Mayor Bob Filner wants remodeling of North Park Jack in the Box to stop

Filner says restaurant violated permit terms

SAN DIEGO - San Diego Mayor Bob Filner Friday accused Jack in the Box of violating terms of a permit to remodel a restaurant in North Park and asked the City Attorney's Office for an order to force the San Diego-based company to stop work on the project.

Filner and the city's Development Services Department contend that two walls of the eatery at 2959 Upas St. were partially demolished, an action not contemplated in the approved plans.

The mayor said Jack in the Box has destroyed almost all of the existing restaurant. The company originally wanted to tear down and completely rebuild the facility but those plans were denied by the city's Planning Commission.

"It is outrageous to me that Jack in the Box has completely misled the North Park community about this project, promising in writing, for example, that no exterior walls would be destroyed when, in fact, nearly all the of the exterior walls were destroyed," Filner said. "My administration has laid out the facts in a memo to the City Attorney, and requested that he approve the issuance of a Stop Work Order, which will halt any further construction at the site."

Jack in the Box spokesman Brian Luscomb told 10News that the remodeling job is in accordance with the permits.

"The remodel is extensive, but the plans were reviewed by the city before the permit was issued," Luscomb said.

Luscomb added that they're "... not changing the footprint of the building ... [it] would be remodeled in its existing location and ... [they] ... weren't expanding the walls beyond their original location."

Roger Lewis of the North Park Planning Committee told 10News, "We've always told Jack in the Box from the beginning, 'Work with us; let's build a pedestrian project. You can even work with somebody on it.' It's always been about the non-conforming, intrusive, out-of-date use of the drive-through we're concerned about."

Neighbor Rick Pyles agreed.

"We're trying to gear the area to more of a pedestrian feel; less automobile traffic, more walkability and this is just going to continue the use of automobiles for the next 30 to 40 years," said Pyles.

Filner asked the City Attorney to decide if Jack in the Box, which closed the Upas Street location in May for about 10 weeks, has given up its right to operate a drive-thru window at the restaurant.

The restaurant existed before zoning laws in North Park were changed to prohibit drive-thrus, so it was allowed to keep one as part of the remodeling project.

However, the mayor said Jack in the Box is building "what is essentially an entirely new restaurant" on the site, so it might have to abide by the area's current zoning ordinance.

Luscomb said Jack in the Box has not heard from the City Attorney's Office, but looks forward to working to resolve the city's concerns.


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