Results of the La Jolla Shores Planned District Advisory Board Meeting

At a meeting of the La Jolla Shores Planned District Advisory Board last week, Robert Lapidus made an excellent presentation on behalf of Hillel of San Diego. He showed the dramatic improvements to the plans for the proposed Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCSD made in response to community concerns.

The advisory board failed to pass a motion in favor of the project by a vote of two in favor and three opposed. Advisory board chairman Paul Benton abstained.

Many thanks to Hillel’s friends who came out to voice their support for the project!

We will not be deterred by this outcome. The advisory board is just that – advisory. Our next step is to go before the San Diego Planning Commission in early 2013. City Council will make the final decision.

Some points raised at the recent hearing by the opponents of the project demand a response here since the advisory board did not permit a rebuttal. Here are some myths and facts that need to be cleared up. Continue reading


San Diego Human Relations Commission Supports Hillel

The San Diego Human Relations Commission recently sent a letter to Mayor Jerry Sanders and Council President Tony Young urging them to “make a judgment on the merits of the Hillel of San Diego for the UCSD Campus without bias.”

The letter (shown in full below) commends Hillel for showing “model citizenship in working to obtain property and design a facility to address community concerns.”

The Commission further suggests that Hillel “should not be treated differently than any other group that would seek to build a legitimate, permanent relgious facility int he neighborhood. Bias against any relation would be inconsistent with the commitment of San Diego to diversity and equal treatment.”

Hillel is grateful to Commission Chair Bruce Abrams, Vice Chair Mark Dillon and the other Commissioners who voted unanimously in support of Hillel’s efforts to build a center in La Jolla for Jewish students at UCSD. Many thanks to the HRC Executive Director Danell Scarborough for her support throughout the process.

 


11/20: La Jolla Shores PDO Advisory Board…Take 2

Our next step in the journey to gain City approval for the Hillel Center project is the La Jolla Shores PDO Advisory Board. That meeting will be on Tuesday, November 20 at 9:15 AM at the La Jolla Recreation Center, Room 1. (This is the meeting that was originally slated to take place on October 16, but the group failed to include Hillel on the agenda.) Please note that Hillel is first on the agenda.

As a reminder, the Advisory Board’s role is to review applications for permits within the La Jolla Shores Planned District and to submit its recommendations to the Planning Director. (Here is a list of advisory board members, who are appointed by the Mayor. To understand how the overall process works, see the La Jolla Shores PDO Project Review Flowchart.)

This board did not approve our project in the past, and it is extremely important to demonstrate how much support we have in La Jolla for the Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCSD. We have significantly scaled back the project since we last presented to the Advisory Board. The Environmental Impact Report was published this month, and it shows that the project has no meaningful impact. All the arguments against the project have so far been unsubstantiated or fallacious.

Please plan to attend to show your support for Hillel, and bring a friend or two. We should not be disheartened by disapproval from these planning groups. The City Council is the final arbiter.

When: Tuesday, November 20, 9:15 AM

Where: La Jolla Recreation Center (Room 1), 615 Prospect Street (map)


10/16: La Jolla Shores PDO Advisory Board

UPDATE: THIS MEETING HAS BEEN POSTPONED TO NOVEMBER 20. MORE TO COME.

Our next step in the journey to gain City approval for the Hillel Center project is the La Jolla Shores PDO Advisory Board. That meeting will be on Tuesday, October 16 at 9:00 AM at the La Jolla Recreation Center.

The Advisory Board’s role is to review applications for permits within the La Jolla Shores Planned District and to submit its recommendations to the Planning Director. (Here is a list of advisory board members, who are appointed by the Mayor. To understand how the overall process works, see the La Jolla Shores PDO Project Review Flowchart.)

This board did not approve our project in the past, and it is extremely important to demonstrate how much support we have in La Jolla for the Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCSD. We have significantly scaled back the project since we last presented to the Advisory Board, and we have a nearly complete Environmental Impact Report which will show that the project has no meaningful impact. All the arguments against the project have so far been unsubstantiated or fallacious.

Please plan to attend to show your support for Hillel, and bring a friend or two. We should not be disheartened by disapproval from these planning groups. The City Council is the final arbiter.

When: Tuesday, October 16, 9:00 AM

Where: La Jolla Recreation Center (Room 2), 615 Prospect Street (map)


Results of the La Jolla CPA Meeting

Many thanks to the dozens of Hillel supporters who came out last week to the La Jolla Community Planning Association (CPA). The show of support was extraordinary and so heartening to the staff and students of Hillel.

