the 30 foot height limit anywhere and attempting to undermine the validity of planning committees in neighborhoods all across the city.

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Avatar Geoff Page July 31, 2020 at 12:35 pm

“Safe streets advocates” is just a disguised name for cycling advocates. Safe for whom?
Cyclists of course. Oh, pedestrians are thrown in there as a distraction but it doesn’t work.

The demographics of the planning boards are the result of democratic elections. And, anyone who knows anything about them, that demographic is the result of many retirees who have the time and expertise to volunteer on these boards. Nothing nefarious here, it is a red herring.

“wealthy white boomers” Man, that is a tired cliche. If I’ve ever defended anyone, it has been the community and their quality of life, which is under attack constantly by developers and groups like yours who push your interests with a single minded zeal and brush off the concerns of others by labeling them “wealthy white boomers.” Talk about a ridiculous statement.

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Avatar Geoff Page July 31, 2020 at 1:04 pm

I just had to add something. “wealthy white boomers” three pejorative words strung together.

“white” is intended to be insulting but you are also white Mr. Jamason.

“wealthy” is also intended to be insulting but you don’t appear to be in the lower class. Judging by your bio on BikeSD, you are well educated with a pretty good job at the UCSD Supercomputer. Maybe not “wealthy,” which is a subjective term, but not hurting. How much did you pay for your bike?

But, the one insult you are immune from is “boomer,” that is the crux of the thing. We could just as easily throw one back such as a Genxer or a Millenial but that is not our style because those labels never account for the vast differences among people of the same age.

Your comment was racist, elitist, and ageist. What a way to make an unintelligent argument.

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Avatar Roy McMakin July 31, 2020 at 4:45 pm

Or, as I like to put it: there is no zealotry without hypocrisy.

That of course brings up questions as to why these folks are such zealots. Why their default position towards differing viewpoints is division vs working to find common ground? Why they feel they are the only residents of our city who deserve a say how our city evolves? Why they feel its ok to treat their neighbors with disdain and mockery?

I think we should be concerned and push back any group that wants to blame a category of people for a large societal issue, as YIMBYs do to boomers. I don’t see how blaming boomers for complicated housing issues is any different than blaming people of Mexican descent for job issues, or Asian people for a pandemic. Not only is it disgusting, its wrong, and its used to deflect from the more complicated and systemic issues.

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Avatar Kevin Napolitano August 1, 2020 at 2:47 pm

There’s only one complication here – why the leader of Circulate San Diego is endorsing one project that is projected to build less housing over another project.

Raising the 30 foot height limit in Midway is well-within the mandate of Circulate San Diego, the city, and California’s desire to create more housing near transit. If not here (a blighted area needing a transformation near a transit station), then where? I approve.

It is, however a bit concerning that neither proposed plan does anything to improve pedestrian access to the Old Town Transit Center or cycling access to downtown. One would think that Circulate San Diego and cycling advocates would push for these things.

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Avatar Polecat July 30, 2020 at 9:18 pm

When I meant Colin about 8-10 years ago when he was running SD Young Democrats, I believe he was living in an apartment complex in Mission Valley.

“destruction of the 30 foot height limit will harm the environment or lead to worsening pollution”

Keeping central areas like Midway low density results in new housing being pushed off into distant suburbs like Vista, Eastlake, and Murrieta. That then results in more car pollution and more traffic because of long commutes. Apartments also require much less fuel to heat in the winter than detached houses.

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Avatar Roy McMakin July 30, 2020 at 10:49 pm

I’ve thought for a while that Circulate SD deserves a deep investigative journalist look. And I know I’m not alone in that feeling. Colin and team seem to almost be begging for some serious scrutiny, or feel they are immune from it. I think in many ways different generations see their tactics and agenda very differently. Their supporters see them as having found a way to get important stuff done, making alliances with Big Money. But their critics see them corporate shills, who traffic in green/housing washing.

Circulate SD seems to exemplify the late stage capitalist marriage of progressive social beliefs and an almost libertarian belief in big corporate money’s power for transformation of cities. I have no idea if Circulate vets their many corporate donors. My take is they feel the end justifies the means. But their top donor is Deloitte, and I assume they want something for the money they give them.

