The messages delivered to North Park and South Park at the SoNo Neighborhood Alliance’s October 24, 2017 community forum were both sobering and empowering. We learned that residents will need to be more pro-active in preserving our neighborhood quality of life. We also discovered that there are effective ways to claim our seat at the table where decisions are made.

Noted San Diego land use attorney Craig Sherman gave a compelling presentation about troubling new trends in San Diego urban infill, especially in so-called “transit-oriented development zones” near city transit corridors. He reported on a spike in the issuance of “ministerial” building permits that will shrink opportunities for community input, and he described increasing efforts to circumvent the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), which requires the assessment and mitigation of the harmful impacts of new development.

But, as Mr. Sherman reminded us, we still live in a democracy, and residents have the numbers to exert more influence if we become informed and organized!