Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee (MRNPC)

The Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee (MRNPC) met on Tuesday, Jan. 16, for its regular monthly meeting. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 7 pm in the Scripps Ranch Library and everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Meeting Change

MRNPC voted to change our meetings from the third Tuesday of each month to the first Tuesday of each month, effective with the April meeting. We also voted to change our “dark” months, the months that we don’t have a meeting. We will now be “dark” in July instead of August and we will not be “dark” in December anymore. We will continue to meet at 7 pm. We also discussed moving the meetings to the Information Center and we’re looking into that possibility, but for now, we will continue to meet in the Scripps Ranch Library.

Annual Elections

The annual election of new members is held every March. Our March meeting will take place on Tuesday, Mar. 20, at 7 pm in the Scripps Ranch Library. At this time, we have one vacancy on our committee and there are two members up for reelection. Membership is open to residents, property owners, and businesspersons of the Miramar Ranch North planning area, which includes most of the Scripps Ranch neighborhoods north of Miramar Lake. You must be at least 18 years of age and you must have attended at least one MRNPC meeting during the last 12 months. If you are interested in getting more involved with your community and helping to shape future development, please attend the next meeting and express your interest. If you have any questions, please contact Peggy Shirey at 530-3833.

Intel – Middle School Update

Brian Maienschein, our new District 5 Councilmember, and Clint Carney, his representative for Scripps Ranch, attended our meeting. Brian spoke briefly about Intel and the new middle school, promising us that he’s committed to assuring that Scripps Ranch gets the right-sized middle school that we desperately need. He informed us that the City and the San Diego Unified School District are continuing to evaluate alternative sites and there will be more information available next week.

Scripps Gateway Freeway Center

On Thursday, Dec. 7, Shea presented its Scripps Gateway Freeway Center to the San Diego Planning Commission for approval. This project is situated northeast of the Scripps Poway Parkway and the I-15 intersection and would consist of 2 hotels, 2 fast food restaurants, 1 sit-down restaurant, a retail facility, a gas station mini-mart, and a park and ride lot.

Representatives from MRNPC and the Scripps Ranch Civic Association (SRCA), as well as other concerned residents, attended the hearing to oppose the project. After much discussion, the Planning Commissioners voted unanimously to deny approval of the project. Their finding was that it did not meet our Community Plan’s intent for a “gateway” project.

In addition, at least two of the commissioners agreed with us that there was a link between this project and the disputed 4-acre community recreational parcel and that the project should be denied until that issue was resolved. Shea is planning to appeal this decision to the City Council.

In support of the Planning Commission’s decision, MRNPC voted that it “agrees with the assessment of the City of San Diego Planning Commission regarding the design deficiencies of the Shea Gateway commercial project. Such deficiencies include lack of gateway feel to project, old-style suburban strip center design rather than using more current smart growth planning concepts embraced by the City of San Diego, undesirable broad expanses of parking space, and incorporating more of a village feel to the design of the center.”

Representatives from MRNPC plan to attend the City Council hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 13, to once again oppose the project. We would welcome your support. Please contact Claudia Unhold at 549-8386 to attend.

Rancho Encantada Update

A description of the proposed Rancho Encantada project is on pages 25-27 of this Newsletter. A summary of the comments made by MRNPC and other community groups on the proposed project is on page 25. The full text of the 20+ pages of comments is available on the SRCA website [www.scrippsranch.org]. Basically, the finding was that the EIR and the Precise Plan were imprecise, inaccurate, and incomplete. MRNPC voted to authorize the MRNPC chair to forward these comments on behalf of MRNPC to the City.

New Projects Meeting

The next MRNPC New Projects subcommittee meeting will review the Kaufman and Broad’s Highlands II project located on the hill overlooking I-15 near the Shea property. Please contact Steve Goyette at 271-6173 for the specifics.

Next MRNPC Meeting

MedImpact has purchased Shea’s entire industrial parcel located southeast of the Scripps Poway Parkway and I-15 interchange. They have submitted their plans to the City and are scheduled to present the project at our next meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) will return in February to update us on the findings of its geotechnical studies in Scripps Ranch to evaluate the feasibility of constructing a 12-mile underground pipeline tunnel from the San Vicente Reservoir to the second aqueduct pipeline, just west of I-15. SDCWA expects to present its findings and recommendations to its board of directors later in the spring. Luis Biaggi and the Scripps Ranch Traffic Committee will provide an update on their work.

Summary of EIR Comment Letter on Rancho Encantada

The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed Rancho Encantada project was released on November 22, 2000, with a standard 45-day review period. The two planning groups requested and were granted an extension to this review period. Public review subsequently closed on January 19, 2001.

A brief description of this project is given below under separate heading. The full text of the comments made by the community is on the SRCA website [www.scrippsranch.org].

In an unprecedented effort, representatives of the Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG), Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee (MRNPC), Scripps Ranch Civic Association (SRCA), Scripps Ranch Recreation Council (SRRC), and Save Our Scripps Ranch (SOSR) got together to conduct a coordinated review of the EIR and prepare a unified comment letter regarding issues and concerns about the project and analysis contained within the EIR. A 22-page list of comments was prepared and sent to the City on January 19 with a cover letter signed by the heads of each of the above “Big 5” groups.

Scripps Ranch is very fortunate to have such talented volunteers and their expertise was put to good use. The EIR is a six-volume document that includes five volumes of technical appendices, weighing a total of twenty-five pounds. The extension of the review period was necessary to allow adequate time for volunteers to read and analyze all this material.

