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127 New Housing Units to Open in Linda Vista
Plus: Top 10 Reason Behind Roughest Street in Linda Vista, LV News Briefs, and Picking and Choosing the Best of Gentrification
When completed, the Levant Senior Cottages are expected to bring 127 new affordable housing units to the community of Linda Vista. This housing project (located at 6970 Levant Street, between the Linda Vista Park and Recreation Center and the San Diego Cooperative Charter School), is currently under construction, and is expected to be completed by February 2024. Workers first broke ground on this project back in June of 2022.
This gated community will include both independent living and senior low-income housing units.
We recently paid a visit to the nearly 5-acre construction project to get an idea of what the units will eventually look like in February 2024. We sought out one of the cottages still in the process of construction and entered inside to snap a couple photos. These cottages are 350 square feet in size, the equivalent of a studio apartment.
The community also has one-bedroom apartments that are 300 square feet in size.
The community includes laundry rooms, a dog area, a clubroom with a kitchen and computer area, plenty of trees/shrubbery, and a limited amount of parking.
If you want to see what the Levant Cottages will eventually look like upon completion, or if you want to know how to sign up for one of the apartments, you can go the Levant Senior Cottage web site here.
David Street Encounters a Rough Patch
What happened to David Street? Is this street being punished? Who did the residents of this street get mad?
The segment of David Street between Ulric Street and Coolidge Street is one of my favorite places in Linda Vista. I always enjoy this block’s eclectic collection of single family houses. There is nothing “plain vanilla” about the architecture of these older residences. I’ve long noticed this block of houses is colorfully decorated during the holiday period. And I always enjoy the exhilarating thrill of driving through the narrow confines of the street. When a large number of cars are parked on both sides of the street, I like the feel of impending danger as I try to avoid being grazed by an opposing driver with bad peripheral vision or questionable depth perception. They don’t make streets like this anymore. And therein lies the problem with this street, for I believe the City also doesn’t re-surface streets like this anymore.
On a recent walk through David Street I was struck by the bad condition of the street’s surface. There are cracks everywhere! It’s as if the street is coming apart at the seams—and there indeed appears to be many seams. I got the weird impression a thousand angry monkeys with sledge hammers were at one time allowed to wreak havoc on this street. I was left wondering how and why this street avoided the still fairly recent slurry sealing of the area’s streets. There must be a good reason, right?
Who knows for sure. With wild speculation as my only option, I consequently came up with the “Top Ten Reasons this segment of David Street seems to be encountering a rough patch.”
Vengeful city political operatives discovered that all of the street’s residents voted for Mayor Todd Gloria’s opponent in the last election.
The street has been designated a “historic”district and renovations are not allowed.
The street is suffering from an infestation of the rare Estonian concrete gopher—this is a gopher with genetically modified super-hard teeth capable of tearing up roads. The original pack of these gophers escaped several years ago from a Soviet Union laboratory and have since spread their way out west.
A number of years ago, several residents of David Street discovered the joys of driving All-Terrain (ATV) vehicles. However, they got tired of driving all the way to the desert to take advantage of their ATV’s, and decided instead to stay local by converting their street to natural terrain conditions.
These really aren’t cracks caused by vehicles and the weather, but rather an elaborate set of hieroglyphics etched onto the road by the San Diego office of NASA. They are meant to communicate friendly messages to extra-terrestrial beings flying high above us in their spaceships. You have this sacrifice imposed upon David Street residents to thank for not being attacked and conquered by extraterrestrials.
The cracks are the result of fissures caused by the little known Linda Vista earthquake fault line that happens to run right under David Street.
This segment of David Street intersects with Coolidge Street. President during the Roaring 20’s, Calvin Coolidge was known for his frugality and love of the status quo. The current condition of David Street is in keeping with those presidential virtues.
Rumor has it back in 1985, a clerk in the City’s Maintenance Department accidentally left off the name of David Street from the master list of City streets. The street has been ignored ever since, and no one at City Hall can find the necessary municipal form to get David Street back on the master list.
This battered block of David Street leads to the school formerly known as Kit Carson Elementary. It’s only fitting that David Street preserves the wheel gouge marks made by the numerous wagon trains that followed scout Kit Carson along this Linda Vista leg of the Oregon Trail.
City bureaucrats once asked the residents of David Street, “What should be the City’s major concern? They responded by answering, “The need for affordable housing.” The City bureaucrats replied “That’s too hard, but would you settle for even less-affordable street maintenance?”
I know there must be a good reason why the City hasn’t gotten around to improving the condition of this street’s surface. But until such time as someone informs me of that reason, I am going to bask in the fun of wild speculation.
LV News Briefs
Kearny High football plays in CIF Division 5 playoffs: This Friday November 3, the Kearny High Komets varsity football team will play El Cajon Valley High in the opening round of the CIF Division 5 championship playoffs. Kick-off time for this away game is 7:00 pm. The Komets currently sport a 7-3 record and are coming off a 37-7 win over Canyon Hills.
