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VIP Meeting and Vote Taking Place on the Pilot SMART Program Wednesday, November 8, at the Otay Mesa-Nestor Community Branch Library Community Room

Nov 07, 2017 08:12PM ● By Paul Spear

1) The Otay Mesa-Nestor Community Planning Group will be taking a vote (action item on its agenda) as to whether or not to approve this pilot SMART Program (a.k.a. Halfway House for Convicted Criminals) on WednesdayNovember 8, at the Otay Mesa-Nestor Community Branch Library Community Room (3003 Coronado Avenue, San Diego, CA 92154). The community meeting is from 6:30 PM to 7:45 PM. It is critical to have a large turn out again (MARK YOUR CALENDAR). 

(2) The issue is not the concept of the pilot SMART Program for Convicted Criminals.   There are numerous community issues including (1) The utter and complete failure to publicly outreach to the Otay Mesa-Nestor Community (92154), neighboring sister cities (Imperial Beach, Coronado, Chula Vista), and neighboring San Diego City communities of San Ysidro, Ocean View Hills, and the Tijuana River Valley in a proper and timely manner prior to the ill advised decision to put this Halfway House at the Palm Avenue Super 8 Motel (2) Palm Avenue is not an appropriate, suitable, and proper site because of its historic character as a business district, gateway to the South Bay, in particular to the coast, and residential home to over 400 residents and children.  Imperial Sands (mobile home park) is adjacent to the Super 8 Motel.  The South Bay community never was afforded an honest and fair opportunity to fully evaluate, research, and analyze the dramatic impact (i.e., socially, economically, welfare, safety) that this Halfway House for Convicted Criminals will have on the lives of its residents, especially the children.  

(3) Imperial Beach City Council Rejects the pilot Smart Program (a.k.a. Halfway House for Convicted Criminals) being located on Palm Avenue - (See attachment below)
(a) Former Congressman Brian Bilbray emphatically and passionately spoke against this Halfway House because of its location on Palm Avenue and about being a “dumping ground."  He also said that he has a nephew in one of these types of programs.  
(b) Councilman Briggs spoke about writing a letter to the city of San Diego in opposing the pilot SMART Program.  The motion was approved to write this letter from the city council.  
(c) A resident mentioned that there is a difference between being charged with a crime and being convicted of a crime.  For example, a criminal can be charged of a high crime (e.g., felony) and plea bargain down to a lower crime (e.g., misdemeanor).  Will these convicted criminals be part of the pilot SMART program? 

All Information courtesy of 
Update (as of 9/26/17): Legal Issues with proposed Super 8 Motel (Halfway House for Criminals)

Below is a California Coastal Commission dated 9/8/2017 regarding this matter.  The letter was provided by Councilman Alvarez’s Office.  Thank you Vivian Moreno.   

The San Diego City’s Attorney Office contends that the Super 8 (a.k.a. Halfway House for Criminals) project does not require California Coastal Commission approval.   Their argument is that the SMART program conversion (motel to transitional housing) is “not intensifying the use” of this property and therefore is exempt from a Coastal Development Permit.  However, according to this Coastal Commission letter (see below), the city of San Diego (CSD) does require a Coastal Development Permit because of a “change of intensity of use” involving this project.  As previously stated: Commission Senior Planner Diana Lilly wrote: “The Coastal Commission has the responsibility to both protect existing lower-cost facilities, and to ensure a range of affordable facilities be provided in the new development along the coastline of the state.” “Neither the city of San Diego nor Imperial Beach currently have an abundance of existing lower-cost, overnight accommodations with close access to the coast.”  Garrick, D (2017, July 12) . Homeless facility proposed for motel stirring opposition. San Diego Union - Tribune. Retrieved from sandiegouniontribune.comThe CSD may not “side step,” “go over,” or “go around,” the California Coastal Commission in acquiring the Super 8 Motel (1788 Palm Avenue, San Diego, CA 92154) for the Smart Program (a.k.a. Halfway House for Criminals).  

Furthermore, the Otay Mesa-Nestor Community Plan (OMNCP) as well as the San Diego City’s Community/Land Use Plan must be amended first before the CSD may issue a Coastal Development Permit (must be approved by Coastal Commission).  OMNC Group members are not in favor of the proposed Super 8 Motel (Halfway House for Criminals).   As previously stated: "OMNCP protects existing motels and recommends rehabilitating them and not transforming them into Halfway Houses for Criminals." 

The San Diego City Council (8 to 1 vote) may have approved the purchase of the Super 8 Motel, but the South Bay multi community effort to stop this Super 8 Motel (Halfway House for Criminals) project is not over.  



PS: Let’s have a great community turn out (residents, children, business owners, staff, employees, officials, realtors, property owners, club members, local editors & writers) on Wednesday.


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