Taxpayers group backs Hillel ruling

By Sue Moore

Taxpayers for Responsible Land Use (TRLU) respects Hillel of San Diego and its aim of establishing a student center in the vicinity of UCSD.

Our concerns are not about Hillel. Rather, they are about appropriate land use. TRLU strongly opposes locating this student activity center in a single-family residential area because it would create severe problems of parking, traffic congestion, and traffic safety.

The other UC campus Hillel centers are located in commercial, mixed-use, or multi-family areas, much like the commercial areas adjacent to the UCSD campus.

The location proposed by Hillel of San Diego is contrary to the La Jolla community planning ordinance, and the project proposed on this site would violate several San Diego Municipal Code provisions.

For these reasons the San Diego City Planning Commission has twice recommended denial of the project. Moreover, from UCSD’s earliest days, there has been an understanding between the university and its neighbors that the campus would not spread into nearby single-family residential neighborhoods. Locating the Hillel student center in this neighborhood would violate this understanding and set an irreversible precedent.

As The Light reported, the California Court of Appeal considered Hillel of San Diego’s appeal of a San Diego Superior Court ruling that invalidated the project’s 2006 Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND). … TRLU believes that an environmental impact report was required, and the Court of Appeal concurred.

And TRLU expects that an EIR will demonstrate the unsuitability of the proposed location.

Although the Court of Appeal did not reverse the sale of the land by the city to Hillel, it did agree with TRLU that the city wasted taxpayers money by selling the site to Hillel at a price that was substantially below market value and that the Superior Court’s judgment on this matter was erroneous and must be reversed.

Sue Moore is secretary for Taxpayers for Responsible Land Use (TRLU).