President’s Perch – September 2023

Posted On September 11, 2023

Hello Members, Friends and Neighbors,

2023 has proven to be very busy and MHH has responded to many challenges to our mission of preserving our neighborhood and that threaten our community as a whole. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to our members and gratitude to the Board of Directors for their personal commitment and exceptional support in time and talent in promoting our mission and in combating actions that threaten the historic resources and character of our community and its neighborhoods. My heartfelt “thank you” to all.

The support from your memberships and donations has made it possible to respond to these challenges. Let me summarize a few of these:

  • SB10 – we sent a letter to the City Planning Department opposing implementation of this neighborhood destructive bill.
  • “The Little Red House” 820 Ft Stockton
    • We contracted with IS Architecture to develop and submit to the City a HRRR (Historic Resources Research Report). This report requesting historic designation was submitted to the city August 1st
    • It may appear on the HRB Agenda for September 28th.
    • As soon as it appears on the HRB agenda we will need significant support from MHH members and our advocates to push this through for historic designation. A note will be sent out for your support.
  • Historic Designation of the former Mission Hills Branch Library
    • In response to an appeal of the historic designation, we sent a letter to City Council on June 13th with a detailed analysis and rebuttal to the appeal which supported the ultimate rejection of the appeal.
  • Supporting candidates for Uptown Planners
    • All of our supported candidates were elected thus ensuring that candidates that support our preservation advocacy sit on this board.
  • Watchdog for development projects that are not in compliance with the guidelines for TPAs (Transit Priority Areas)
    • Sent a letter January 30th to Heidi Vonblum, Planning Director, which identified errors in the calculation of TPAs (Transit Priority Areas) for uptown requesting that these errors be corrected.
  • Arnold & Choates / N Florence Heights Historic District
    • The nomination for State and Federal Historic District designation has been submitted to the CA Office of Historic Preservation.
    • We will keep you posted of its progress as this works its way through the review process.

Also, please support the following upcoming Events:

Members only coffee: Saturday, September 16th, 10am – Noon, hosted by Antoinette Embry at Compass Realty, 1621 W Lewis Street.

Fall Home Tour: We will continue our focus for 2023 Home Tour Events on architect and developer WTJ (William Templeton Johnson). Our Fall Home Tour will feature several inside the home tours associated with the architect. We are planning this event for either Saturday, October 28th or Saturday, November 4th. More details to follow as we finalize the homes participating in the event. This event is a fundraiser supporting our preservation mission. Stay tuned for the flyer announcing this event.

Preserving our neighborhood character, charm and historic resources:

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the various state and local laws, ordinances and codes that impact our neighborhoods. These include….

  • TPAs (Transportation Priority Areas),
  • SDAs (Sustainable Development Areas),
  • Complete Communities,
  • Lot splitting,
  • 1700 square foot ADUs and junior ADUs,
  • Density bonuses,
  • Large apartment buildings with little or no parking,
  • The list goes on-and-on.

Most of these programs are out of our control as state and local agendas are being prioritized without considering feedback received from residents and voters. Because of these things that are occurring at the state and local level, the Board of Directors believes that our best opportunity to accomplish our preservation mission is by designating historic districts at the National and State level. Currently, there are 13 historic districts and potential historic districts in Mission Hills identified in the 2016 Uptown Community Plan listed as follows:

  1. Mission Hills Historic District: (locally designated) 75 homes
  2. Fort Stockton Line Historic District (locally designated) 107 homes
  • Mission Hills Historic District Extension (locally designated) 99 homes
  • Inspiration Heights Historic District (National designation) 99 homes
  • Northwest Mission Hills (potential historic district) 301 homes
  • Allen Terrace (potential historic district) 35 homes
  • Mission Hills Expansion (potential historic district) 257 homes
  • North Florence Heights (potential historic district) 96 homes (in progress}
  • Arnold and Choate’s (potential historic district) 313 homes (in progress)
  • Avalon Heights (potential historic district) 53 homes
  • Marine View (potential historic district) 340 homes
  • Inspiration View (potential historic district) 24 homes
  • Dove Street (potential historic district) 31 homes

So, here’s the challenge. The total cost to process these potential historic districts is estimated to be $300K or more which will need to be raised over a four or five year period. Thus, we will be seeking donations at many of our events going forward in support of our fundraising efforts for processing these future historic districts.

In addition, we will continue the legislative advocacy for or against legislation, local codes and ordnances that are not supportive of our stated mission. The MHH Board of Directors and our many volunteers will be working on the events planned for 2023 and we request your continued support to protect our special neighborhood for the benefit of future generations of Mission Hills residents and all San Diegans.

Take care and stay safe! See you around the neighborhood.

Kirk Burgamy