By Jonathan Goetz
Photo: Lemon Grove Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Jones
May 8, 2018 (Lemon Grove) – Lemon Grove's downtown redevelopment climate dampened last week, as the City Council blocked a plan to allow four and five story buildings throughout downtown. The infill plan for redevelopment passed on April 17, by a 4-1 vote. But it failed upon second reading on May 1, by a 3-2 vote.
Mayor Pro Tem Jerry Jones, the only one to vote no on the first reading of the revised downtown specific plan, this time was joined by Councilmembers Jennifer Mendoza (D) and Matt Mendoza (R) in voting against it. Both Mendozas had voted yes when it first came up for a vote, but switched to join Jones, an indepedent, in the second reading to protect Lemon Grove from over-development.
However Councilman David Arambula and Mayor Racquel Vasquez, both Democrats, voted in favor of the proposal to allow downtown redevelopment at both the first and second readings.Mayor Vasquez has expressed a vision for a “world class downtown.”
The downtown redevelopment plan would have allowed property owners and developers the liberty to address the region's housing affordability crisis by allowing them to build up downtown Lemon Grove properties and growing housing stock over the coming decades.
According to the City of Lemon Grove's website, at a February 16th public hearing on the general plan, “Overall, the participants loved the small town, sense of community atmosphere of Lemon Grove.”
The latest vote blocks plans to bring 3,000 more people into the city of 26,000 residents, reports Karen Pearlman of the San Diego Union Tribune.
Note: An earlier version of this story cited a quote by Jerry Jones on the Welcoming Cities Ordinance that was made at a prior meeting. There was no reconsideration of that ordinance at the most recent Council meeting. We apologize for the lack of clarity which occurred in the editing process.