In the end, we did not prevail, but we can be proud of the fact that the CPA trustees were impressed with our revised plans and seem to respect the work that Hillel does in the community. We earned two votes (out of 13), which is a notable accomplishment. The final vote was 10-2-1. (See “In the News” section below for links to independent articles about the meeting.)
We are grateful to all the community members who sat through the lengthy proceedings and spoke passionately in favor of our project.

I am so impressed with our UCSD students who personally came out to vocalize their support (and demonstrate that students actually do carpool!) – even during the week before finals.

Your continued support will sustain us through the City Council vote, which will likely be at the end of this year. We will keep you updated on our next steps and progress on this website.

Thank you for your support!

In the news…

(Photo courtesy of La Jolla Light.)


Support Hillel at the La Jolla CPA Meeting on June 7

The final step in the La Jolla Community Planning Association’s (CPA) process of reviewing Hillel’s project application for our Center for Jewish Life at UCSD will be the CPA meeting on June 7, 2012. Only one of the committees thus far has voted to approve Hillel’s application. It is tremendously helpful for our efforts to demonstrate to the La Jolla CPA how much support Hillel has for the project in the community. Please be sure to sign our petition (click the button on the right) and – just as important – please show up at the CPA hearing to voice your support!

UPDATE: We are last on the agenda, which means there is no need to arrive earlier than 7:00 PM.

When: Thursday, June 7, 6pm – 9pm

Where: La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect Street (map)


We won! La Jolla Shores Traffic & Transportation Committee Gives Approval

With a vote of 4 to 3 this afternoon, the La Jollla Shores Traffic & Transportation Committee approved Hillel’s request for the street vacation we need to build the Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCSD!

Bob Lapidus, chair of Hillel’s Facilities Committee, made a very compelling case in his presentation, which led to the committee’s fair-minded deliberation and vote. This is the first time in the history of this project that we won approval by one of the planning committees in La Jolla.

In June, we will go before the CPA – the largest of the community planning groups – to make our case. Let’s keep the momentum going strong!

UPDATE: See the report in the La Jolla Light about this committee hearing. The controversy over the our project prompted the resignation of architect Michael Morton from the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee. A copy of Michael Morton’s resignation letter can be found here.


LJ Shores Permit Review Committee denies another Hillel request

The La Jolla Shores Permit Review (LJSPR) committee met on March 27 and denied Hillel’s request for a street vacation necessary for developing the Hillel Center for Jewish Life at UCSD. LJSPR voted 5 in favor, 1 opposed, with 2 abstensions, on a motion that findings could not be made to support the street vacation. Michael Morton cast the only dissenting vote in favor of the street vacation. Hillel of San Diego board member Josh Richman presented to the LJSPR on behalf of Hillel.

It was inspiring to see the many friends of Hillel who came out to show their support. Thank you for being there!

Hillel is in the process of applying for a permit to construct the Center for Jewish Life in La Jolla across from UCSD. Part of the process involves presenting before a variety of community planning groups on certain issues. These community planning groups and subcommittees’ actions are advisory and not binding on the City Council, who are the final decision makers. Indeed, the City Council approved our project in 2006 and the sale of the land, even though all of the local planning groups opposed the project. Nevertheless, it is a necessary step of the planning process and demonstrates our honest desire to be good neighbors.

On March 27, the committee voted on whether Hillel’s project met certain qualifications to provide for a “street vacation,” a technical requirement for developing the land we purchased from the city. The committee voted against Hillel.

Unfortunately, the committee ignored key facts in their decision.

1) The cul-de-sac does not currently allow for any parking. The curb is painted red forbidding any parking there. There are four parking spots on the spur from La Jolla Scenic leading up to the cul-de-sac. Converting the cul-de-sac to a public park with a meandering pedestrian and bike path is clearly a better public benefit than an inadequate turnaround and four parking spaces for visitors to UCSD.

2) Hillel’s proposed development would result in a street width that conforms completely to the City’s streetscape manual, allows for a better non-contiguous sidewalk and establishes a better setback.

But we will not be deterred. The local planning groups have not been supportive of the project in the past and remain unsupportive.

The most important meeting will be later this year at San Diego City Council, which will have the authority to rule on the permit directly.

There will be other community planning meetings at which your presence will be helpful to demonstrate to the planning groups and members of the community that Hillel has wide support for this project. We will inform you as soon as we know when Hillel is on the agenda at one of those upcoming meetings.

[See the La Jolla Light coverage of this meeting.]