The Development Services Department’s Code Monitoring Team (stay with me) voted unanimously on Wednesday, Oct 12 to recommend to The City Council a new Interim Height Ordinance (IHO) in Uptown. The new IHO differs from the old in that is will allow for deviations from the 65 foot height limit (Hillcrest) through the discretionary process of the community planning groups.
What does all that mean? It means that architects and developers that want to build taller than 65 feet will be able to go before the Community Planning Group and the community, make their case, and let the community decide. The old IHO said that anything over 65 feet was not allowed. Period. End of discussion.
By doing this, Development Services has solidly put it’s faith and support in the established planning process and in the community. It allows ALL voices in the community to be heard. The old IHO (in effect until January 2012) silenced any opposition by not even allowing discussion.
It is also a recognition that communities change and evolve. It allows future generations to make their own decisions, and not be stuck with what an older generation thought was right years ago.
The allowance for deviations also makes room for better placemaking to happen. Placemaking, education, learning, evolving communities — that’s what Great Street San Diego is all about.
The new ordinance must still go before the City Council to be approved.