Winning Orchid architecture: Two sites located right next-door to Linda Vista, and both previously featured in this newsletter, were recently awarded the coveted “Orchid”award for architectural excellence by the San Diego Architectural Foundation. The Iipay Tipai Kumeyaay Mut Niihepok (Land of the First People) project at Old Town San Diego State Historic Park was recently awarded an “Orchid” in the Landscape Architecture category. We wrote about this park in August 2022. Also winning an Orchid in the Landscape Architectural category was the Tecolote Shores Park North Playground. We wrote about this site in December 2022.
Love, Linda Vista Farmers Market: Get your fresh fruits and vegetables at the Love, Linda Farmers Market, which operates from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm every Thursday afternoon at the Linda Vista Plaza Shopping Center. There is great variety of ethnic food vendors to choose from, as well as various arts and crafts vendors. Additionally, Kearny High senior students from the Biomedical Science & Technology Academy will be at the market today (November 2) to provide health education on a variety of topics they learned by participating in the Public Health Peer Educator Project. Please stop by their booths to learn more.
Student door decorations at Empower Language Academy: As a way of observing Red Ribbon Week (held nation-wide from October 23-31), classrooms at Empower Language Academy recently competed against each other in a door decorating contest. Red Ribbon Week serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities, educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities. Below is a photo of one of the classroom contest entries; in this case, a kindergarten classroom.
Picking and Choosing the Best of Gentrification
Should Linda Vista residents fear the potential of gentrification? Our community has so far been that rare San Diego holdout to this dreaded neighborhood transformation. There are many anxious residents who maintain a lookout for hints of gentrification, which is commonly defined as the influx of more affluent residents and businesses—resulting in the pushing out of less affluent residents and businesses. They are quick to draw attention to anything that might be construed as even the barest evidence of this kind of change—which often means anything related to congestion and density--fearing that once any sort of incursion begins, there may be no way to maintain Linda Vista’s traditional working class character.
If you are concerned about the possible gentrification of Linda Vista, what are the kinds of evidence you should be looking for? There are the obvious things, like the opening of one-star Michelin restaurants, an influx of Tesla vehicles, a noticeable increase in the number of people walking French bulldogs, and the word “artisanal” commonly displayed on commercial storefront windows. I suggest two recent articles in the SD Union Tribune make clear other ways we can spot obvious gentrification clues. However, the articles also suggest to me how it would be nice to view gentrification as a smorgasbord—one that would allow us to pick and choose the best features normally associated with a neighborhood’s transformation while avoiding all the bad aspects.
I recommend you add parking meters to the list of gentrifying clues. The first SD Union Tribune article I read explained how the community of Pacific Beach will soon be installing parking meters. San Ysidro and our gentrifying neighbors in the Convoy District also plan to study the idea of parking meters. Parking meters are seen as the answer to the problem of limited parking spaces brought about by new high rise and mid-rise projects, which are of course the most obvious sources of density/congestion and thus gentrification. According to the article, “Adding meters frees up scarce parking spaces by preventing car owners from monopolizing a spot for several hours.”
Fortunately, we have not seen an onslaught of high rise and mid-rise projects in Linda Vista; hence, I have yet to observe any parking meters in our community (outside of those on the University of San Diego campus. I don’t think anyone wants to see the mass introduction of parking meters throughout Linda Vista.
However, when I queried LV residents about the parking meter idea many commented how they would like to make an exception and have a solitary parking meter installed in their respective neighborhoods to take care of the one inconsiderate Parking Hog that seems to exist on every resident’s block—that person who leaves his/her car in the same space for weeks at a time. These Parking Hogs are like modern day horse thieves—the scourge of the community. Yes, you can always call the City’s “Get It Done” app to report these parking violators, but many residents still don’t place much faith in the app. Besides, we are used to instant gratification. We don’t like to wait for the City to respond. Strategically placed parking meters, or maybe even rent-a-parking meters to be loaned out for temporary periods of time, might be what can take care of Linda Vista’s parking woes. These Parking Hogs could then be immediately identified and ticketed by the parking meter police. Residents would be happy knowing anyone daring to be a neighborhood Parking Hog was going to eventually pay a hefty fine once a meter fare expires.
The second article mentioned an ambitious plan to introduce high rise housing for 50,000 new residents in Hillcrest. The community of Hillcrest is long past gentrification, and this latest plan will only increase its current densification and traffic congestion. However, one great part of the plan is a proposal to build an aerial skyway connecting Hillcrest to Mission Valley. We in Linda Vista certainly don’t want high rise housing and 50,000 more people in our community, but we could really use an aerial skyway down to Mission Valley. In fact, we could use another one that goes down Linda Vista Road to the Morena District (and possibly all the way to Mission Beach), and then one more that goes up Linda Vista Road to the Convoy District. Aerial skyways would make our little community the transportation envy of San Diego! We would be massively mobile in a cool, fun, cutting edge way.
So there you have it, fellow Linda Vista residents—let’s stay on the lookout for any inroads made by the evils associated with gentrification, but at the same time, let’s see if it’s possible to pick and choose some of the more positive features that normally come with gentrification. After all, I know the perfect place for a single parking meter in my development. And I’d like to ride an aerial skyway from my neighborhood to the food court at the Fashion Valley Mall, and then take it all the way to Snapdragon Stadium.
And come to think of it, a single one-star Michelin restaurant in LV wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
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The Linda Vista Update is a weekly digital newsletter that publishes informative, interesting and fun news about Linda Vista and its neighboring communities.