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The Uptown Community Plan Update
The City of San Diego is embarking on an update to the 1988 Uptown Community Plan concurrently with updates to the community plans for Greater Golden Hill and North Park. The City's community plans are long range planning documents established as essential components of the General Plan. The community plan update process will develop the community-specific detail, relevant policies, and implementation strategies necessary to fulfill General Plan objectives. The General Plan sets out a long-range vision and policy framework to guide future development, provide public services, and maintain the qualities that define San Diego over the next 20+ years. The recent update to the General Plan shifts focus from how to develop vacant land to how to design infill development and reinvest in existing communities. This focus is reflected throughout the Plan, including such topics as sustainable development, urban design, the provision of public services & facilities, mobility and historic preservation.
News and Updates
Updated September 24, 2014
DRAFT Uptown Proposed Land Use Maps
These maps have been generated from the review and consideration of input taken from community members, stakeholders, the Planning Commission, City Staff, and recommendations from the Uptown Planners. These maps are also labeled as the “Staff Alternative” to differentiate them from the land use maps that were included in the 2013 Discussion Drafts which solely represented recommendations from the community.
The proposed land use for the Uptown community are shown in 3 maps:
Proposed Land Use – Staff Alternative
This map shows only the type and distribution of land uses in the community.
Proposed Land Use – Residential Densities Staff Alternative
This map displays the residential densities located within the commercial areas and residential neighborhoods of the community. Residential density ranges are also listed in the legend as well as on each relative city block on the map, so that density ranges can be easily identified. This map also differentiates residential and commercial-designated areas accordingly.
Proposed Land Use - Bonus Densities Staff Alternative
This map identifies initial areas that are being proposed for density bonuses only in exchange for public benefits (e.g. parks, plazas, additional public parking beyond requirements, public space, etc.) by a developer. These density bonus areas are being proposed as part of an Incentive Zoning Program that City staff and consultants are further developing for the plan update cluster that also includes North Park and Greater Golden Hill. This map also differentiates residential and commercial-designated areas accordingly. Note: these proposed bonus densities do not exceed the maximum densities currently allowed in the adopted 1988 Uptown Community Plan.
DRAFT Uptown Community Plan Urban Design Element
The public draft of the Urban Design Element of the Uptown Community Plan Update is available for review and comment. Other elements of the Uptown Community Plan Update are forthcoming and will be released for public review and comment as they are completed. The deadline for public comment on this particular plan element is Friday, October 10th. Input will be considered by City staff and shared with the Community Planning Group (Uptown Planners) who will review the DRAFT Urban Design Element and provide a recommendation at a subsequent noticed meeting. Please forward comments to:
Marlon I. Pangilinan, Senior Planner
City of San Diego
1222 1st Avenue MS 413
San Diego, CA 92101
- DRAFT Uptown CPU Urban Design Element – July 2014 FULL VERSION (PDF)
- 4.0 Introduction (PDF)
- 4.1 Existing Context & Urban Form (PDF)
- 4.2 Urban Design Framework (PDF)
- 4.3 Streets & the Public Realm (PDF)
- 4.4 Development Form (PDF)
Streetcar Feasibility Study
The Uptown Streetcar Feasibility Study has been completed and the Final Report is available to be viewed at the following link:
Streetcar Feasibility Study: Open House
With funding provided by the Uptown Community Parking District, a streetcar feasibility study is being conducted in association with the plan update cluster to examine constraints and opportunities with reintroducing a future streetcar line that would create connections between Hillcrest, Bankers Hill/Park West, North Park, Downtown, and eventually connect with other future lines studied in the past. Planning staff will be hosting an Open House event on the Uptown Streetcar Feasibility Study on Saturday, March 1st at the St. Paul’s Cathedral Guild Room located at 2728 Sixth Avenue from 10am to 2pm. The public is welcome to attend at any time during this event as staff will be providing information on the various as of the study and gathering input from the public on what goals should the streetcar serve, the type of streetcar desired, the location of stations, and what the streetcar routes should be. Please view the Open House flier and Streetcar Presentation for more information.
