Docs Show Building's Demolition Was Requested, Approved on Same Day

A building considered historic by some in University Heights was turned to rubble late last week and city records show a developer was able to apply for, and get, a demolition permit to tear the building down on the same day.

There has been talk recently of streamlining the Development Services Department and making the process smoother for applicants and developers.

Now some in the University Heights community are wondering if the process is too fast and easy for applicants.

On Friday, May 29, an old white building stood on the corner of Florida Street and El Cajon Boulevard.

The building is where charter documents were first created for San Diego’s LGBTQ Center.

By Friday afternoon, it was a pile of rubble, wood and debris. The demolition sent shockwaves through the LGBTQ community of San Diego.

City of San Diego officials say the building was demolished by mistake.

On Tuesday, NBC 7 looked into how the permit was approved but didn’t get any answers from city officials.

OpenDSD records show a developer was able to apply for and receive a demolition permit on a potentially historic building without any delay.

Those records also showed there were two outstanding inspections still to be done on the site before demolition approval was to be granted.

Maureen Steiner, President, Lambda Archives San Diego said her group wants answers.

“We want to do our best to make sure that never happens again,” Steiner said. “There have got to be better mechanisms in the city that flag these things and prevent them from being a ‘clerical error.’”

The building qualified for historic review because it was built before 1945. The city’s Historic Site Review Committee made the recommendation to allow it to be demolished.

The group who wanted it preserved was planning on appealing that decision to the state.

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