By Dave Schwab
Hillel has submitted new plans to the city calling for a smaller Jewish student center on a triangular piece of land near UCSD.
The redesigned project would be about half the size of the original concept for a 12,000-square-foot facility that drew heavy opposition from the neighbors who live near the site on the south side of La Jolla Village Drive between Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Scenic Way.
Neighbors objected to the initial plans, saying they wanted the property - called Site 653 - to be kept in perpetuity as an open space buffer between the university and surrounding homes. The new plans haven't changed their minds.
Now Hillel representatives want a site development permit for a 6,600-square-foot center on the land that occupies two-thirds of an acre, a city official said last week.
Lynda Pfeifer, a senior city public information officer, said Hillel representatives met last week with a city team "to discuss where to go from here so they know everything they need to do to go into the meat and potatoes of the review cycle."
Hillel could not be reached for comment.
Oliver W. Jones, M.D., president of Taxpayers for Responsible Land Use (TRLU) which has opposed Hillel's student center plans, said the group's scaled-back plans for the facility doesn't make it more palatable for neighbors.
"TRLU is actively opposed to construction of a Hillel of San Diego UCSD facility on the La Jolla Scenic Triangle," wrote Oliver in an e-mail. "TRLU's view has long been that the expansion of UCSD facilities into the single-family residential area is destructive and sets a dangerous precedent independent of the scale of the structure."
Oliver said TRLU's recommended use of the Triangle is for a public children's
In February 2009, the California Appellate Court ordered Hillel to do a full environmental impact report for their project. In 2006, the city sold the land to Hillel for $940,000 and attached a number of conditions to the deal, including limiting the number of special events to be held there and a requirement that more parking be added.