- Uptown Streetcar Feasibility Study Open House (PDF)
- Streetcar Feasibility Study Informational Presentation (PDF)
Community Plan Update Discussion Drafts
Discussion Drafts of the Uptown, North Park, and Greater Golden Hill Community Plan Updates have been provided to each of the respective Community Planning Groups for comment. These Discussion Drafts are a work-in-progress and serve as “preliminary drafts” to allow each respective Community Planning Group, as well as the Planning Commission to provide comment on the overall development of the draft plan updates prior to the to the release of the official public drafts. The Discussion Drafts were discussed as an information item at the December 19, 2013 Planning Commission hearing. The staff report and associated documents can be viewed on the Planning Commission - Reports page.
The Discussion Drafts can be viewed below:
- Uptown Discussion Draft - September 2013 Part 1 (PDF)
- Uptown Discussion Draft - September 2013 Part 2 (PDF)
- Uptown Discussion Draft - September 2013 Part 3 (PDF)
Note: There are no monthly meetings of the Community Plan Update Advisory Committee as City staff is currently drafting the update to the community plan. Staff will continue to provide status reports at the Uptown Community Planning Committee meetings. Agendas for these meetings are located on the Agendas page.
Uptown Park and Recreation Ideas
On April 2, 2013, Park Planning Staff presented a park site evaluation and suitability analysis of all the park ideas that were provided by the community during the community plan update charrette. The Uptown Planners are scheduled to provide their input and recommendations on the park ideas at their May 2013 meeting. The following are documents provided at the last meeting:
- Park Ideas Map (PDF)
- Uptown Park Site Evaluation and Suitability Presentation (PDF)
- Uptown Park Site Evaluation and Suitability Matrix (PDF)
- Uptown Park Site Evaluation and Suitability Worksheet (PDF)
- Potential Park Prioritization Criteria (PDF)
The following summaries, presentation, and comment letters from neighborhood organizations provide a general description of the various land use proposals that have been forwarded to City and to the Uptown Planners to inform their review of the Uptown Community Plan Update DRAFT Proposed Land Use Map. The Uptown Planners are scheduled to conclude their recommendations on the proposed land use map at their April 2, 2013 meeting.
- Uptown Community Plan Update Land Use Summary – March 2013 (PDF)
- Uptown Community Plan Update Land Use Summary Presentation - April 2013 (PDF)
- Uptown Community Plan Update Land Use Summary – February 2013 (PDF)
- Mission Hill Heritage Comment Letter – March 27, 2013 (PDF)
- Hillcrest Business Association Comment Letter - January 14, 2013 (PDF)
- University Heights Historical Society Comment Letter – January 31, 2013 (PDF)
December 13, 2012 Planning Commission Workshop – Status of Community Plan Updates Report:
- PC-12-120 part 1 of 2 (PDF) Status of Community Plan Updates
- PC-12-120 part 2 of 2 (PDF) Status of Community Plan Updates Presentation
- PC Status of Community Plan Updates PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)
The City of San Diego is embarking on an update to the 1988 Uptown Community Plan concurrently with updates to the community plans for Golden Hill and North Park. The City’s community plans are long range planning documents established as essential components of the General Plan. The community plan update process will develop the community-specific detail, relevant policies, and implementation strategies necessary to fulfill General Plan objectives. The General Plan sets out a long-range vision and policy framework to guide future development, provide public services, and maintain the qualities that define San Diego over the next 20+ years. The recent update to the General Plan shifts focus from how to develop vacant land to how to design infill development and reinvest in existing communities. This focus is reflected throughout the Plan, including such topics as sustainable development, urban design, the provision of public services & facilities, mobility and historic preservation
Uptown Building Height Proposal
City staff has developed a height proposal for the mixed-use corridor areas based upon input at the charrette as well as an assessment of neighborhood characteristics. The proposal was presented to Uptown Planners at their September meeting for feedback and possible action at their October meeting. Heights for adjacent residential areas are anticipated to more closely follow adopted zone requirements and will be provided when that analysis is completed. Agendas page.
- Uptown Height Proposal (PDF)
Uptown Draft Open Space Maps
City staff requests that the Uptown Planners, along with other neighborhood organizations, closely evaluate the changes proposed on the draft Open Space maps along with the adopted Open Space language and Appendices to determine if the current community plan open space and hillside development policies are still relevant and if they should be incorporated into the future Urban Design Element of the draft community plan.