I think its also interesting that the above description applies to their preferred mayoral candidate, Todd Gloria. I think this is because there is a symbiotic relationship between some elected officials and Circulate SD. I believe Circulate does consulting work for the City of SD. Many people are generally aware Mr Gloria’s decisions are lobbyist /big money controlled, as are Circulate’s I assume. To many of us this seems counter what we want to see in our elected officials. But it seems that to his supporters if he can add housing and bike lanes they don’t care what goes on behind the curtain.

As Dems take power in SD (and the country hopefully) I think we are going to continue to see the tensions between the corporate arm and the anti-corporate arm of the party. Given’s SD’s legacy of conservative politics I think Circulate and Gloria are essentially taking the place of the Republicans, as I mentioned above, with progressive social policies. They are pro big business, anti-regulation etc. To me they seem to be against some democratic concepts if they are in the way of achieving their goals. Colin himself has written about this, he suggests taking power from communities as they stand in the way of what he feel is right. I assume he feels the urgency of our times justify getting rid of the messiness of democracy.

So I think the support Circulate SD has for removing the 30′ height limit has to be seen in this light. They not only see nothing wrong with handing development and more over to corporate control, essentially letting big developers be our City planning department. I suppose Colin also enjoys having a large and powerful lobbying not-for-profit, even if its really just a lobbying business.

I think hippies, like me, prefer not only the messiness of decisions being made in open and transparently democratic way, but the quality of a city that evolves in a more accretive way from that process. Maybe the hippies are still holding on to an illusion of some shred of an utopia, and maybe the YIMBYs are trying to make the best of a dystopic future. But I do know folks like me also have a deep set skepticism of big corporate control of our lives. But Colin and his followers don’t see that as a concern……

I suppose we will see how this plays out in November, I assume we will be greatly outspent.

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Avatar Geoff Page July 31, 2020 at 8:38 am

Great comment, Roy, very well said.

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Avatar Pat Flannery July 31, 2020 at 10:27 am

“The head of the group wants to undermine 50 years of citizen and resident-driven urban planning at the coast.”

Yeah, I too hear “the click of the keyboards” starting up, as you so well put it Frank.

But this keyboard clicking as it grows louder and louder will be in SUPPORT of local control of neighborhoods, no matter what nasty acronyms predatory developers and their hired shills throw at us. We who believe in controlling of own our backyards have always outlasted these “sticks and stones” throwers everywhere and they will not hurt us now.

These YIMBY mercenaries (who do not even live in our backyards, mercenaries never do) are only as good as their last paycheck from greed-driven developer invaders but we local activists will always be here and on guard ready to brandish whatever may be the weapon of the moment.

Do I hear the growing sound of marching keyboards?

(That was fun),

Pat Flannery

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie July 31, 2020 at 12:27 pm

Anytime Pat, you’re welcome here.

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Avatar dajohn July 31, 2020 at 10:43 am

I live in the beach community and I am interested in more density. I would like to be able to own some type of home here one day and not have to drive everywhere and to keep our daughter in the same school area but unfortunately I’m not a millionaire or didn’t by in when it was cheap because I wasn’t alive yet.

Not to mention how un-progreessive in light of climate change continued low density car-centric lifestyles are.

The height limit in Midway is only good for the mcmansions in mission hills (lets fight tooth and nail to keep their views, sigh)

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie July 31, 2020 at 12:31 pm

I need to remind everyone: San Diego DOES NOT NOW HAVE adequate mass transportation, and anyone thinking the Midway will be magically transformed into a mass transit haven has not read the community plans for the area. Blaming residents for exercising their “low density car-centric lifestyles” without providing mass transit, alternatives to the cars is putting the trailer in front of the SUV. ‘It don’t work that way.’

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Avatar Tyler July 31, 2020 at 1:10 pm

Sort of chicken and egg though, isn’t it? We don’t have the infrastructure, but that area is key to future infrastructure from a location perspective. The only realistic place for transit to the airport, for instance is via five points.

