Although voters rejected changes that would have separated homes from industrial areas in Barrio Logan, an environmental group and city officials said Wednesday they will work toward a new plan aimed at improving health in the area.

The Environmental Health Coalition, which unsuccessfully sought to have the changes to the 1978 plan removed from the ballot, called the zoning update a “compromise” that would reduce pollution for residents.

Art at Chicago Park in Barrio Logan. Photo credit:
Art at Chicago Park in Barrio Logan. Photo credit:

Its supporters said it would have put the area on track to becoming a healthy and safe community with proper land-use zoning.

Councilman David Alvarez, who championed the plan – which was five years in the making – and coalition members said voters may have been misled into thinking jobs were at stake.

“Barrio Logan is my home and my district, and I will immediately begin working on a new plan to protect it,” Alvarez said.

The council, on a pair of 5-4 votes, approved the updates to the Barrio Logan Community Plan that would have separated industrial and residential areas that are intermingled in the neighborhood south of downtown San Diego. A five-block-long commercial buffer zone would have been created.

However, shipyards collected enough signatures to force the issue to a public vote.

The plan’s opponents contended that the zone between homes and industrial areas would eventually force maritime industry suppliers to move by making it too difficult for them to remodel or expand, which would result in a higher cost of doing business and a loss of jobs.

Coalition Executive Director Diane Takvorian said that time will tell whether the opponents would advance another community plan.

“Every neighborhood deserves a healthy and safe community, and Barrio Logan is no exception,” Takvorian said. “The community’s goals, at the end of it all, will undoubtedly be triumphant, and we will work with City Council to ensure Barrio Logan gets the long overdue justice it deserves.”

The City Council cannot approve the same or similar zoning revisions for at least a year, although council members can review a substantially different plan.

– City News Service