No Decision Yet For Hillcrest Pride Flag Plan

Supporters Of Flag To Seek Approval From SD Planning Commission In 2 Weeks

Plans to fly an 18-by-12-foot Pride Flag at the top of a 65-foot flagpole in Hillcrest will have to wait a couple of weeks for final approval.

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The San Diego Planning Commission couldn't reach a definitive decision Thursday.

"It's frustrating. I would have liked to have had an up or down decision," said Hillcrest Business Association Executive Director Benjamin Nichols, who is coordinating the project.

Nichols told 10News the flagpole would only be 25 feet higher than streetlights that already line University Avenue and Normal Street. The flagpole would be located on a median at that intersection.

Nichols said the $25,000 project would be a cultural symbol for the community that hosts the annual Pride Parade. A similar flag flies in San Francisco's Castro District.

"Everybody knows what Hillcrest is about, so why not do it here?" said Nichols, who along with a handful of supporters petitioned the Planning Commission for their approval on Thursday.

"I'd like to ask you to look at this as more of a symbol or a cultural symbol that really represents the community," said one supporter.

"This is America, America's finest city, and I want to see an American flag on top of this pole and whatever they want to put underneath, they're welcome to," said one of only a couple of people opposed to the flag.

Ultimately, the Planning Commission couldn't make up its mind. One commissioner was worried about the safety of a flagpole on a median in a busy intersection, while another commissioner questioned putting a cultural symbol like the Pride Flag on public property.

Nichols argued cultural symbols can be found throughout San Diego, most notably at Chicano Park in Barrio Logan.

"Chicano Park is huge. The mural is gigantic. So why is that different?" he said.

Nichols will go back before the Planning Commission in two weeks to ask for permission again.

Flag supporters said they'll go to the full San Diego City Council on May 15 to ask for their support, with or without the Planning Commission's endorsement.

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