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Avatar dajohn August 1, 2020 at 8:58 am

Even before the pandemic the bus wasn’t packed to go downtown or to old town from here or in front of sports arena. It’s not that there isn’t adequate mass transit, it is that in California it is almost always guaranteed to be easier to drive somewhere because the whole planning mechanism is devoted to making driving and parking the most important thing. If you lived in an outer borough in NYC and commuted on transit to Manhattan you would probably commute a similar distance and similar (or longer) time as you would be from OB to downtown. The difference here is there is way more mandated parking in both the residential and commercial areas so people aren’t inclined to make greener choices if they do not have to. People will take the path of least resistance if it is given to them. Being lazy is all well and good if you aren’t worried about your kids sinking under the melted ice cap ocean in a few decades.
Progressives can start lining up behind some more progressive and sustainable models of living and working and advocate for the things a good community would really need in a neighborhood or we can bang on the trash can and whine about every change and look to some rule from 50 years ago to tell how us how to live today. Keep density low and let the millionaires and AirBnB slumlords be the only people that can afford OB by 2030.

Also, in light of the pandemic, it can not be a smart bet to assume these office job people walking their dogs at 10 am ever really going to be going back to an office 9-5 and jamming up the road again. Quite doubtful. To build a trolley to OB would seem like planning for a future that might not exist.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie August 1, 2020 at 11:09 am

Yeah, I like the quote, “or we can bang on the trash can and whine about every change and look to some rule from 50 years ago to tell how us how to live today.” that is such trash. I didn’t get a chance to vote on the Bill of Rights either but I’m sure glad it’s there – just some rule from 240 years ago to tell us how to live today.

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie July 31, 2020 at 12:48 pm

Geoff, Paul, Roy – I just realized the hole in the Campbell / CirSD / YIMBY argument! On one hand planning committees are overly white and rich – yet the Midway planning committee in my opinion is a prime example of how unrepresentative planning groups are. But Campbell and Colin Parent presumably are banking part of their entire appeal on the support they’ve received from the Midway planners. They want to have it both ways: planning committees are bad, stand in the way of (our) progress, but hey, we totally like what the Midway Planning Committee says about destroying the 30 ft height limit.

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Avatar Geoff Page July 31, 2020 at 1:05 pm

Good point, Frank.

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Avatar Roy McMakin July 31, 2020 at 7:38 pm

As I mentioned in another comment:
There is no zealotry without hypocrisy.

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Avatar Oscar T July 31, 2020 at 1:02 pm

what a badly written opinion.
The midway area is not a beach community and its current state does not properly serve the area. We need smart density which will bring improvements. Circulate’s vision is inline with this development opportunity.

This article just shows the ignorance of the person writing it.

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Avatar Geoff Page July 31, 2020 at 1:11 pm

Oscar, the Midway area is withing the 30-foot height limit area. Period. Plenty of smart development can be done there without attacking the height limit. Many people think it idiotic to cram the number of people in there that the city wants and the city’s sole motivation, make no mistake, is to make money for the city on its property that Paul Webb accurately pointed out belongs to all San Diegans. So, what’s next, removing the limit from the Sports Arena to Nimitz based on the same argument?

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie July 31, 2020 at 1:22 pm

OT – I apologize for not meeting the standards set by Circulate’s vision. It’s true the Midway does not have a beach, but it is closer to our waters and bays than parts of Pacific Beach, La Jolla and Point Loma. When the Spanish first arrived, the Midway was under water and the Spanish thought Point Loma was an island, because it looked like one then.

The city and the Navy trashed the Midway area for decades and allowed it to become run-down, a red-light district, an auto-center, and available for big boxes. It’s the city’s fault for allowing the “current state does not properly serve the area.” What exactly is “smart density”?

The more I find out about CircSD the more I find it’s an apologist for “smart” developers and its “smart” corporate backers. We all need a thorough discussion and debate on what we’d like to see in the area, not have to respond to 2 proposals shoved down our throats which are worthy only if the 30 ft height limit is destroyed.

