All About Gardens & Trees at June Meeting

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Our UHCA meeting on June 1st will feature the following speakers:

* Julie Engel will speak about her vertical garden hydroponic “Tower Garden” growing system, which is used to grow vegetables in small spaces efficiently, without soil.

* Katie Buess, a graduate student in a joint program of Miami University and the Zoological Society of San Diego will discuss the topic of water conservation, landscaping choices for drought situations, and the various government rebate programs available to residents.

* Michelle Fenwick will then present her report on the next steps for Tree Mapping in University Heights. Your input is still needed, especially those of you living in Zones 4, 5, and 6. You can help Michelle complete her map and move forward with the City of San Diego’s Urban Forestry program.

In addition, historic images of the former Mission Cliff Gardens, which was the precursor to Balboa Park and a city-wide destination on weekends when the trolleys ran up Park Boulevard, will be on display. We look forward to seeing you there!

Note that this is the last meeting before our summer break. Our next UHCA meeting will be September 7.

Discussing Solutions to Homelessness at May Meeting

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At the next UHCA meeting on Thursday, May 4, our guest speaker will be Stacie Spector, a longtime public relations professional whom San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer has hired to help address San Diego’s homeless problem.

Ms. Spector will speak about her mission to lead and collaborate with various organizations in San Diego to find long-term solutions to homelessness, including housing, jobs, adaptive reuse of existing city-owned buildings, and more.

Ms. Spector has a diverse background that includes politics, education, and the private sector. She served as Deputy Communications Director in the Bill Clinton White House from 1997 to 1999 and most recently ran Spector Consulting, whose clients have included Step Up Women’s Network, HBO/Everyman Pictures, and the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties. She has also worked with the Nutrition Science Initiative, the Salk Institute, and UC San Diego.

Please join us on May 4 to welcome Stacie Spector and to hear her ideas on solutions to the problem of homelessness in San Diego.

Celebrate 20 Electrifying Years With Our UH Sign

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WHEN: Sat, Apr 29, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

WHERE: 4612 Park Blvd, Park & Rec and the UH Sign

The event opens at 5 pm under the sign and includes speakers Kevin Whaley, the designer of the sign and a 30-year UH resident, Supervisor Ron Roberts and Council Member Chris Ward. The evening ends at 8 pm in the same location with a symbolic “re-lighting” of the UH sign and a special light show created by Andy Cameron, special effects guru and Norbert the Dragon’s “Dad.”

Between 5 & 8 pm, celebrate along Park Blvd by purchasing a $10 wristband, which allows you to receive delicious food tastes, treats, beverages and special event discounts at leading neighborhood establishments. Wristbands will be on sale starting at 4 pm in front of Twiggs Coffee House. Visit these businesses with your wristband: Bahn Thai, Cecilia’s Fine Jewelry, El Zarape, Madison, Muzita Abyssinian Bistro, Meraki Café, Park & Rec, Plumeria, Red House Pizza, Small Bar, Soltan Banoo, Twiggs. Music by Billy Watson and his International Silver String Submarine Band.

Community Housing Works at April 6 Meeting

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Senior Apartments at Texas & Howard

Our meeting on April 6 will feature a presentation and discussion of the Community Housing Works (CHW) project at Texas and Howard Streets, known as North Park Senior Apartments, although it is actually located in University Heights. The apartment project will be San Diego’s first LGBT-friendly, affordable senior housing community. William Kelly, consultant for the LGBT Community Center, will address the opportunity for affordable senior housing provided by this project. He will discuss the qualifications for residency and the structure of the application process. For example, applicants who meet the age requirements for 55+ senior housing and who qualify as earning equal to or less than 60% of the Area Median Income (as defined by guidelines by the Department of Housing and Urban Development – or HUD – and the State of California), will be eligible to apply and will be treated equally without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other protected class status or characteristic. Attend the UHCA April 6 meeting to find out more.

Next Meeting March 2nd With Architect Jonathan Segal

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The featured speaker at the March UHCA meeting will be prominent San Diego architect Jonathan Segal, FAIA. Segal is a nationally recognized, award-winning architect/developer behind Park and Polk, one of the most interesting and exciting new developments currently in the works in University Heights. Park and Polk, located at 4104 Park Blvd. at Polk Ave., is an eight-story, mixed-use project scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2017.

For more information, come to our meeting this Thursday, March 2nd at 6:45 pm, Alice Birney Elementary Auditorium at 4345 Campus Ave.


The featured speaker at the March 2nd UHCA meeting will be prominent San Diego architect Jonathan Segal, FAIA. Segal is a nationally recognized, award-winning architect/developer behind Park & Polk, one of the most interesting and exciting new developments currently in the works in University Heights.

Park & Polk, located at 4104 Park Blvd. (at Polk Ave), is an eight-story, mixed-use project scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2017. According to Segal and his associates, “The building intentionally reads as three objects broken up and accented by large exterior private decks and glazing. We have utilized fins to create continuity among these three forms as well as diffuse light and create privacy. Typical unit decks range in size from around 80 to 300 square feet and units range from 750 to 1200 square feet.”

