Monday, March 10, 2008

Heart of Kensington Files Lawsuit

Last week, a group calling itself Heart of Kensington filed a lawsuit against the city of San Diego, as well as an injunction to stop any construction from moving forward on Kensington Terrace without further study.

You can read the Union Tribune's full article here and read the actual lawsuit here.

To me, the most interesting (and infuriating) part is all the commenting at the bottom. The pro- side is constantly referring to the con side as NIMBYs. Actually, it's a pretty fucking stupid comment. I believe that the people of Kensington would like more storefronts along Adams Avenue, the problem is the scope of this project, with their height exemptions, doesn't fit the neighborhood.

Arguments comparing Kensington to Hillcrest or other areas that have been redeveloped are as well really ignorant. How many ways are there into Hillcrest? How many of those streets are multi-lane? Washington, University, 1st through 6th Ave, all give access to Hillcrest. Kensington, on the other hand has Adams. And Aldine? And if you zig zag through the 100% residential streets, perhaps you could argue that you can get there from El Cajon or any of the minor streets that run parallel to Adams. Regardless, none of these streets is built to handle a sudden increase in traffic, or even the potential closing of Adams between Marlborough and Edgeware.

Additionally, comparing this building to the one across the street is misguided as this project will take the entire block, while the Starbucks building is only half the block. And, by the way, the developer is the same. You give an inch, they take a yard. Start off with an obnoxious building that takes up half a block, add another that's a full block and even taller, and where does it end?

As I walked to the ATM the other night, I passed a couple going off on the project, about the behemoth it will be and the bastards who are developing it, and I kinda smiled because I'm glad the opposition is picking up steam. I really believe that if the community had truly been properly notified (and the developers have lied about the two years of notification), this project wouldn't have ever gotten to the point that it's at now. And the developers clearly knew that, too. Fortunately the majority of my neighbors have the political will to fight this every step of the way.

For information about Heart of Kensington, click here.

And incidentally, if Adams does have to close should the project move forward, I'm gonna drop nails in my alley to prevent it from being used as an alternate route. Don't say I didn't warn you.


Anonymous said...

I guess what I'm confused by is there are two arguments being made.

1. Traffic would become awful because Kensington isn't designed to handle that traffic.

My response is, "So poor civil engineering dictates how a neighborhood should grow?" I say bullocks. They'll fix the planning (yes by tearing down houses!)

How was the response to the Starbucks? I can imagine the same outrage being leveled at them (yet strikingly, a full shop everytime I walk by them)

2. Kensington is special. Let's not ruin it with an awful building that will have awful buisnesses that will cater to bad people.

My response: Anti-Reverse-Gentrification.

response 2a: Also, it's bad form to put shops that don't cater to the residents of the neighborhood. Especially when you consider that "nasty awful scary" el cajon blvd has access to several smoke and sex shops (comments in the UT article suggest that the developer would bring those buildings in.)just down the road.

Maybe he'll put an acupuncture specialist and chinchilla day care in. Then people will be stoked.

Anyhow, other than the whole straw man of "this ruins our neighborhood" my question is, What is really the big deal? Growing pains, I say.

Anonymous said...

How does anyone who actually lives in Kensington stand to benefit from this? They don't. The only beneficiaries will be the developers and the subsidized megacorporations, none of whom actually live in the neighborhood.

I have the guts to post my name.

Daniel Soderberg said...

The above anonymous comment is typical of the tasteless pro development attitude left over from the 20th Century. That all "progress" is good. It is not a tastelessness in a small way but a blindness that created Mission Valley, much of Los Angeles, and every eye sore in between. There is still time to rework the plans of this development into something wonderful for the people--not just the Developers and investors in the project. There's no reason why people should have to take whatever is shoved down their throats this way. Let's insist on taking the time to do it right or not do it at all.