My name is Karen Visin and my husband Jack and I are the owners of 337-341 Playa Del Sur that has been the subject of negative articles lately due to neighbors who teamed up with the historical society and SOHO and went to Mayor Bob Filner to have our project illegally sent back to HRB Historical Resource Board even though we had a full 5 year clearance which states no further investigation is needed.
Throughout this incredibly lengthy process we have been delayed, attacked, and ridiculed by a select group of neighbors that may potentially lose a small piece of their private views. Once it became apparent that the loss of their private views was not enough to derail our project they suddenly transformed themselves into preservationists and were even aided and assisted by members of the LJCPA group to stop our project based on historic preservation appeals. The chair of the LJCPA Tony Cristofi who also appealed our project was the reason why we purchased the property 4 years ago. It was advertised on the MLS as being able to build 3900 sq ft per a report written by Island Architects which is owned by Tony Cristofi. All this occurred after we submitted a preliminary review to the city of San Diego for the issue of historic significance. The submittal came back from the city of San Diego and they cleared our property of ANY historical significance for 5 years and only then did we proceed with our project.
We are not developers and our life savings is into this project where we intend to live in one unit and have our grown sons live in the other. I simply do not understand how our project can keep being continued because the city cleared our project for 5 years and the city denied all three appeals. It just shows that you really can’t trust the city of San Diego and they can change their mind at any time when politics are at play but, have no problem taking your money. Here we are again facing another delay for reasons that aren’t even legal since the environmental determination was not appealed and I am told that is the venue for concern over historicity issues not a coastal permit appeal and that was answerd 2 1/2 years ago.. Our project has now been referred back to the Historical Resource Board for yet another review and their is no legal bases because we are 2 1/2 years into our clearance and per city rules they only had 90 days to change our clearance and refer to HRB.
Our project has been delayed and continues to cost us far beyond what it should due to the efforts of neighbors to preserve private views. We have dealt with all the cost, all the delays, and played by all the rules set out by the city of San Diego throughout this process and still the deck of cards is stacked against us.
My message to others is beware!!! You can seek all of the proper approvals, get all of the clearances, play by all of the rules and then the City of San Diego can back down and change their mind in an instant when politics are at play. In our case it was a corrupt mayor bought off by a select group of individuals whose main motivation was potential view loss. This time it is us at risk, but tomorrow it can be anyone if the City of San Diego can change their mind at any given time illegally with no accountability or liability. These people who stir the pot have nothing to lose, no stake in the game what so ever and could care less that they have cost you a fortune. If this kind of corruption continues we are all at risk at losing our property and having no property rights as owners. We are at the mercy of people who have no stake in the game but yet are making decisions regarding someone else’s property and lives.