‘Pinnacle High’, a construction project by Vancouver-based Pinnacle International was going to include 32 storeys for rental apartments and a separate 8 storeys as ‘no rental’ apartments. People with low income will have restrictions from entering from the main door. There will be denial of access to them for the pool or the rooftop. The Civic denied the project first in July and then in October based on criticism for segregation. The Pinnacle’s law firm- Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis, threatened to take legal actions in November.
They want to sue because they believe that the civic overstepped their authority. The letter was addressed to Civic President Andrew Phillips, the city attorney’s office and the City Council.
Details of the letter
The letter said that the civic could reject a project based only on its design. By refusing Pinnacle High, the Civic violated the city’s municipal code. Their main point was the cancellation of the project by Civic. The developer Pinnacle International was responsible for building an affordable housing project. They also said that the Civic did not mention the reason for denying the project. They stated in the letter that this act by Civic was erroneous, and it has violated multiple laws.
When the design for Pinnacle High was proposed in the first meeting, it brought on severe criticism from members of Local 619 Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. The new plan for Pinnacle High received the approval by the Civic.
This is because the city has come up with new laws. One of the laws is that the builders will get approval for low-density projects as long as they built low-income houses within a 1-mile radius of the development. The original plan would have served 58 affordable housing units, yet it received lashings from the public.
The Civic is restricted to rejecting the projects based on designs. Yet, it has a squabble with the builders regarding not having enough density in the plans for the wish of more housing. The civic decided to absolve itself last year. Due to this reason, all major downtown development projects would go to the city. The plans that have started with the civic will continue to be with them. However, the city would be handling the newer ones.
In New York City, an apartment building named Extell opened with a separate door for low in-comers. This building was nicknamed as the “poor door.” It is similar to Pinnacle Highs in its restrictions for low incomers as well. Jesse Garcia, a carpenter’s union member, asked in a July civic meeting if a person’s value is judged by their income. She also added that people of San Diego deserve dignity and equality. She urged everyone to say no to “poor door.”
In the July’s civic meeting, the legal counsel of Pinnacle- David Dick stated that the builder should be appreciated for coming up with subsidized housing. This is because it is not the usual norm amongst the other builders. Now that the city is handling the projects, there will be fewer hearings for cases like Pinnacle High.
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