Senior housing project meets opposition from some Allied Gardens residents

Opposing group says they are not 'anti-senior'

SAN DIEGO - Some local residents are outraged over a proposed new development they say changes the very fabric of their neighborhood.

Pat Burkes has been handing out flyers warning her neighbors that change is knocking on their doors.

The change is a 60-united affordable senior housing project called Village at Zion, and the proposed location is a 1.2-acre dirt lot at Zion Avenue and Glenroy Street in Allied Gardens.

"The problem is it's being planted in a community that already exists with finite borders," said Burkes.

Allied Gardens was developed in the 1950s. The community consisted of single-family homes, with many of the original families still living there.

Burkes, a nurse who grew up in the neighborhood, said her group's opposition of the project isn't anti-senior, but pro-single-family lifestyle.

"We're kind of a model for people who take care of each other, for people who have longevity, multi-generations living in the same environment," Burkes said.

She said on the heels of the roughly 1,500-unit condo and apartment complexes going in less than a mile away on Mission Gorge, the Village at Zion development is the straw that will break everyone's quality of life.

"You can't keep building to no end; like a lifeboat it's going to sink," said Burkes.

The dirt lot is near a recreation center, park, library and stores. During a community meeting in January, District 7 Councilman Scott Sherman, who represents the Allied Gardens area, called the lot a "perfect location" and said, "I'm leaning heavily in that direction."

Sherman's words prior to a vote are not sitting well with Burkes and the rest of the group.

"I'm really concerned that the community is not being heard," said resident Sherrill Mauzy.

However, William Myers, who has lived in Allied Gardens since 1958, said he supports what the project represents.

"Progress and a sign of the times, wholeheartedly," Myers said.

Burkes said it could be the beginning of the end for her, that she would consider moving.

"We're very desperate, very worried because we care about the place where we live," Burkes said.

The city Planning Commission voted unanimously on January 17 to recommend rezoning for the project.

The full City Council is expected to vote on the project on February 26 -- that's when Burkes hopes residents who oppose it will turn out in force.

Print this article Back to Top