The San Diego City Council voted twice in recent months as to whether heavy industrial businesses should be moved from the Barrio Logan neighborhood – an area that reportedly has higher-than-average asthma rates – so that a buffer could exist between families and what many say are sources of pollution.
Both times, city leaders approved the Barrio Logan Community Plan Update, which is also known as Alternative 1, the Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) reported recently.
The most recent vote occurred on Oct. 15 and families and environmental groups praised the community plan which creates a heavy industry zone with enough distance from neighborhood homes and schools “in the interest of breathable air (and) affordable community housing,” the National City, Calif. organization said.
“Barrio Logan deserves this plan that protects its residents’ health without sacrificing jobs and protects its residents’ jobs without sacrificing health,” Diane Takvorian, EHC executive director, said in a statement.
“The residents of San Diego know what’s best for their communities and EHC applauds the San Diego City Council for standing strong in their support.”
Councilmember David Alvarez, who represents the culturally-diverse neighborhood, framed the issue around ensuring that residents could be free from close proximity to pollution and having a better quality of life.
“This action ends 35 years of neglect, dumping and disrespect,” he said in a statement. “This isn’t right in Barrio Logan, and it’s not right in any community.”
The second vote occurred after the first one on Sept. 17 because companies with industrial businesses in the neighborhood raised the possibility of using a referendum to overturn the City Council decision, EHC said.
Before passage of Alternative 1, the neighborhood’s planning zone allowed for the combination of industrial sites and homes to coexist together.
Once a thriving and treasured part of San Diego, over the years Barrio Logan became a neighborhood of incompatible land uses, poverty and three times the asthma hospitalization rate of the rest of San Diego,” EHC said in a statement.
Environmental Health Coalition works to achieve environmental and social justice by empowering communities to make social change. The group works to protect public health and the environment from toxic pollution.