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Avatar Chris July 31, 2020 at 1:18 pm

“San Diego DOES NOT NOW HAVE adequate mass transportation” And this is a problem that needs to be addressed. Completely independent of whether or not raising the height limit in the Sports Arena area will achieve this, it needs much more serious consideration than it’s bee given. I really don’t understand how anyone can be against this. While I don’t want to eliminate cars (I drive like everyone else) I would like to see more bikes and less cars in neighborhoods and more options to not have to drive. How can anyone be against this?

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Frank Gormlie Frank Gormlie July 31, 2020 at 1:26 pm

Chris, it’s the developers and Jen Campbell who have joined these two issues; we’re told to raise the height limit and we’ll have a great mass transit “opportunity”. You’re creating a “straw-person” argument here; nobody here has decried mass transit. What many are against is sacrificing the 30 foot height limit for the profits of a few (mostly white and rich already).

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Avatar OJTM July 31, 2020 at 5:10 pm

So tired of the generational argument on housing issues. Many many younger folx such as myself can see right through the veil at who is backed by Big Real Estate, as do older generations that didn’t get sucked into the little-boxes-made-of-ticky-tacky category (including many lovely residents of OB, I see y’all!). And we damn well know those big developers are the root cause behind the housing AFFORDABILITY crisis. The blanket statement of “increasing density” means absolutely nothing if there’s no action to back up getting people off the street.

Plans like this one help no-one who is actually struggling, such as all the houseless folkx currently occupying Sports Arena. Many of whom are BIPOC and/or Trans, etc. This is racism playing out in front of our eyes, straight up. Where are they planning on pushing all them to? How does this plan in any way address the real crisis of rent affordability and public health services that the ACTUAL people currently occupying Sports Arena need? We don’t know what they will charge for those new units (yes even the 10% affordable), and there is no accountability. What does the rental application look like, will they deny people with evictions and criminal history? (I’ll bet ‘cha they will). These are the questions that should be answered first an foremost, before the little 3D rendering gets published to the public. Before they start suggesting lifting height restrictions.

Go on, call me a NIMBY :)

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Avatar Geoff Page August 11, 2020 at 8:43 am

All excellent questions, OJTM.

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Avatar DH August 12, 2020 at 9:39 am

Say it! Chiming in for the younger generations. Been reading about this issue for a while now; for those of us who actually live in Midway, can anyone recommend action we can take beyond voting for the height limit?

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Avatar Micporte August 1, 2020 at 6:32 am

Circulate SD is just another 501c3, a proliferating disease of non-profits, kinda like the corona virus, channeling money laundering from other governmental agencies and other non-profits, to some useless “action” that nobody asked for and nobody, but themselves wants… and that never really gets done, but they re-design their office space and their website plenty enough….

I think, in this brave new world, we should tax all “non-profits”, like we tax the citizen worker, including, and especially “ churches” who started it all, the error of their ways is colassal, and documented, Pay attention.

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Peter Peter from South O August 10, 2020 at 4:57 am

When CirculateSD started up, I fell for the professed aim of the organization: reduction of pedestrian and driver deaths through education and support of traffic calming projects. I contributed. Put my money where my mouth was.
They still parade that as a core ambition, but the latest campaign is so vapid it reads like a distraction from the attention being directed at them now.
An accident is really a crash.
Yepper. A campaign paid for by contributions to educate the news media. A campaign to change how motor vehicle accidents should really be reported as “crashes”.
Complete with videos, posters, etc. etc.
BEHIND the scenes they do the corrupt political stuff, out in front they present fluff to distract.
I want my money back.

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Avatar kh August 10, 2020 at 10:10 am

Colin Parent isn’t a YIMBY. More like “Yes in YOUR Backyard”. I agree 100% on the carpet-bagger comment. Anyhow this here non-boomer is sick and tired of unelected special interest-groups telling me what’s best for me. And the elected ones too.

I have mixed opinions on the ballot measure to remove the 30-ft limit in Midway, but I’m quite certain the typical propaganda effort led by the city and groups like Circulate SD is not in anyways conducive to public input.

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