Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG)

A Thank You From Our Councilmember

At our November meeting Councilmember Brian Maienschein stopped by to thank the community for all of its support over the past eight years. He also expressed what an honor it has been to represent Scripps Ranch on the City Council. We would like to express the same gratitude for all of the support and assistance Brian and his staff have shown to us over the past years as well. Thank you, Brian!

Vacancies and Appointments

In November the SRPG Board officially announced two vacancies. Marvin Miles was appointed to one of those vacancies, and we welcome him back after about a two-year absence.

If you are interested in land use-issues in the Ranch and have a willingness to serve on the SRPG, or if you know someone who might be interested, please email [[email protected]].

Casa Mira View

Developer Garden Communities wants to put up five-story buildings to house 1,848 apartments on a 40-acre parcel west of the I-15 next to Best Buy in Mira Mesa. At the request of Councilmember Maienschein and Councilmember-elect Carl DeMaio, the developer appeared in front of the SRPG to discuss how it can partner with our community to alleviate traffic impacts to Scripps Ranch. Such a large development will have significant impacts not only to Mira Mesa but our neighborhoods as well. Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch boulevards have tremendous traffic now and will have more as the apartments are built over the next 15 years.

Garden Communities agreed to upgrade six different intersections in Mira Mesa prior to the first apartment ever being built. Unfortunately, the intersection of Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch boulevards is not one of those intersections that will see any physical improvements. Garden Communities will meet with an SRPG and Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee (MRNPC) joint ad hoc committee to discuss potential traffic improvements. If you have any ideas or concerns, please let us know. We encourage you to attend our next meeting on Thursday, Dec. 4, at 7 pm at the Scripps Ranch Library to voice your concerns.

I-15 Direct Access Ramps

The SRPG also discussed the recently released Environmental Impact Report (EIR) issued by Caltrans for a direct access ramp (DAR) on the I-15 in Mira Mesa. The DAR will serve as an entry and exit point for managed traffic lanes between Ted Williams Parkway and the I-15/SR-163. The DAR will look much like the Bus Rapid Transit Center flyover ramps at Ted Williams Parkway.

Two current alternatives being studied are both only on the Mira Mesa side of Interstate 15: Hillery Drive--between the Edwards Cinema and Miramar College campus--and Galvin Drive just north of the Best Buy and part of the Casa Mira View development. The SRPG encourages you to attend our December meeting. A copy of the EIR can be found at the library or at [].

Support Your MAD

The Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) budget continues to be under intense pressure as critical operating reserves are dwindling fast. Cost cutting and efficiency issues have been examined. An increase in homeowners' assessments will be necessary in order to keep our community safe and beautiful.

Scripps Ranch is such a wonderful place to live and that is partly because of the work provided by our MAD. They maintain our landscaping throughout the community. However, more importantly, they are responsible for brush abatement, which helps prevent the spread of devastating fires. As solutions are being discussed on how to address this fiscal crisis, the SRPG urges you to support the effort to keep the MAD in a position to continue to beautify and enhance our community!

D. Todd Philips, SRPG Chair

Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee (MRNPC)

The Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee met on November 4. Here is what was discussed.

Public Comment

Gustavo R. Dallarda, Caltrans I-15 corridor director, passed out a Notice of Availability of the draft environmental document and public hearing for the proposed Direct Access Ramp (DAR) for the Interstate 15 managed lanes project. The hearing concerns the placement of a DAR on the west side of I-15 at Galvin Avenue or Hillery Drive. There was a public hearing in November.

The environmental document is available to the public for review at the Scripps Ranch Library and online at the website noted above in the SRPG report. Comments on this document will be accepted until the end of the public circulation period on Monday, Dec. 8.

Jim Sullivan, Scripps Ranch Townhomes Homeowners Association president, spoke in favor of the Hillery Drive DAR location. This site will cost $50 million as opposed to the Galvin Avenue location that will cost $94.9 million, saving taxpayers $44.9 million. Hillery Drive and surrounding apartments were designed with the DAR in mind, making this the ideal location.

The Galvin site would negatively impact the residents on the east side of I-15 with noise, air, and sight pollution. Gustavo R. Dallarda has asked to be placed on our December agenda for a presentation and action requesting the committee send a letter of recommendation. If you are interested in the managed lanes I-15 improvements or the DAR discussion, please attend our meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 7 pm at the Information Center on Cypress Canyon Road.

