Greater North Park: Overlapping Jurisdictions
The Greater North Park community is located in central San Diego, just north and east of Balboa Park. Greater North Park lies only minutes from Downtown San Diego, Mission Valley, the San Diego airport, and the San Diego Bay, and its neighborhoods are easily accessible from all parts of the county via several major thoroughfares. As defined by the City of San Diego, the Greater North Park Planning Community abuts the Community Planning Areas of Uptown to the west, Mission Valley to the north, Mid-City to the east, and Greater Golden Hill to the south (see Greater North Park locator map) Specifically, the Greater North Park community, encompassing 1,466 acres, is bounded on the east by Interstate 805 and I-15, on the west by Balboa Park and Park Blvd, on the north by I-8 and the Mission Valley southern rim and on the south by Juniper.
Greater North Park is one of the oldest urbanized communities in San Diego with its original subdivisions being recorded just after the turn of the century. Home to hundreds of classic California Style Craftsman houses, Greater North Park maintains its strong residential character in its tree-lined parkways, wide streets and charming canyon cul-de-sacs. The unique architecture of its major business corridors along University Avenue, 30th Street and El Cajon Boulevard hark back to the styles of previous eras, from Mission Revival to retro midcentury. Today, with an arts, culture and entertainment renaissance fully underway, North Park’s business district is recapturing much of the original magic that initially defined this colorful and historic community.
There are numerous geographically defined areas overlapping Greater North Park .To help one navigate among these places and terms, the various jurisdictions are described below.
County of San Diego
The County of San Diego spans 4,261 square miles and is home to 3 million residents. Its purpose is to provide health and justice services to all County residents and municipal services to the unincorporated areas.
City of San Diego
The City of San Diego was founded in 1769, and chartered in 1850. San Diego’s population is more than 1.7 million (Jan, 2007), the seventh largest city in the country. The City encompasses a land area of 342 square miles and a coastline of 70 miles.
Greater North Park Community
The Greater North Park community is located within San Diego County and the City of San Diego. It is bounded on the north by I-8; on the east by I-805 and I-15; on the west by Balboa Park and Park Blvd; and on the south by Balboa Park and Juniper Street. Greater North Park is one of the City of San Diego’s 50 Community Planning Areas.
North Park Urban Village
In 2004, the community of North Park was selected by the San Diego City Council to be one of five Pilot Village Demonstration Projects. This demonstration program was designed to support the City of Villages Strategy, a key component of the City’s General Plan – a land use and transportation model that incorporates smart growth principles. Key goals of the North Park Pilot Village, centered on the community’s 30th Street and University Avenue commercial hub – are to emphasize mixed-use projects and historic preservation in this downtown area’s revitalization, and to weave elements of art and culture into all aspects of its development.
North Park Neighborhood Associations
- University Heights
Greater North Park Business Improvement Districts (BIDs)
A Business Improvement District (BID) is a type of assessment district in which business owners choose to be assessed a fee for use in promoting and improving their business area. There are 18 BIDs in the City of San Diego. BIDs can be used to pay for: 1) public improvements; 2) business recruitment and retention programs, and 3) business district marketing programs.
North Park Main Street Business Improvement District (NPBID)
The North Park BID was established in 1985. In 1996, the NPBID was selected by the City as a Pilot Project for the National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Street Program and subsequently designated a volunteer-based, non-profit North Park Main Street association. North Park Main Street(NPMS) advocates for North Park’s downtown business community, administers the North Park BID, and champions development that preserves the community’s historic integrity, supports its Arts, Culture & Entertainment District, and promotes an urban, pedestrian- friendly shopping/ dining environment. The recently expanded North Park BID/ Main Street program includes businesses on University from I-805 to Florida Street and on 30th Street from Howard to Redwood.
El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Assoc (The Boulevard BIA)
The El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association was incorporated in 1988 for the purpose of administering the Boulevard Central Business Improvement District. It assumed oversight of the Boulevard Gateway District in 1997. The Association’s mission is to improve physical and economic conditions along El Cajon Boulevard between Park Boulevard and 54th Street, which traverses the communities of University Heights, North Park, Normal Heights, Kensington, Talmadge and City Heights.
Adams Ave Improvement District (AABA)
The AABA is an association of merchants located along San Diego’s Adams Avenue, spanning the neighborhoods of Kensington on the east, through Normal Heights and into parts of North Park on the west.
North Park Maintenance Assessment District (M.A.D.)