As you can imagine, the detailed comment letter represented extensive and exhaustive hours of preparation. We thank all the participants in the review for their dedication as volunteers to our community.

The review team concluded that the EIR failed to adequately analyze impacts for traffic, parks, urban stormwater runoff, air quality, and schools. It was further the opinion of the group that there are a number of elements of the Precise Plan for the Rancho Encantada project that are not yet precise and require more work for clarification.

The comment letter contained questions and comments with regard to:

  • how to mitigate traffic;
  • how would trails be incorporated into the project and linked to the existing regional trail system;
  • would the proposed parks be adequate to accommodate the expected population;
  • how would stormwater runoff be treated;
  • specific questions relating to the noise and air quality impact analyses; and
  • was a Native American consultation program conducted?

Other questions included:

  • how emergency access to gated areas would be allowed;
  • would it really be necessary to construct an elementary school as part of the project;
  • what leagues would the children from the project use for recreation; and
  • specifics regarding the adequacy of the alternatives analysis.

The next step in the process involves the City and the developer who will now take all the comment letters received by interested parties and prepare responses.

A Final EIR will then be prepared that will contain the comment letters and responses, the Planning Commission will review the documents, and ultimately the City Council will act on the proposed development. We will keep you posted as to the progress of this project.

Description of the Proposed Rancho Encantada Project

The Scripps Ranch community is mostly aware of the proposal for a development east of the community to be built on the old General Dynamics property. For those of you unfamiliar with the specifics of the Rancho Encantada project, the following is a summary of the project as proposed.

The Rancho Encantada project site is located in the Future Urbanizing Area (FUA) of the City of San Diego, and is comprised of three land areas: Montecito (278 acres), Sycamore Estates (2,132 acres), and a parcel owned by the City of San Diego (248 acres). The community reviewers questioned whether the City of San Diego portion should be included as part of the project since it is reportedly set aside as part of mitigation for another project in the City.

Of four development options for this property under City of San Diego regulations, this project proposes Rural Cluster Development, where development is permitted at the density permitted by the property’s underlying zone (agricultural), but is clustered to promote more efficient land utilization and land conservation.

Project Site

The proposed project is located east of Pomerado Road as shown on the diagram on page 25. The site is bordered on the north by the City of Poway, and on the west by Scripps Ranch. The Sycamore Canyon County Open Space Preserve lies to the east, and to the south is the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar.

Project Description

The Rancho Encantada project proposed a Precise Plan that would serve as the City of San Diego’s detailed long-range plan for the development of the 2,658-acre project area. The Precise Plan proposes 835 single-family lots, two institutional sites, 106 multi-family units, an elementary school site, and a park site. Approximately 75 percent of the site would be retained as open space.

Rancho Encantada Parkway is proposed to be constructed on-site as the main east/west access road, taking access from Pomerado Road somewhere between Legacy Canyon Road and Spring Canyon Road. A secondary access is proposed via Beeler Canyon Road (although the City of Poway has said they will close Beeler Canyon Road to prevent the connection of this secondary access).

Montecito Sub-Project

This portion of the project would include 277 single-family lots, and one 1.7-acre lot to accommodate an existing on-site residence, as well as several open-space lots and one lot reserved for a sewer pump station.

Sycamore Estates Sub-Project

The rest of the project designates 557 single-family lots, one affordable housing site, a school site, a public park site, and two institutional sites, as well as several open space lots, one lot reserved for a proposed water storage reservoir, and two lots designated for water pump stations. The affordable housing site is proposed on 9.9 acres and would accommodate 106 multi-family units.

An adjustment to the MHPA (Multiple Habitat Planning Area) boundary would be required and would consist of reducing the size of the MHPA on the Montecito sub-project site and increasing the size of the MHPA on the Sycamore Estates sub-project site.

A public trail system is proposed to connect with the existing trail system in Sycamore Canyon, Gooden Ranch, and possibly Mission Trails Regional Park. The trails would include use by horses, mountain bikes, and hikers, with some separation proposed.

Scripps Ranch Planning Group

Scripps Ranch Planning Group held its regular meeting on January 4, 2001, at the Scripps Ranch Library.

Meanley Wall

Chairperson Bob Ilko reported that the appeal by the property owner concerning the historical designation of the Meanley Wall and Evans Pond will not be heard before the City Council on January 23, 2001, as previously scheduled. City staff is researching the parameters of when and how any appeal could later be heard due to the voluntary postponement by the property owner.

Chabad

Chabad provided an update of their efforts to bring a master plan to the group for approval. Mr. Alan Green stated that Phase 1 of the proposed master plan would be the elementary school; its start of construction is estimated to be June 1, 2001. Alan also said that the plan proposes that the building square footage will be no greater than 15 percent of the gross area of the site; any proposed campus housing will be no closer than 50 feet to property lines; and that grading will be minimal because the master plan will likely propose to use the existing grading design to the maximum extent possible.

Proposed CalSun Development

CalSun Development has proposed a new residential development on the corner of Pomerado Road and Spring Canyon Road. That land now is designated as a commercial site, but CalSun would like to construct 28 homes, with three floor plans ranging in size from 1,800 to 2,200 square feet; a 6,500-square-foot recreation area; sidewalks on both sides of the streets; a 34-foot-wide curb to curb street; 17 on-street parking spaces for guests and overflow parking; and an average price of approximately $400,000.

This project was determined to be within the San Diego Unified School District. SRPG recommended that the applicant work with the group’s subcommittee to address (1) school overcrowding; (2) poor offsite traffic circulation; (3) size and functionality of the open space/park; and (4) safety of the existing cut slope behind the easterly units.