Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG)

The Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG) held its regular meeting on Thursday, Feb. 1. The City of San Diego mayor’s office has assigned Stephen Jeffery as our new mayor representative, covering city council districts 5 and 7. We look forward to having a renewed working relationship with the mayor’s office and to developing strong ties with our councilmember’s office.

City of San Diego Planning Department staff representative Kevin Guy has been working on items related to the multiple middle school relocation options; however, no site has yet emerged as the leading candidate.

Elections

Chairperson Bob Ilko reported that the SRPG will have an election for the twelve open positions on the board at the next regular meeting on Thursday, March 1.

Rancho Encantada

Review comments on the Rancho Encantada draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) have been submitted to the City. Replies to these comments and the more than 200 other reviews that were received are now being prepared by the City and applicant.

Gordon Boerner reported that the Facilities Financing Plan for Rancho Encantada, previously anticipated by January 30, has been delayed due an unfortunate leave of absence of a key City Facilities Finance Department employee. The applicants are anticipating a Planning Commission hearing in April 2001.

Marine and Navy Housing

The proposed Navy and Marine housing project for East Miramar was described by Colonel McDaniel and Sheila Donovan who provided an update on the draft Environmental Impact Study (EIS). Three potential sites located on the base east of I-15 are being evaluated in the draft EIS, along with a new 4th site in Coronado which replaces the Miramar golf course site. The golf course site was discarded due to noise issues.

The three sites near Scripps Ranch are:

  1. South of Rancho Encantada, Birch Bluff, and Whispering Ridge HOA’s, gaining access via Pomerado Road;
  2. South of USIU, gaining access via Miramar Way; and
  3. North of Highway 52 and east of Santo Road.

The draft EIS now is expected out for public review in April 2001. At this time, there continues to be no preferred site. SRPG submitted both oral and written comments during the scoping portion of the draft EIS.

Shea Gateway Center

Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee (MRNPC) Chairperson Peggy Shirey and MRNPC member Claudia Unhold requested SRPG’s support in rejecting the current Shea Gateway proposal for the Scripps Gateway Center, which consists of two 4-story hotels, gas station, three restaurants, and a 20,000-square-foot retail center. A motion was passed to look into the matter and to determine what level of support to give MRNPC. Gordon Boerner, Anita Pryor, and Mike Baksh volunteered to work as subcommittee members with MRNPC.

Traffic Studies

SANDAG has formed a policy advisory committee and a technical advisory committee to study Routes 67 and 125. The technical committee met three times last year as well as held a special meeting with MRNPC member Pat Bonaguidi, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, Metropolitan Transit Development Board (MTDB), and the City of San Diego.

SANDAG staff evaluated year 2020 traffic forecasts. Based on marginal relief of I-15 and opposition by the military, an alternative route developed by Pat Bonaguidi was eliminated. This alternative called for a four-lane road connecting at Miramar Way running north then east along USIU and Chabad; along the southside of Crown Pointe, Chantemar, Loire Valley, Whispering Ridge, and Birch Bluff; then into Beeler and Sycamore Canyons; ultimately connecting to Scripps Poway Parkway.

The policy advisory committee currently is studying a similar four-lane connection alternative except that it does not have a terminus in Beeler and Sycamore Canyons. SRPG will monitor progress of the study and expects it to be complete by December 2001.

SRPG member Bob Petering attended a January forum regarding a $30 billion high-speed rail transportation proposal. A 1996 state statute authorized studying a high-speed train that would run from San Francisco to San Diego. At this time, the train could run down the I-15 corridor.

The MTDB transit works study is progressing and SRPG is planning to have a presentation on transit planning being funded for the next twenty years.

Chabad Expansion

SRPG heard a presentation about the Chabad Jewish Academy from Rabbi Fratkin who introduced his project development team of Bruce Keenan and architect Mr. Son. The architect explained that the development proposal was for the entire 27-acre site. Phase I would include pre-school, K-12 facilities, a 150-seat synagogue, and a soccer field. Phase II would include a multi-cultural center, an open-air amphitheater, faculty housing, and student housing.

