Rancho Encantada

At both the Miramar Ranch North and Scripps Ranch planning group meetings in October, Jeff Brazel, representative of McMillin, made presentations warning of delays to their funding of contributions to I-15 freeway improvements, due to a lawsuit which has been filed against Rancho Encantada.This, according to McMillin, threatens the timing of overall CalTrans I-15 improvements.A delay would occur if the lawsuit delays the filing of final subdivision maps for Rancho Encantada.(This is when McMillin has promised to pay this money.)According to Jeff, CalTrans is poised immediately to fund that section of I-15 improvements next to Pomerado Road, only if McMillin pays their promised contribution soon.If McMillin doesn’t pay, the threat is that this section of improvements won’t be funded soon.So the community is supposed to blame the lawsuit.

Regular readers of the Newsletter may recall my article in the September edition, where I reserved the right to file legal action.I have, in fact, done so.(For the reasons why, see further below.)So I’ll be glad to speak to community members who have concern about improvements funding and timing.For right now, in response to McMillin’s dire warning:

Even absent a suit, I doubt McMillin was prepared to file final maps anytime soon (like before the end of the year).If CalTrans is under budget pressure to make funding changes immediately (due to the State’s budget woes this year from the energy problem), this will likely impact before final maps can be filed, whether or not there is a suit.ยท My understanding is that the I-15 improvements from Pomerado to Carroll Canyon are substantially unfunded as yet, in any case.McMillin’s relatively minor contribution will not make up the difference to fully pay for this section.Other State factors, then, are likely to dictate the timing of these improvements, not the suit.

No matter when McMillin pays its contributions, these dollars are supposed to be protected for this sections of freeway improvements, anyway, right? Lawsuit or no, if the current project goes forward, these dollars will be paid, and will be applied to the freeway.

Caltrans has a long process of designing, funding, and finally building, freeway changes.No matter what, it will take years for changes to I-15 adjacent to Pomerado Road to actually be realized.The purpose of filing legal action is not to delay freeway improvements, but to achieve benefits for the community in a better project.If this can be realized, project delay is certainly worth the community’s while.Please refer back to the September newsletter article.It is enlightening, I believe, to also review the words of City Councilman Brian Maienschein as he spoke at the City Council hearing in opposition to the Rancho Encantada development (the following is somewhat shortened; a verbatim transcript would be too long for the newsletter.But I have taken pains to be accurate):

“In considering this project, I’m asked to vote the way that’s best for the people I represent; that’s all the people along the I-15 corridor.This project does not add the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the additional traffic it will generate.With only one way in and one way out, for Rancho Encantada residents to go any where, it will require that the traffic get through Scripps Ranch.Pomerado Road is the most direct route for this traffic to follow, and it is already beyond its capacity.Spring Canyon Road and Scripps Poway Parkway are alternate routes, but the mitigation measures proposed for these two streets offer no significant relief.The traffic this project will generate admittedly cannot be mitigated, and it is not acceptable for me to vote for it.We just can’t take this type of traffic.

“On behalf of St. Gregory’s Church [which has proposed occupying an institutional pad in the Rancho Encantada project, for expansion], this project is not the only way you can expand.Whether or not Rancho Encantada happens, St. Gregory’s can meet its needs.

“The one major condition negotiated by the Scripps Ranch community, is the provision of a west-bound free movement lane on Pomerado Road onto the I-15 bridge.After many detailed meetings and discussions with CalTrans staff, I have no confidence this measure will ever be built.CalTrans is just opposed to it, and is convinced it will not work to relieve traffic congestion.The traffic bottleneck will just move a little further down the roads [Pomerado, and I-15].

“I don’t want to see Scripps Ranch turned into a parking lot, but that’s the direction we continue to move in with this project.Quoting from editorials in the Union Tribune: Rancho Encantada continues the pattern of sprawl development, without adequate traffic planning and relief. “

For these reasons, Councilman Maienschein voted to not approve Rancho Encantada.For these same reasons, I have brought action against the City and McMillin, seeking a better development for the community and the City.