City Council

Scripps Ranch council representative Jessica Barber was not able to attend but sent her report via email. The Spring Canyon traffic study is in the process of finalizing the consultant selection. The City Council voted this past month to: support Prop 2 and Prop A; and, oppose Prop 6, Prop 8, and Prop B.

Spring Canyon Traffic Study

Oscar Valdivieso, city project manager and traffic engineer, and Dawn Wilson, RBF Consulting, provided an update to the Spring Canyon traffic study. The project goal is to identify traffic calming elements to help reduce traffic speeds and improve the pedestrian and bicycle environment along Spring Canyon Road. The project limits are Spring Canyon Road from Scripps Poway Parkway to Pomerado Road.

Data collection will include peak hour volumes, daily volumes, and speeds. The operational analysis includes existing conditions, 2010 predicted conditions, and 2030 predicted conditions. There will be site visits and visual assessment. Speeding and accessibility will be evaluated. The project will evaluate and make recommendations regarding the specific improvements that were originally identified for the corridor. The draft concept plan will have traffic calming and pedestrian enhancement alternatives.

Workshop #1 will identify community issues and present a draft concept plan. Next will be refinements to the concept plans and preparation of cost estimates. Workshop #2 will present recommended improvements and prepare the draft final report. The final phase is the presentation to the planning group and submitting the final report to the city. The project should take three months.

The first week is data collection. The analysis and development of a draft concept plan will take four weeks. Refinement and cost estimates will take three weeks. The report preparation will take two weeks. The community outreach and meetings will take two weeks.

The study will include elements for the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists. Members asked that the study include off-hours on weekdays, weekends, and nights because of sports and other activities around the Ranch. The MRNPC intends to continue to have discussions on the Spring Canyon traffic study at each meeting. Oscar and Dawn are tentatively slated to attend our February 2009 meeting to kick things off.

Parking Issues Near Dingeman

The MRNPC received an update on the parking issue on Spruce Run Drive near Dingeman Elementary School. City traffic engineering and Principal Kimie Lochtefeld met with concerned citizens. Principal Lochtefeld sent out notices to parents, which seem to help.

Curb cuts next to two driveways have been painted red. There continues to be a problem with parking in front of mailboxes, but city engineering is reluctant to paint red in front of the mailboxes. The MRNPC will be updated on the parking issues after the first of the year.

Casa Mira View

Members of the Casa Mira View project made a presentation to the MRNPC. Traffic congestion at Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch boulevards was discussed with the Casa Mira View project team. The discussions centered on green light hang time for U-turn drivers at commute time. The project team offered to study solutions and provide an update at our December meeting.

Casa Mira View is a proposed 1,848-unit apartment complex on Westview north of Best Buy that will take 10 to 15 years to complete. The 40-acre parcel west of I-15 was graded 20 years ago. The five-story wrap-style buildings will have 185 affordable housing units. The project is consistent with the Mira Mesa Community Plan and has the unanimous support (12-0) of the Mira Mesa Community Planning Group, the support of city staff, and unanimous support (4-0) of the Planning Commission. It is mapped on the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) smart growth concept map as part of the Town Center.

Some of the project features include:

  • Puts density where it belongs and where it has been planned;
  • Provides 185 affordable housing units;
  • Contributes $30 million in Financial Benefits Assessment (FBA) funds;
  • Will provide traffic mitigation measures up front with first permits;
  • Accommodates DAR if the Galvin Avenue site is selected;
  • Promotes a healthy lifestyle by being a walkable community; and,
  • Will provide residents with shuttle service to transit, shopping, senior center, and employment center.

Traffic improvements include a combination of I-15 managed lanes project, additional DAR connection, and project intersection/traffic improvements in Mira Mesa leading up to the freeway. Specific benefits include:

  • The contribution of $1.5 million to freeway improvements; and,
  • Six intersections adjacent to the freeway will be expanded to increase capacity at the start of development.

Old Carl's Jr. Facility/Trees Along Scripps Poway Parkway

Members of the MRNPC met with Mr. Bruce Nguyen, the new business owner of the Yogurt Heaven Shop to address Mr. Nguyen's tree removal and tree trimming request. Discussions centered on upcoming tree trimming that has been planned and budgeted, as well as possible tree removal. We decided to postpone tree removal discussions until after the tree trimming is complete.

MRNPC Meetings

The MRNPC meets at 7 pm on the first Tuesday of the month at the Information Center. For more information, please contact me at 653-3753 or [[email protected]].

Bill Crooks, MRNPC Chair