The SRPG members as well as Crown Pointe homeowners in attendance raised concerns. It is anticipated that using the existing already graded pads will minimize future grading. Mr. Son stated that the existing eucalyptus trees would be preserved wherever possible and that heights of the buildings will not exceed 35 feet. It is believed that only about 10 percent of the site will be developed; the conditional use permit currently in place allows up to 15 percent.

The schedule calls for the master plan to be submitted to the City on or about March 20, 2001. Construction on the elementary school should start about June 1, 2001, with anticipated completion by June 2002.

The general consensus was that phase I was a long-awaited component that has been expected and will be beneficial; however, significant concerns were expressed regarding Phase II, in particular: the proximity of the proposed school to existing homes; the possible amount of student and faculty housing being proposed; potential excessive noise from the proposed facilities; and building heights and MHPA considerations. The residents asked to be included in subcommittee meetings with Chabad.

Schools

Clint Carney, field representative to City Councilperson Brian Maienschein, provided an update on the discussions involving school enrollment boundaries for the new elementary school Ellen Browning Scripps. Gordon Boerner distributed a summary prepared by SRCA describing evolution of the current schools situation and formation of the Scripps Ranch Schools Committee, chaired by Lynn Parke, to assist everyone in understanding the institutional history.

Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee (MRNPC)

Shea Gateway Center Rejected

I am pleased to announce that on Tuesday, Feb. 13, the City Council unanimously denied Shea’s appeal of its Scripps Gateway freeway center. This project would be situated northeast of the Scripps Poway Parkway and I-15 intersection and was designed with two 4-story hotels, two fast food restaurants, one sit-down restaurant, a retail facility, a gas station mini-mart, and a park-and-ride lot. On December 7, 2000, the City Planning Commission voted unanimously to deny approval of the project. The vote by the City Council upholds this earlier decision.

My thanks go to all the representatives from the Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee, the Scripps Ranch Civic Association (SRCA), and all the other concerned Scripps Ranch residents–about 30 in all–who showed up at the hearing to oppose the project. It certainly sent a message to both the developer and the City.

In addition, I’m grateful to Marc Sorensen, President of the SRCA, for sending out an SRCA E-letter to the SRCA members asking for their support and to the members of the Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG), who took an action at their last meeting to officially support our efforts.

I’m also indebted to Gary and Anita Pryor of SOS Ranch, who held numerous strategy sessions with us, coaching us on how to respond to Shea’s appeal items, what documents we needed to obtain, and how to prepare our presentations. They also loaned us the Save Our Scripps Ranch buttons, which we all wore at the hearing, both unifying and easily identifying our group. Thank you for sharing so much of your valuable time and expertise with us!

Special thanks also go to Mark Steele, Chair of the Planning Commission, who made a special appearance at the hearing to speak out against the project. Since he is a Registered Professional Architect and Chair of the Planning Commission, his words carry a lot of weight.

Finally, our new District 5 Councilmember Brian Maienschein went above and beyond the call of duty. Not only did he initiate the motion which eventually denied the project, he read passages from the Miramar Ranch North community plan documenting the specific examples where the project failed to conform to our community plan.

Maienschein also quoted the Planning Commissioners from their December 7 hearing when they denied the project and re-iterated their objections to the project. These comments had been conspicuously absent from the staff report, which is what the Mayor and Councilmembers were relying on for the background information about the project. Maienschein’s Scripps Ranch representative, Clint Carney, also provided valuable support to us, helping us gather all the documents we requested and answering our numerous questions. Thank you, Brian, for representing us and demonstrating that we do, indeed, have a new City Council!

Congratulations, Scripps Ranch! Thanks to everyone’s efforts, we should eventually have a Scripps Gateway freeway center that is consistent with the design guidelines presented in our community plan and is an attractive gateway into our wonderful community. We’ll keep you posted.

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 business persons 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.