City Council approves Barrio Logan zoning plan

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The San Diego City Council voted 5-4 Tuesday night to
approve the first update to the Barrio Logan Community Plan in 35 years,
including a five-block-long commercial buffer zone separating residential and
industrial zones.

The neighborhood south of downtown includes low-income residential and
major industrial uses by shipyards, Naval Base San Diego and the 10th Avenue
Marine Terminal.

“Barrio Logan's residents and businesses, the Navy and the shipbuilding
industry are all critical to San Diego's regional economy,” Councilwoman
Sherri Lightner said. “Historically, the neighborhood has seen incompatible
uses develop side by side that have made it challenging for both industry and

According to a city staff report, the mix of uses is incompatible in
some areas and has led activists to raise environmental justice concerns over
the years on behalf of the more than 4,000 area residents.

“Where else in the city do we allow for residential, commercial and
industrial — we don't. This is unique to Barrio Logan and needs to be fixed,”
Lara Gates of the city's Development Services Department said.

City staff presented two options for changes in Barrio Logan. The main
difference is the nature of a “transition zone” between homes in the east
part of the neighborhood and the industrial area to the west.

“Change is very difficult. We are untangling a mess in this
neighborhood that has been there for literally decades,” Council President
Todd Gloria said.

The approved version of the plan called for “community and neighborhood
commercial uses” in the buffer area but no houses. Maritime interests could
be included if coastal development and conditional use permits are obtained.

Councilman David Alvarez added to it a provision that the buffer zone,
which he said consisted of a roadway, be expanded from Evans to 28th. Street
between Newton Avenue and Main Street. The update was approved with a 5-4 vote.

“This city has really done this community wrong for a long, long time
and that has to change,” said Alvarez, who represents the area and grew up

Homes and enterprises in the area that have their zoning changed would
continue to exist under a grandfather clause, according to Alvarez and city

The other scenario would have allowed “heavy commercial” and
“maritime-oriented commercial” uses without the condition use permit

Councilman Kevin Faulconer was one of four council members who dissented.

“This industry and what it means to this community, what it means to
national defense — it's critically important that we do everything we can to
preserve that and moving forward for years to come, just as we're trying to do
everything we can to update a badly outdated Barrio Logan plan,” Faulconer

Categories: KUSI