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A New First for Mission Hills

Mission Hills' first Historic District report
prepared by residents & submitted to City staff

By Janet O'Dea

Board Member, submitted the Mission Hills Historic District Residents' Report to the City of San Diego Planning Department on September 2, 2004. This is the first report of its kind initiated by residents to gain designation of the proposed boundary, comprised of 75 homes along parts of Sunset Blvd, St James Place, Sheridan Avenue and Lyndon Road.

Mission Hills is one of several subdivisions developed as a streetcar suburb in the early 20th century but it was the first deed-restricted suburb back in 1908. It was also the first to implement the concepts of the Nolen plan. (Some of the characteristics of the Nolen Plan are streets that maximize canyon views by following along the natural topography and a hierarchy of street widths.)

In 2002, Allen came up with the idea of obtaining Historic District designation in Mission Hills as historic resources in our neighborhood were being demolished and continued to be threatened. A small group of concerned neighbors was formed and we approached the rest of the neighbors and gathered signatures on a petition requesting that the City prioritize historic district designation in Mission Hills. At that time, the City was already facing a budget shortfall just as the initiative was getting underway. I took on managing the completion of the report and guidelines, alleviating numerous City staff hours, to serve preservation in this community.

To accelerate their progress, many residents in the district funded professional research, which was conducted by Legacy 106, Inc. Our small group of dedicated residents pulled together and did the rest. Most residents see that the only alternative is to take action, as historic resources in our older neighborhoods are not being adequately protected through the current building permit process. By becoming involved we feel that we have helped preserve a small part of the historic neighborhood we love. The area is rich in early San Diego history with wonderful, colorful residents who were as interesting as the times that they lived through. The report became a tremendous collaboration with input from committed residents and other local preservationists. City staff assisted with reviewing various aspects of the project as it progressed.

Now, residents have requested prompt review of the report to move the Mission Hills historic district designation forward. Today, the report sits on a shelf in the City Planning Department behind unfinished projects waiting for a staff recommendation. Following staff recommendation, the report will go before the Historical Resources Board. No timeline has been given to the residents in this community in response to their effort. Meanwhile, efforts by these residents have inspired other property owners to begin research for at least three other proposed residential historic districts.

Updates on this district including the historic context statement and guidelines

2004 - Volume 35, Issue 4


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Council Illegally Overturns Historic Designation

Uplifting Successes, Heartbreaking Losses

Old Police Headquarters Saved!

Historic Electric Laundry Company Building

Chandler House to be Saved from "The Big Sleep"
Kunzel House Receives State Historic Designation
SOHO Recognized at the 2004 Alonzo Awards

City Council Voting Record

Requa & Jackson House in Peril

A New First for Mission Hills

Proposal for Extension of Regents Road over Rose Canyon
SOHO Receives Stewardship of Adobe Chapel of the Immaculate Conception
in Old Town

Mrs. Whaley's Garden News

Some Like it Preserved

House to be Moved

SOHO Receives Donation from American Specialty Health
Events & Education

Halloween Follow-Up

Invitation to 2004 SOHO Holiday Party

Enjoy the Holidays with SOHO

Meet Your 2004 Board of Directors

2005 Calendar Modernist Houses

Strength in Numbers

Lost San Diego

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