The areas of proposed changes on the maps are illustrated in the blue hatching. The legends at the bottom of each map describe the features included in the maps. City staff requests that the Uptown Planners submit proposed changes no later than January 11, 2013.
For more information on reviewing the draft Open Space maps please click on the Memorandum to the Uptown Planners (PDF)Attachment A – (the links below can also be found here: http://www.sandiego.gov/planning/community/profiles/uptown/plan.shtml)
Bankers Hill/Park West
Uptown Community Plan Update - DRAFT Proposed Land Use Map
The draft proposed land use map is available for public review and comment. The map constitutes revisions to Figure 33 of the 1988 Uptown Community Plan and also contains revisions to a previous version presented at the June 5th Uptown Planners meeting. The revisions address meeting comments for a more user-friendly format including provision of companion maps for each of Uptown’s neighborhoods. Staff has also re-evaluated several land use designations and incorporated additional revisions as a result of this review. The draft land use map will be presented for discussion at the Uptown Planners meeting Tuesday July 17th at 6pm (Agenda)
- Uptown Adopted and DRAFT Proposed Land Use Map (PDF)
- Summary of Changes and Community Concerns (PDF)
- Draft Land Use Table and Summary of Land Use Changes (PDF)
- Map of Areas Changed from Adopted Plan (PDF)
- Map of Existing Residential Density (PDF)
- Density of Existing Projects in the Uptown Community (PDF)
Bankers Hill/Park West
- Bankers Hill/Park West - Adopted land use map (PDF)
- Bankers Hill/Park West - DRAFT Proposed land use map (PDF)
- University Heights - Adopted land use map (PDF)
- University Heights - DRAFT Proposed land use map (PDF)
Proposals by Neighborhood Associations
- Mission Hills Heritage Map (PDF) Summary (PDF)
- University Heights planning Committee Map (PDF) Summary (PDF)
Park and Recreation Needs Assessment Survey
A park and recreation needs assessment survey was conducted in the Uptown, North Park, and Greater Golden Hill Community Plan Update efforts to assess overall parks and recreation useage, attitudes, opinions, and preferences. The final report can be viewed at following link:
Presentation given in the Bankers Hill/Park West community – March 30, 2011
- CPU Presentation (PDF)
7th CPUAC Meeting – March 23, 2011
- March 23, 2011 Agenda (PDF)
A preliminary height analysis was formulated in order to see if existing community plan densities could be achieved with alternative maximum building height limits. This information is preliminary and the City welcomes any input from the public as well as the architecture and developer community, on how to refine the assumptions and methodology used.
Conceptual ideas for the Normal Street Median in Hillcrest can be found at the following link. These images represent a potential vision and are not plans for construction.
Historic Resources Survey and Conservation Areas Open House - Saturday, March 19th
9:00am to 1:30pm
Balboa Park Club – Santa Fe Room
- Agenda - revised includes directions and location map (PDF)
- Historic Survey Update (PDF)
- Conservation Areas Presentation (PDF)
- Uptown sample conservation area design guidelines (PDF)
6th CPUAC Meeting – January 26, 2011
Please join the effort to develop the vision for the Uptown community. The City of San Diego is holding a 3-day charrette process to develop plan alternatives for the Uptown Community Plan Update. All meetings are open to the public.
- Uptown Charrette Flyer (PDF)
DAY 3 - Closing Day – Saturday, October 23
Topics and activities will include a presentation of the Uptown historic survey effort and the identification of conservation areas by the community, as well as the presentation of outcomes and strategies from the DAY 1 and DAY 2 work efforts.
- Uptown Charrette Day 3 Agenda (PDF)
- Draft Uptown Historic Context Statement, updated October 2010 (PDF)
- Uptown Historic Survey Presentation (PDF)
- Community Character Presentation (PDF)
- Building Heights Ideas and Final Conceptual Framework (PDF)
DAY 2 – Mid-week Session – Tuesday, September 21
Topics and activities will include prioritizing modes of transportation for various transportation corridors and refining the Parks, Recreation, and Open Space strategy.
