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Ian Trowbridge wrote:

Stephen: You are apparently on the Greater North Park Community Planning Committee. Do you have any opinion about Mayor Sander’s land czar, Jim Waring, attempting to neuter local input into community planning decisions with his efforts to change city ordinances on CPGs? Also the city settled a lawsuit with various groups represented by Cory Briggs on condo conversions. Do you think that was a good settlement for working people and/or the city?

Thanks, Ian. Yes, I am on the board of the Greater North Park Community Planning Committee. I serve as Public Safety and Neighborhood Services liaison, sit on the Urban Design and Project Review Subcommittee, and facilitate the Alcohol and Entertainment Working Group.

I don’t know Jim Waring personally, but I am concerned about what I’ve heard regarding his involvement in allowing the construction of the Sunroad building to go forward and his treatment of the La Jolla Community Planning Association. In general, I’ve been concerned that the mayor’s team, led by Mr. Waring, has too often ignored the concerns of residents and neighborhood groups who are fighting to maintain the character of our neighborhoods and our quality of life. I think we saw that in the Development Services Department’s advocacy for the 301 University Avenue project in Hillcrest.

There is some good news in that the community, working with Councilwoman Toni Atkins, is on the verge of getting funding for long-overdue community plan updates in North Park, Uptown, and Golden Hill. 

On condo conversions, I do support the settlement, a key element of which would be to cap the number of condo conversions citywide to 1,000 in any given year. In fact, as a three-time victim of the condo conversion craze, I know it would have helped many people to have a policy like this several years ago. I’ll be at City Council on Tuesday to support the ordinance implementing the settlement. 

STEPHEN WHITBURN

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