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City asks for help identifying significant LGBTQ+ locations in Hillcrest

The city is in the process of compiling the Hillcrest LGBTQ+ Historic Context Statement, which ties historic events and people to existing places in the community.
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Gay pride, LGBTQ rainbow flags being waved in the air at a pride event

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — As part of a comprehensive effort to preserve the history of the Hillcrest neighborhood and celebrate its unique cultural identity, San Diego officials Tuesday asked the public to help identify significant buildings, sites and structures that memorialize contributions made by members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The city is in the process of compiling the Hillcrest LGBTQ+ Historic Context Statement, which ties historic events and people to existing places in the community and serves as the first step in the city's historic preservation strategy for the neighborhood.

"I'm honored to be the council member who represents the Hillcrest neighborhood -- the heart of our vibrant, diverse LGBTQ community," City Council President Pro Tem Stephen Whitburn said. "The neighborhood has an incredible history of LGBTQ activism, business and social life, and I look forward to this project that will honor the incredible contributions so many have made over the decades.

"It is so important to document our history and where we have been as the community moves forward into a new era," he concluded.

Building upon the 2016 Citywide LGBTQ Historic Context Statement, the Hillcrest statement identifies historical themes, such as "Social Life" and "LGBTQ+ Business and Commerce," and the buildings, structures and sites that reflect those themes. Planners are asking the public to review the document, comment on the themes and assist with the identification of people, events and places that may have been missed.

"Hillcrest's LGBTQ+ history traces back to the 1960s and is filled with people and places that were influential in paving the way for gay rights," said Mike Hansen, the city's planning director. "It's important we preserve and share that legacy with generations to come. We hope to have as many people as possible, including those who are a part of the community and their allies, contribute to this effort."

The Hillcrest context statement will serve as the foundation for four other components of the historic preservation strategy, which include:

-- Preparation of a Multiple Property Listing to designate LGBTQ+ properties within the community;

-- Evaluation of the Hillcrest Potential Historic District to determine if it is eligible for designation;

-- Preparation of design guidelines for the potential Hillcrest Historic District to balance preservation of its LGBTQ+ history with the growing community; and

-- Preparation of an LGBTQ+ History and Culture Interpretive Plan to honor and celebrate noteworthy people, events, buildings and sites as part of Hillcrest's LGBTQ+ community.

The context statement and associated historic preservation strategy are part of the Hillcrest Focused Plan Amendment, intended to guide the future of Hillcrest's growth and development.

Members of the public are encouraged to share their recommendations through an online survey located here, or by submitting written comments to 9485 Aero Drive, M.S. 413, San Diego, CA 92123.

Staff will continue to collect public feedback throughout the entire process. The survey will be open until Sept. 7, and the context statement is on track to be completed later this year. 

The City Council is expected to hear the Hillcrest Focused Plan Amendment in 2022.