Friday, Nov. 17 Is Deadline to Comment on Dangerous ‘Plan Hillcrest’ Draft

by on November 17, 2023 · 7 comments

in San Diego

By Mat Wahlstrom / Times of San Diego / Nov. 17, 2023

Friday, November 17, is the deadline for submitting public comment on the Plan Hillcrest draft that will be moved forward to the San Diego Planning Commission.

Launched in 2020, allegedly to address the 11-acre area around the Hillcrest sign that had been carved out of the 2016 Uptown Community Plan, Plan Hillcrest warped into a do-over community plan covering 400 of the 2,700 acres in the Uptown planning area.

Plan Hillcrest is intended to allow development of 19,000 new “units” and buildings of 30 stories and higher to add 50,000 more people — all of it in “one of the more intensely developed neighborhoods in San Diego” and one of the six neighborhoods in Uptown, whose total population is under 60,000.

The city has said that it doesn’t expect this growth to happen immediately, and that the final build-out will probably be much smaller. But the consequences of approving Plan Hillcrest for Uptown and all of San Diego will be immediate and devastating.

The proposed mobility changes, such as turning Robinson Avenue and University Avenue into one-way streets and painting out existing traffic lanes and parking for bike and bus lanes — and the resulting impacts to emergency services, will happen overnight.

Meanwhile, the proposed trolleys and “aerial skyways” that will supposedly offset this crush are decades away and based on speculations of funding from outside agencies.

It would add two completely new zoning designations, CC-3-10 and CC-3-11, with densities of 218 and 290 dwelling units per acre, respectively, to the city’s land development code.(Currently, the highest density zoning in Hillcrest is 109 du/ac.)

These zoning designations would then be available to be used in other planning areas, such as University City and College Area.

The city believes the development will be “incremental,” as it will involve the “redevelopment of existing properties.” But existing land values would skyrocket, instantly incentivizing the demolition of existing affordable housing and increasing rents, turbocharging the cycle of displacement and homelessness.

Despite planning to shoehorn a population higher than the city of Poway into an area smaller than De Anza Cove, there are no plans for more fire stations or libraries or schools, much less a park in a neighborhood that already is the only one in Uptown without a park of any kind.

And rather than implement and protect a proposed Hillcrest LGBTQ+ Historic District, the city is planning to substitute it with an LGBTQ+ Entertainment District organized for the monetization of Hillcrest’s heritage for private profit.

Yet with SANDAG projecting only 40,000 more people in the entire San Diego region in 2060 than there were in 2020, and California continuing to lose population, none of this makes any sense.

Going forward with Plan Hillcrest isn’t just irrational, it’s a dangerous dereliction of duty by our electeds.

It’s time to stop the madness, scratch the current plan, and start over where it should have: the nine-block area around the Hillcrest sign.

Mat Wahlstrom has been a renter in Hillcrest for over 20 years and founded Rescue Hillcrest. He is also on the board of Uptown Planners.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Mateo November 17, 2023 at 1:56 pm

We are living out “Idiocracy”. No infrastructure, nor need for this egregiously corrupted proposal.

The mind-numbingly exponential growth of Mt. Garbage can now be seen 360° from almost anywhere north of Mission Valley. Miramar landfill has been burying unrecycled plastic since China stopped taking it in 2019/2020. At it’s current rate of growth Mt .Garbage should surpass the height of Mount Soledad within a just about 2 years. Soon there after Mt. Garbage will surpass Mt Miguel and Hot Springs Mountain soon there after. Go look for yourself.

San Diegans need to call for Todd Gloria’s resignation effective immediately and petitition to rename Miramar landfill to “Mt Gloria”.

Thank you Mat Wahlstrom!


Mat Wahlstrom November 17, 2023 at 6:31 pm

And thank you, Mateo.

The mayor has the entire Planning Department putting us in Wonderland, where it’s all “No, no! The adventures first, explanations take such a dreadful time.” It’s as reckless as it is obviously motivated by quid-pro-quo to his developer donors, and I’m stunned that the Department of Justice hasn’t stepped by now with a RICO investigation.


Tessa November 18, 2023 at 5:58 am

It’ll be glorious when Gloria
is out of office .
When do we get to vote?


Mat Wahlstrom November 18, 2023 at 6:32 am

Election Day 2024 is Tuesday, November 5.


Concernedcitizen November 20, 2023 at 9:14 am

Not soon enough!!


Vern November 20, 2023 at 2:57 pm

There may be a fairly large “affordable housing” build coming online just before the election (11.05.24).
8 stories, 470 units at 5444 Napa Street, San Diego, CA 92110.
Yet another photo-op for OddTodd?


chris schultz November 20, 2023 at 1:25 pm

Sacramento’s Attempt To Build Affordable Housing Illustrates Why It’s Almost Impossible


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