KPBS: North Park Growth Plans Advance To Full City Council

October 5, 2016 – KPBS – Andrew Bown reports: Plans to guide the long-term development of North Park and Golden Hill passed through a San Diego City Council committee Wednesday after hours of testimony, most of it urging the plans’ delay.

The Smart Growth and Land Use Committee voted 3-0 to forward the two neighborhoods’ community plan updates to the full City Council. The committee did not, however, recommend approval or denial of the plans, casting doubt on whether they could proceed without time-consuming amendments.

The city completed an analysis recently that found the North Park and Golden Hill plans would reduce the share of people commuting to work by car, but not to the extent foreseen under the city’s Climate Action Plan. That plan expects 50 percent of San Diegans living near public transit stops to commute to work without a car by 2035.

Councilman Todd Gloria, whose district includes North Park and Golden Hill, said he was hesitant to delay the community plan updates given that they have been worked on by city staffers and community residents for years. But he said he was ready to ask staff to revise the plans if it became clear they would be a barrier to the city’s greenhouse gas reduction goals.

“This is not about any kind of accomplishment or legacy,” he said. “This is about trying to get it right.”

Nicole Capretz, executive director of the nonprofit Climate Action Campaign, has lobbied city staffers to do more to ensure the community plan updates comply with the climate plan. She said she was encouraged by Gloria’s comments.

“I’m expecting to work with Councilman Gloria’s office and the mayor’s office to see what’s possible,” she said.

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