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Taxpayers for Responsible Land Use is a non-profit 501(c)4 organization dedicated to preserving the special community of La Jolla.

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LATEST TRLU NEWS — October 27, 2012

Hello Neighbors,

This is an update to let you know what is happening regarding Project #212995 UCSD Hillel Center for Jewish Life. After a quiet summer, it is time to gear up again.

PREVIOUSLY

June 2012 – The La Jolla Community Planning Association (CPA) recommended City Council denial of development permission for the UCSD Hillel Center for Jewish Life (previously known as Hillel of San Diego Student Center II).

UPCOMING

Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR)

In 2009, the California Court of Appeal ruled that the proposed project requires an Enviornmental Impact Report. We are expecting the DEIR will be available on the city website for public review in the next week and a half (URL to be announced). We will have 30 days from the date of notice to comment. We would like to get as many letters of comment submitted on the DEIR as possible. This forces the City and Hillel to draft a comment for each comment made in each letter.

La Jolla Shores PDO Advisory Board Meeting

November 20, 2012 at 9:00 AM
La Jolla Recreation Center
615 Prospect Street, Room 2
La Jolla, CA 92037

The Advisory Board is required to review the DEIR prior to making its recommendation to the Planning Commission. This is the last hearing body before the project can go before the Planning Commission and City Council. We need 10-15 people to attend the Advisory Board meeting.

LATER

  • Planning Commission – anticipated mid-February 2013
  • City Council – anticipated February/March 2013

CURRENT STATUS

Taxpayers for Responsible Land Use continues to focus on the land use issues related to a UCSD- affiliated student center that has been proposed by Hillel of San Diego – to be built in a residential neighborhood on “Site 653.”

For the past two years, Hillel of San Diego has been working with the City of San Diego to prepare a Court-required full Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) for the proposed student center. To date, a draft of the EIR has not been made available for public comment. Thus, we do not currently know what the findings and recommendations of the EIR are. However, we anticipate the draft will be made available in the not-to-distant future.

The new proposal is divided in to two phases: Phase 1 will remodel the home at 8976 Cliffridge (which has been used by Hillel for administrative offices for nearly a decade – in violation of the municipal code) for more office space; Phase 2 includes construction of the student center with a design that would make subsequent expansion relatively easy. The new proposal includes a reduction in size from the previously-proposed student center, going from more than 12,000 sq.ft. to around 6,600 sq. ft. Under Hillel’s proposal, after Phase 2 is complete, the administrative offices will be converted to a single-family home again. However, Hillel also states in their plan that if City Council denies the Center Project, Hillel intends to keep the home at 8976 Cliffridge for their administrative offices. Efforts by TRLU to determine ownership of the property have not provided clarity.

On January 24, 2012, Hillel of San Diego made its first public presentation of the new proposed student center to the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee (“LJSPRC”). The LJSPRC voted to deny Hillel’s proposal by a vote of 5 to 1 with 2 abstentions. At a subsequent meeting of LJSPRC on March 27, 2012, the committee voted to deny Hillel’s request for a street vacation (or right of way vacation) on La Jolla Scenic Drive N., but also recommended the issue be discussed with the Traffic/Transportation sub-committee of the La Jolla Community Planning Association (“CPA”).

The street vacation issue is critical to the concerns of responsible land use. If approved, it would:

  1. narrow La Jolla Scenic Dr. N. by two feet, further constricting a street used heavily for traffic and parking;
  2. eliminate the existing cul-de-sac, with a loss of 6 parking spaces;
  3. eliminate the current stop sign at the corner of Cliffridge Ave. and La Jolla Scenic Dr. N., resulting in serious hazards to traffic flow.

Findings that must be made to approve any street vacation are stated clearly in the San Diego Municipal Code Section 125.0941. There are four stated findings – all must be met in order to approve a street vacation. None of the stated findings can be made for Hillel’s proposal. Still, on April 26, 2012, Hillel presented their position to the Traffic/Transportation sub-committee, and the street vacation was approved by a vote of 4 in favor and 3 against.

Julie Hamilton is the attorney for TRLU and has been the spokesperson for the land use support group at each meeting. She has presented our position in a thoroughly professional, concise and dispassionate manner. Because the most recent traffic study was not available at the time of the April 2012 Traffic/Transportation meeting, Julie requested that this item be put back on the agenda for the May 24, 2012 Traffic/Transportation meeting, which did not happen.

TRLU has been informed the Hillel Project will go back to the Traffic/Transportation Committee on June 28, 2012 – check back for more details.

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