A visual survey exercise was used during the DAY 2 session as another form of garnering input regarding mobility and park and open space issues and to provide City staff with a sense of what the community’s priorities and preferences are. The results of the survey are not meant to be a final determination on planning topics as there will be other opportunities to discuss these topics further in the plan update process. Results of the survey exercise can be viewed at the following link:
DAY 1 – Opening Day Session – Saturday, September 11
Topics and activities will deal with the development of guiding principles as a foundation for creating new plan update policies, Areas of Stability and Transition outcomes, land use validation, and a workshop activity on building height.
- Charrette Day 1 Agenda, September 11 (PDF)
- Uptown Charrette Day 1 Presentation - Part 1 (PDF)
- Uptown Charrette Day 1 Presentation - Part 1 (Printer Friendly Version) (PDF)
- Uptown Charrette Day 1 Presentation - Part 2 (PDF)
- Existing Conditions Maps (PDF)
- Community Building Heights Ideas (PDF)
- Park Ideas and Input Presentation (PDF)
Mobility Open House – July 28th, 2010
- Mobility Presentation 7-28-10 (PDF)
- Uptown Summary Notes (PDF)
- Uptown Map Notes (PDF)
- Uptown Improvements Notes (PDF)
Open Mic Presentations Event #3 Presentations – July 19, 2010
- UC San Diego Health System Presentation (PDF)
- United States Green Building Council Presentation (PDF)
Historic Resources Survey Open House – June 30, 2010
- Invitation (PDF)
5th CPUAC Meeting – May 26, 2010
- May 26, 2010 Meeting Agenda (PDF)
- Uptown CPUAC #4 Meeting Summary (PDF)
- Uptown CPUAC #5 Public Facilities Presentation (PDF)
- Uptown CPUAC #5 Recreation Presentation (PDF)
Community members were asked to initially identify areas that they currently use for recreation as well as areas where potential park opportunities exist. The following maps illustrate this input:
- Park and Rec Opportunities Map 1 (PDF)
- Park and Rec Opportunities Map 2 (PDF)
- Park and Rec Opportunities Map 3 (PDF)
4th CPUAC Meeting – April 28, 2010
Community members were asked to initially identify areas of stability and transition within the Uptown Community. Participants were asked to consider these areas based on demographics, built form, economics, cultural, and other factors. The following maps illustrate this input:
- Stability Map 1 (PDF)
- Transition Map 1 (PDF)
- Stability and Transition Map 2 (PDF)
- Stability Map 3 (PDF)
- Transition Map 3 (PDF)
- Stability Map 4 (PDF)
- Transition Map (PDF)
"Open Mic" Presentations – April 26, 2010
- Invitation (PDF)
Cluster Meeting & Workshop Presentation: The following presentation was given at the March 20, 2010 Cluster Meeting & Workshop. The presentation outlined the general project schedule of the community plan updates, the historic survey work program for all three communities, and existing conditions & best practices related to urban design. The overall presentation has been divided into its different sections for manageability.
- Introduction (PDF)
- Urban Design Existing Conditions (PDF)
- Historic Survey Work Program (PDF)
- Best Practices – Open Space (PDF)
- Best Practices – Mobility (PDF)
- Best Practices – Urban Design (PDF)
At the Cluster Meeting/Workshop, community members were asked to identify shared issues as part of the existing conditions effort for the Uptown, North Park, and Greater Golden Hill plan updates. These issues have been depicted on maps by community participants and can be viewed at the following links:
- Map 1 (PDF)
- Map 2 (PDF)
- Map 3 (PDF)
- Map 4 (PDF)
- Map 5 (PDF)
- Map 6 (PDF)
- Map 7 (PDF)
- Map 8 (PDF)
- Map 9 (PDF)
General Project Scheduled presented at the March 20, 2010, Cluster Meeting (printer friendly version)
- General Project Schedule (PDF)
Cluster Update Meeting/Workshop: Uptown, North Park, and Greater Golden Hill community members, please mark your calendars to attend the upcoming "Cluster Meeting" where we will be discussing shared issues as they relate to the topics of Urban Design and Historic Preservation among the three communities. Under these topics we will be addressing existing conditions, design strategies, and the historic survey work program. This meeting is open to the public.
The meeting will be held at:
The Hall of Champions in Balboa Park
Saturday, March 20 th, 2010
From 9:00am to 2:00pm
Continental breakfast will be served at 8:30am and lunch will be provided.
