Brian Trotier, interim president of the Southeastern Economic Development Corp., wrote me an e-mail taking issue with the lead to my story today because it said the City Council had recently approved “a redevelopment plan” for parts of southeastern San Diego.

“City Council did not approve a redevelopment plan. They approved a Strategic Plan which directed SEDC to study whether creating a new redevelopment area was feasible,” he wrote.

He said giving the impression that the recently approved plan is a final blueprint for redevelopment in southeastern San Diego communities was potentially inflammatory. Redevelopment is a very sensitive topic in some southeastern San Diego communities, as my story highlighted.

It’s definitely easy to get confused when trying to parse through the jargon of redevelopment and SEDC’s current plans. So what is this contested plan?

The plan I colloquially referred to as a “redevelopment plan” is certainly a plan about redevelopment. But more specifically, it is more of a guiding document.

It lays out several steps SEDC wants to take in the coming months as it tries to overcome some of the financial and organizational problems that have dogged it. The City Council asked SEDC to create the document in the aftermath of scandal at the agency.

SEDC has called the plan a “strategic plan” because it is not a final blueprint for redevelopment in southeastern San Diego.

It gives the agency permission to start working on several individual steps. Each of those steps will still have to come before the City Council for final approval and SEDC says the community will have plenty of time to provide input before that happens.

Among other steps, the plan directs SEDC to study the possibility of creating a new redevelopment area in Greater Logan Heights. There is no guarantee that will happen, and SEDC has continually said it will only create that area if residents there want it.

But as my story noted, it has caused a lot of controversy among active residents of the community who oppose redevelopment, and confusion among everyday residents who are having a hard time figuring out exactly what the strategic plan could mean for them.

So, while the City Council has passed a strategic plan, SEDC officials clearly want to emphasize that the details of how — or even if — that plan will be implemented in the neighborhoods are still to be worked out.


Dagny Salas was web editor at Voice of San Diego from 2010 to 2013. She was an investigative fellow at VOSD from 2009 to 2010.

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