The North Park Maintenance Assessment District was created by a majority of the impacted property owners in 1996. The North Park MAD allows property owners to assess themselves to pay for services that go above and beyond “normal” city services such as landscaped medians, streetlights, signage, litter removal and various Capital Improvement Projects. MADs were known as Lighting and Landscape Maintenance Districts in the past, but have been legally expanded in scope and renamed accordingly. (see North Park M.A.D. map, Section VII.)
North Park Redevelopment Project Area
The North Park Redevelopment Project Area encompasses 555 acres. It is primarily focused around the major commercial corridors of University Avenue, 30th Street, and El Cajon Boulevard, roughly bounded by I-805 to the east, Park Blvd to the west, stretching as far north as Adams Ave and as far south as Upas Street. The Project Area focuses on expanding housing and employment opportunities, improving transit and other infrastructure, and supporting neighborhood revitalization and beautification.
North Park Historic Districts
Burlingame Historic District
The Burlingame Historic District is one of the last remaining residential subdivisions of the Greater North Park and Mid-City areas with nearly every house historically preserved.
Shirley Ann Place Historic District
The Shirley Ann Place historic District is a small block located in University Heights bounded by Texas Street, Shirley Ann Place, Madison and Monroe. It recognizes the work of William B. Melhorn, son of master builder Martin V. Melhorn.
David O. Dryden District
The neighborhood of Pershing Avenue and 28th Street, from Upas to Landis Streets, encompasses 22 bungalows and two-story houses built by David O. Dryden, and 16 homes built by Edward F. Bryans, both of whom specialized in the Craftsman style.
Community Planning Areas
The City of San Diego has designated 50 Community Planning Areas within the City boundaries. Community Plans are part of the City General Plan’s Land Use Element and provide detailed land use designations and site-specific policy recommendations which are developed with extensive local community input. Boundaries of the Greater North Park Community Plan and the abutting Community Planning Areas of Uptown to the west and Mid-City to the east are described below:
Greater North Park Planning Community
The Greater North Park community is bounded on the north by I-8; on the east by I-805 and I-15; on the west by Balboa Park and Park Blvd; and on the south by Balboa Park and Juniper Street. Greater North Park is known for its Craftsman homes and increasingly recognized as a San Diego hub of art, culture and entertainment.
Between Heights (BEHI) Neighborhood
Between Heights (BEHI) is an informal neighborhood group which holds social events and sponsors community improvement activities in the area generally located between Texas Street and I-805, north of Adams Ave. Initiated by neighbors of Academy of Our Lady of Peace (4860 Oregon Street) in 2005, the catalyst for the group’s formation was opposition to the Academy’s plan to demolish surrounding historical homes in order to expand the school’s campus. When seeking grassroots support, neighbors were told they were located outside the jurisdiction of the University Heights CDC and Community Association as well as the Normal Heights Community Association – finding themselves “between the heights”; hence the group’s name. The BEHI neighborhood is covered by the Greater North Park Community Plan.
Uptown Planning Community
The Uptown Community Planning Area is located just north of the Centre City area (Downtown San Diego). It is bounded on the north by the steep hillsides of Mission Valley, on the east by Park Blvd and Balboa Park, and on the west and south by Old Town San Diego and Interstate 5. The Uptown community is located on a level mesa broken by heavily vegetated canyons, and borders two major parks – Presidio and Balboa. For purposes of the Community Planning process, the Uptown area is divided into six “neighborhoods”: Mission Hills, Middletown (Midtown), Hillcrest, the medical complex, Park West and University Heights. In actuality, these “neighborhood” boundaries are overlapping and not distinct.
University Heights Neighborhood
University Heights is a small pocket community known for its wide sidewalks, active art, theater, and music life, and boutique style dining. It is generally bounded by SR 163 to the west, Mission Valley to the north, El Cajon and Washington to the south, and Texas Street to the east. The eastern portion of University Heights extends from Park Ave to Texas Street and is a City-recognized neighborhood of Greater North Park. This results in the rare situation of having two community plans – both Uptown and Greater North Park – governing the same neighborhood.
Mid-City Planning Community
The City of San Diego defines the Mid-City region as located east of I-805 and south of I-8, including the communities of Normal Heights, Kensington-Talmadge, and City Heights and extending eastward to Highway 94 and close to 70th St. (the term Mid-City is sometimes used informally to broadly describe a much larger area, including the University Heights, North Park, South Park, and Golden Hill neighborhoods.)