The recklessness shown by developers in San Diego has warranted the need for passage of the institutional overlay zone ordinance currently before the City Council.
If passed, the ordinance would require public review if an institutional property is closed. Institutions would include such substantial public investments as schools, churches, libraries, community centers and parks. Currently, institutional properties can be vacated and developed into non-institutional use without any public review.
A highly publicized example of this was the school board's recommendation to close Dana Junior High and Farnum Elementary schools and lease the properties to private developers for 99 years. This decision was made without regard to such issues as the need for the schools in 10 or 20 years, the decrease in park land available to the community when the playgrounds were eliminated, and the zoning and development compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood of the replacement project.
The institutional overlay zone ordinance would put a small stumbling block in the path of unchecked development.
Darnall Community Council