In addition, the Park Blvd. frontage will have double rows of trees and commercial spaces, and the Polk side will have a green roof flanked with trees. For those not familiar with the term “green roof,” also called a “living roof,” it is the roof of a building partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium planted over a waterproof membrane. Typically, a green roof also includes drainage and irrigation systems. Segal has been instrumental in developing the Master of Science in Architecture in Real Estate Development (MSArch/RED) program at the San Diego campus of Woodbury University (woodbury. edu/program/school-of-architecture/programs/architecture-msarch-red/).

If you want a look at two of Segal’s most notable recent projects, you need not go very far: The North Parker is at 3000 Upas Street, at the corner of 30th St., in North Park; and Mr. Robinson is at 3752 Park Blvd., at the corner of Robinson Ave., in Hillcrest. Both are mixed-use, urban infill projects that have done more than just fill in a previously underdeveloped space. They have brought street life and a sense of community to the sites and the surrounding communities, combining ground floor commercial spaces with urban living spaces, both lofts and apartments, located above. Such is the goal of Park and Polk.

Segal, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), has been awarded six national AIA awards as well as several Orchids from the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s (SDAF) annual Orchids & Onions awards, highlighting the best and brightest in San Diego’s built environment. Just last fall, he was awarded an Orchid for the Mr. Robinson building. For more information on his practice, design philosophy, and current, past, and future projects, visit www. And be sure to come to the March 2nd UHCA meeting!







University Heights lit up for the holidays, making this year’s Lights in the Heights one of the best ever. This year we selected one winner from each of the six zones in the Heights, as well as the Best Business, Best Block, and Best Decorated House with all White Lights. Award certificates honoring this year’s winners will be presented at the February meeting.

Our program will also feature Branden G. Butler, senior attorney for the Fair Housing Center of the Legal Aid Society of San Diego. Branden will speak on current housing ‘hot’ topics, including that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s guidance that refusing to rent to persons with a criminal record is discriminatory and illegal. He will discuss potential changes to current state and local policies and regulations that are intended to increase housing availability, including the relaxed restrictions for infill development such as granny flats and other additions to property. We hope to see you.


Thank You!

Thank you for making University Heights (UH) a better place to live by attending one of our community meetings, volunteering your time, or participating in one of our social events.  Here are just some of the activities undertaken or sponsored by University Heights Community Association (UHCA) members and volunteers in 2016:

·        Delivering the award-winning UHCA News to 4,000 homes and businesses

·        Meeting our local police officers at the “Cookies with the Cops” event

·        Participating in (or benefiting from) our nationally-recognized Zone Watch safety program

·        Caroling in the Heights, Lights in the Heights, and the Vermont Street Bridge Holiday Lights

·        Helping out at local Clean-Ups and the Vermont Street Bridge Trash Angels program

·        Enjoying “Mary Poppins” with your kids and neighbors at our Summer Movie in the Park

·        Giving something back through the Socks for Vets and Birney School Giving Tree programs

·        Keeping up to date on the community plan updates and other issues at our monthly meetings

None of these things would have happened without the time, energy, and financial support of our many dedicated members.  We want you to be one too!

For over 30 years, UHCA has provided a community forum and amplified the voice of UH residents.  Our self-help projects have made UH a better place to live while our social events have brought people together to build new friendships and community pride.

However, UHCA is only as strong as its membership.  A robust membership roll gives us clout, as well as the financial means to facilitate communication, undertake small but important improvements, and bring neighbors together.  A well-organized, well-respected, and energetic community association helps get things done, influences local decisions, and improves our quality of life.

If you’ve volunteered your time but never become a member, that’s our fault. We need your financial support too and should have asked more often or more convincingly.  It’s easy to sign up for a $25 tax-deductible annual family membership, or become a “Golden Ostrich” for $100.  Go to our website (, or return the attached form with a check to start your membership and support your community.

By the way, we’re always looking for volunteers with energy or special talent.  Please come to our next community meeting at the Birney school on February 3 at 6:45 PM to meet your neighbors, hear what’s going on, and talk to us about getting involved.  You might be surprised how fun it is to pitch in at a clean-up, serve cookies at a social event, or contribute your special expertise or experience as a committee member.

So please, don’t wait for someone else to make your community a better place.  Support UHCA now by becoming a member!

Lights in the Heights

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Each holiday season, the UHCA recognizes and awards residents and businesses for the hard work and creativity of decorating their properties, spreading holiday cheer and fostering a sense of camaraderie within our fine community. For those who love to decorate their homes/businesses for the holidays, we welcome your participation in this annual University Heights tradition. Just make sure your lights are on during the final judging on December 19, 2016.

The decorations will be judged on their beauty and originality, not necessarily on the cost invested or on the amount of decorations you have. This is a wonderful family activity, so let’s get out there and deck those halls!


Stonewall Citizens’ Patrol (SCP), San Diego’s LGBT & inclusive citizens safety organization, is celebrating its 10th anniversary of helping keep the streets of San Diego’s Uptown communities safe, secure and comfortable by operating as additional eyes and ears for local law enforcement and a visible deterrent for potential criminal behavior. Read the full announcement, including news on the appointment of the organization’s new executive director and board members.