Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Heart Of Kensington Candidates Sweep Election!!

The Heart of Kensington candidates swept the election, filling the seven vacant seats on the Ken-Tal Planning Committee. The current chair, interviewed by Channel 8, suggested that nobody cared two years ago when the project was first proposed. To that, I call bullshit. As I've mentioned, I've lived here almost 9 years and the first notice I ever received, was the night before the final vote by the planning committee. Now, fingers crossed that the Superior Court stops this project.


Known as Ben said...

It's sad that it took this development to get Kensington's NIMBY hearts aflame and join the KTCPC. The chance that these newbies will have an influence on this project is slim. Perhaps if they had been involved in the community from the get-go (when this project first came up) it wouldn't have passed. This reminds me of Bluefoot v. Northpark Planning Committee. Suddenly people are community "activists" when it jumps into their back yard.

As long as I get my "Dogs of Kensington" Calendar then I don't care.

Rosemary Bystrak said...

As I've mentioned, I live within the 300 feet of the project and received no notification EVER until the day before the committee's final vote.

Second, comparing this to Bluefoot is misguided as Bluefoot was an existing structure that changed from a gay leather bar to a "regular" bar. This project involves removing four existing structures to build an entire one block development. Not even close to the same thing.

Last, perhaps it's naivete, but for many years it seemed the KTCPC acted on behalf of the community, so we trusted them to steer things with our best interest in mind. No project of this magnitude has ever been proposed in this community so it should be no surprise that people are up in arms about it and suddenly want their say. I can only speak for myself in saying had I known about this project two years ago, as everyone claims was common knowledge, I would have been involved a long time ago. That's where the lack of transparency comes into play.

Known as Ben said...

Rosemary~ You make my point for me! People who live 300 feet away from a gigantic development should know about it and should be involved ahead of time. They should make it their business to know. You should be involved in your community with or without the huge development looming.

My point about the Bluefoot is the same: neighbors shouldn't think they can just show up to one NP planning meeting and change the fact that the the Bluefoot is a bar and always has been (leatherclad or otherwise). They wanted an expansion of their licence conditions.

My point to your readers is to get involved now so you know about the next gigantic development ahead of time (becuase it's coming...)

Rosemary Bystrak said...

Then we shall agree to disagree. Obviously my neighbors across the street getting bought out and evicted was a clue, however, the scope of the proposed project should be common knowledge and putting a notice in the SDDT does not qualify as adequate notice if you want the community involved. The thing that is rubbing everybody the wrong way is how secretive the project was until the council approved it. If the developers thought it truly benefitted the community, everybody would have known the full extent of the project, including the height exemptions. Two houses boarded up (one that had quite a convenient fire) wouldn't imply to most people that there's going to be a two level parking garage and a three tiered building into their 'hood.

Anonymous said...

What she said. Two years ago this project didn't exist. In January 2007 the KTPG agenda had two separate projects for this site - one was 14 unit "affordable" rental housing over commercial, and the other was 9 units of residential over 4000 SF of retail. It wasn't until a non-agenda public comment at the planning group meeting ONE YEAR AGO in March that Allard Jansen said that he had closed on the purchase of the gas station site and that a partnership had been formed with Rick Vann, Executive Vice President of Sunroad, to develop both properties as one huge three-story mixed-use development. He went on to say he hoped to have some plans to show in June. So I join rosemary in a hearty round of "bullshit" to anyone who continues to claim that this project has been around for two years. The reason this project flew by so fast and under the radar is that the planning group does nothing to inform anyone, including not posting their meeting minutes until months after a meeting (try finding the February 12th meeting minutes when 2 Deputy City Attorneys had to come to the meeting to get them to change their Bylaws to be compliant with the law and allow people to vote). Then there was the tacking on of a faux 'green roof' and some solar panels that can't even generate 15% of the building's energy needs, and qualifying for the Development Services Department's extra-generous "Sustainable Building Expedite Program", which actually requires them to generate 50%. THat led to a very speedy scheduling of a Planning Commission hearing date and an expedited application review. The whole thing went by so fast that the planning group didn't even have time to "unanimously approve" the project until 2 weeks after their mandated deadline had passed. If you really want to voice an informed opinion about this project, you should read the meeting minutes, and maybe attend a few meetings to see how things really work around here.

Anonymous said...

No one should be surprised as Toni Atkins likes big projects. She voted for the 12 story development in Hillcrest. She also gave away 5 acres of parkland (Grape Street Park) for dogs to use. I am glad that she is termed out.

Anonymous said...

What's hilarious is that people like Craig Bendetto (or something like that) attempt to portray all of Kensington as looking like the lot on which that one house sits - a desperate move.

Anonymous said...

Has Ben, this is for you: Not everyone has time to wander around going to bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and business association, planning committee, and assessment district meetings like you seem to have. But that's just because you don't have a real job, nor do you have a family, or kids, or any sense of what it means to be truly involved in anything meaningful (ask Lisa).

Ha! Has-Ben says "They should make it their business to know." Give me an effing break, you fool. You should make it your business to know what it means to get up at 5 am to pack school lunches, worry about getting the kids home and to soccer practice, spend 10 hours working as a software engineer on a project that is behind, for a company that expects you to work overtime and weekends, and take care of your elderly mom. All in one 24-hour period. See how many bars and meetings you have time to visit and attend.

While Has-Ben (Ben Markovchick-Nicholls), the director, by the way, of the Pacific Beach Business Improvement District and newly elected sycophant to the Golden Hill Community Development Corporation board, is plotting ways to charge everyone for parking in Pacific Beach, and ways to get everyone's property tax dollars to hang banners, while teachers and nurses are losing their jobs, the rest of us are working and doing real things.

Sick of these little fascist soldiers who run around spouting the Land Use department's propaganda.