If you agree with this concern about Rancho Encantada, please contact me. My e-mail is: [email protected]; my telephone number in Scripps is in the back of this Newsletter, under the Scripps Ranch Community Planning Group listing.

MedImpact

First, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank both the Scripps Ranch North Planning Committee and the Scripps Ranch Planning Group for their efforts in maintaining overall architectural consistency within the family living spaces in Scripps Ranch.Their efforts have certainly helped to maintain high property values to the benefit of all residents of the Ranch.These review efforts should indeed include commercial projects located in “close” proximity to the living spaces.I am concerned though, that the over stringent application of the community plan guidelines to projects that few individuals would consider even remotely associated with the living spaces borders on the absurd.I might even go so far as to say that in doing so, the planning committee members give the appearance of overstepping the bounds of their authority.

The reason for my concern is the recent denial of the proposed MedImpact project by the Scripps Ranch North Planning Committee (SRCA Newsletter 2001;31(10):25-6).The article implied that the overriding rationale used by the Committee was that the architecture of the proposed building(s), which does not comply with strict interpretation of the Community Plan, would reflect poorly on the Scripps Ranch community.I personally feel that few people driving along the I-15 freeway would associate the MedImpact buildings, as proposed and already significantly modified, with the residential community located a half mile inland.Quite the opposite, they might associate the buildings with an opportunity to work and live in the same area.

As a 12 year resident of Scripps Ranch, as well as an employee of MedImpact, I would be expected to have mixed feelings about the Committee’s decision.I found the newsletter article about the decision to be very self-serving and one-sided.I think readers should have been made aware of the fact that MedImpact has been a Scripps Ranch based company since it was established in 1989.The disputed building actually represents the third building to be occupied by the company, the second, and current, also being in Scripps Ranch.A significant number of the 400 or so MedImpact employees live within 14 miles of the current and future MedImpact buildings.Like myself, many of these employees are Scripps Ranch residents.While we admittedly have a vested interest in maintaining a short drive to work, we also contribute substantially to the continued economic welfare of the entire Scripps Ranch community, through local business purchases and patronage and property taxes.There were probably less expensive relocation site options outside the Scripps Ranch area available to the owners of MedImpact.They chose instead to continue to support their employees and the community.

Given the current grim economic forecasts for this country and quite probably San Diego, I feel that both planning committees would be well advised to take a more moderate stand when it comes to impeding the progress of established Scripps Ranch businesses.In my opinion, the Committee would better serve Scripps Ranch by working to encouraging these businesses to grow, locate, and thrive within our small corner of greater San Diego.

Had A Parking Citation Lately?

Recently an officer from the San Diego Parking Management Enforcement Section raided Scripps Ranch.

From Oct. 1-4, this officer cited more than 200 vehicles in our neighborhood for such heinous crimes as displaying a For Sale sign in the windows of a car; because the month registration tag on a license plate was faded; for parking on a cul-de-sac with one tire more than 18 inches from the curb; for overhanging the sidewalk by one inch with a car parked in the owner’s driveway; and he cited and towed a travel trailer from Michigan for which registration had expired only two days before.

These 200+ citations have been voided by the City of San Diego because the officer was out of his jurisdiction and the complaints of many ranch residents. Parking Management has jurisdiction over only certain areas, and Scripps Ranch is not one of them.

If you have received any parking citations in the Ranch, you need to contact Councilman Brian Maienschein’s ([email protected]) Staff Assistant, Clint Carney at 619-236-7150 ([email protected]) to voice your complaint and to verify that you will not be responsible for answering this citation. You are not responsible for paying these illegal citations.

It is also important to contact me if you have received a citation to verify that all citations issued that week have been voided. You can best contact Dana at [email protected] with your concerns and questions.