Balboa Avenue Station Area Specific Plan Public Workshop 12/14/17

Balboa Avenue Station Area Specific Plan Public Workshop, Thursday, December 14, 2017 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Pacific Beach Library

The City of San Diego is developing a specific plan for the area around the future trolley station on Balboa Avenue. The purpose of this plan is to engage the Pacific Beach and Clairemont Mesa communities and develop a strategy that addresses land use, urban design concepts, and multi-modal improvements to increase bicycle, pedestrian, and transit access to the station. This plan will also establish goals and policies to guide future public and private development to facilitate transit-oriented development (TOD) adjacent to the planned Balboa Avenue Trolley Station, and identify strategies to fund infrastructure improvements.

While there are some great ideas in the plan, there are also parts of the plan that can positively or negatively impact Rose Creek. We strongly encourage you to attend the meeting and comment on the following points:

  1. All plant palettes including street trees should focus on California natives indigenous to Rose Creek and enviorns. In small spaces, Scrub Oak, Lemonade Berry, and Toyon can be pruned into great small trees. Large right of way should be planted with Coast Live Oak, Western Sycamore, Western Cottonwood, and/or Torrey Pines as appropriate. Non-natives should not be on the California Invasive Plant Inventory (CAL-IPC) as these plants are highly invasive and Rose Creek doesn’t need anymore invaders.
  2. The plan relies heavily on using the Rose Creek Bike Path for ingress/egress to the Trolley Station. Because this area is used by dog walkers, bicyclists, pedestrians, and bird watchers, we feel very strongly that the City needs to widen the path to the east in order to accommodate increased usage and provide a buffered green belt between the bike path and the creek banks. The language in Item 5.1.3 is not strong enough. In order to accommodate higher density residential areas, locations for multiple new mini parks must be identified as part of this plan and funded by developer fees as a condition of any housing density increases.
  3. We greatly appreciate section 3.3.3 of the plan to improve the Rose Creek Bike Trail with slip ramps from the adjacent streets to the bike path but are concerned about proposed lighting improvements. Wildlife prefers dark nights and any lighting on the bike path should be low level and situated so as to keep the light foot print on the path and not into the embankments or the creek.
  4. We strongly support element 4.2.1 that supports connecting the Rose Creek Bike Path to the dirt bike (unpaved) trails in San Clemente and Rose Canyons. We strongly support item 4.2.2. which encourages new development along Rose Creek to face the creek.
  5. According to the City of San Diego’s General plan, the community plan updates must accommodate zero waste and climate resilience. Please ask the City to require all new developments to have on-site composting to help reduce waste as well as increase carbon sequestration. A location for an organic community garden on the east and west side of Mission Bay Drive should be identified in the plan and made a condition of redevelopment.
  6. Item 7.3.1 addresses the importance of the marine and wetland environments. Please ask the City to designate Rose Creek from Mission Bay Drive to Grand Avenue as a Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) Open Space Park and afford it parkland status with the funding required to allow City Park Rangers to manage Rose Creek for habitat, wildlife, water quality, and recreational opportunities. The City should also commit to providing trash cans with regular pickup in this area to reduce the amount of trash in the creek.
  7. Section 8.4 exempts certain projects from environmental review (California Environmental Quality Act — CEQA). The Friends of Rose Creek strongly opposes CEQA exemption based on location in a transit priority area. However, because this law is in effect, we strongly believe that all the proposed improvements including but not limited to motorized and non-motorized traffic enhancements, additional parkland, Rose Creek improvements, and additional community enhancements should be explicitly identified in the plan and be required to be implemented before any redevelopment projects are allowed to proceed. This will insure the proposed improvements are implemented before the City increases housing density from 29 units per acre in the project area to their proposal of over 100 units per acre in the area east of Mission Bay Drive and 73 units per acre between Rose Creek and Mission Bay Drive.

Comments can be provided via email to:
Michael Prinz, Senior Planner
Planning Department
Mprinz@sandiego.gov

Please submit comments on the draft Specific Plan by Friday, January 26, 2018.

For more information and to provide comments online, visit the project website..

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