The January 2010 meeting of the Uptown Community Plan Update Advisory Committee (CPUAC) will be held on Wednesday, January 27 th at the Balboa Park Club – Santa Fe Room from 6:00 pm to 8:00pm.
The Uptown community is invited to take a self guided tour to consider various sites/issues in the community. This assignment builds upon the previous issues identification efforts conducted with the Uptown CPUAC and participating members of the community. Included in the tour are some questions about these sites/issues that we would like you to consider and discuss at the next CPUAC meeting. A photo presentation of several of the key sites and issues is also included. Community members are encouraged to complete the tour prior to the next CPUAC meeting to be held on Wednesday, January 27 th from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the Balboa Park Club – Santa Fe Room.
The November 2009 meeting of the Uptown Community Plan Update Advisory Committee (CPUAC) will be held on Tuesday, November 17 th at the Balboa Park Club – Santa Fe Room from 6:00 pm to 8:00pm. Draft meeting notes from the 1 st CPUAC meeting are attached. Please forward any suggested revisions to the Uptown Community Planner.
The first Uptown Community Plan Update Advisory Committee (CPUAC) meeting to convene the public discussion on the Uptown Community Plan Update will take place on Thursday, October 29, 2009, at the Balboa Park Club Santa Fe Room from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. This is a public meeting. Please see the following link for the agenda:
- Uptown CPUAC Agenda October 29, 2009
- Map & worksheet for documenting community images
- Project Timeline
The Consultant Agreements to provide professional urban design services for the Uptown-North Park-Golden Hill Community Plan Updates will be presented at the Land Use & Housing Committee on Wednesday, June 3.
- LU&H Staff Report May 27, 2009 (PDF)
- Attachment 1 - DRAFT contract Uptown Urban Design Services (PDF)
- Attachment 2 - DRAFT contract North Park Urban Design Services (PDF)
The Consultant Agreements to provide professional services in public outreach and urban design for the Uptown-North Park-Golden Hill Community Plan Updates will be discussed at Land Use and Housing Committee on Wednesday, May 20, 2009.
- Land Use & Housing Committee Staff Report (PDF)
January 28, 2009 Initial Public Meeting to discuss the plan update process with City staff
Community Plan Update Advisory Committee membership: The Uptown Planners are forming a subcommittee for the plan update by March or April, 2009. The subcommittee will consist of community planning group members plus non-members. To ensure diverse membership, seats will be identified categorically by interest (e.g. resident, business, institution, non-profit /community organization). An interest list is being formed to survey possible membership categories.
There is also an interest form to be a volunteer for the historic resources survey:
The Uptown Community lies just north of the Centre City area. It is bounded on the north by the steep hillsides of Mission Valley, on the east by Park Boulevard and on the west and south by Old San Diego and Interstate 5.
The Uptown Community is located on a level mesa that is divided by numerous canyons and bordered by two major parks, Presidio and Balboa. The Uptown community contains some of the oldest neighborhoods in San Diego exhibiting a variety of historic architectural types and a heavily traveled pedestrian mixed-use retail commercial area. The area also features a wide range of residential opportunities and a diverse mixture of people within a distinctly urban setting. The area includes the neighborhoods of Mission Hills, Middletown, Hillcrest, the Medical Complex, University Heights, and Park West. Located in Hillcrest is the nationally recognized Uptown District, a model of mixed-use infill development that includes housing, a retail core, offices, live-work spaces and a community center.
The Uptown District is a pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use retail center and residential development. The redevelopment of a 14 acre site known as the "Sears site" was completed in 1990, following a complex planning process with extensive community involvement. The project has attracted national attention as a model for the redevelopment of low-density, obsolete commercial sites for new housing and community uses. Its significance lies in its success in repairing an older city fabric that was damaged by 1950s commercial development. Uptown District has greatly spurred development in the surrounding Hillcrest neighborhood, especially adjacent to the site along University Avenue, which is the main arterial road, according to the San Diego Daily Transcript. The National Association of Home Builders named Uptown District the Project of the Year in October 1991. It was awarded the Urban Design Award by the California Council of the American Institute of Architects the following month.