Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee (MRNPC)

It’s been several months since there’s been a Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee (MRNPC) update. Part of the reason was that Newsletter space was needed for other important community updates (e.g. BCL’s rezone proposal, the Candidates Forum) and the other was just a timing issue.

But rest assured, our committee still meets the third Tuesday of every month (except August and December) at 7 pm in the Scripps Ranch Library. We welcome and encourage everyone to attend these meetings. This article will summarize the MRNPC’s regular meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 17, as well as some items from previous meetings.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 7 pm in the Scripps Ranch Library. I would love to see you there.

Shea-LA Fitness Update

I am disappointed to report that Shea has–once again–entered into an agreement with an organization that has not been endorsed by the MRNPC. This time, it’s LA Fitness that has submitted an application to the City to develop Shea’s 4-acre parcel that was intended to house a family-oriented recreation facility.

Although LA Fitness has come before the planning committee on several occasions, the MRNPC had put together a list at our meeting in June of specific items that the community wanted to see on the 4-acre site. This list has never been addressed by LA Fitness.

Nonetheless, despite requests by several MRNPC members that Shea not enter into an agreement with anyone before all interested parties had been adequately considered, Shea announced at Tuesday’s meeting that it had entered into a contract with LA Fitness within the past week. Needless to say, many of the planning members are disgusted with Shea for going behind our backs and cementing a deal with an organization that clearly does not meet the community’s need for a family-oriented recreation facility.

We also are dismayed at Shea’s unwillingness to even consider compensating the community for its loss of 40 acres of open space by donating this 4-acre parcel to a non-profit organization that could then develop it into a family-oriented facility. One such interested party is the Scripps Ranch Swim and Racquet Club (SRSRC), which recently expressed an interest in developing the parcel, but could not afford to both purchase and develop the property.

In response to our criticisms, Shea has assured us that LA Fitness will attend the November planning meeting to address our concerns. If Shea’s actions upset you, please attend the MRNPC meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at 7 pm at the library to voice your outrage. Or contact Pam Montanile at 689-1762 or Claudia Unhold at 549-8386.

We still hope to have a much needed family-oriented facility on this site, but we can’t do it alone! Please support us in our efforts. For background information on this project, please see page 27 of the July 2000 issue of the SRCA Newsletter, at [www.scrippsranch.org], or contact Pam Montanile or Claudia Unhold.

Shea also announced that they had sold their industrial park interest to MedImpact. Shea had been planning to construct their corporate office in the park, which is located along I-15.

Botanic Garden

Rudy Cesena, President of the Botanic Garden of San Diego (BGSD), explained to us why BGSD had been unable to proceed with its plans earlier this year. BGSD had a 3-year agreement with the City of San Diego to develop the open space, known informally as Mt. Struiksma, located west of I-15 and south of Mercy Road, into a Botanic Garden. After meeting the four conditions that the City had required, including a business plan, the City then asked for a demographic study to determine the feasibility of the project.

BGSD felt that the requested study would be too costly and time-consuming. Some planning members thought that a study could be done relatively quickly and inexpensively, but BGSD felt that this was just another obstacle that the City was throwing in front of them because they suspect that the City wants to sell the land for development.

Cesena cautioned us to watch for a future sale of the land. Planning members noted that the land is designated park space and would not be likely to be used commercially, but did note that, in the event of a sale, all money would go to the City.

Future Middle School EIR

Brian Mooney, senior principal of Mooney & Associates, presented their Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed Scripps Ranch Middle School. The Draft EIR is now out for public review and comments will be accepted until Monday, Nov. 13. At this point, the analysis was completed to ensure that a middle school is feasible on the sites that are being considered for purchase by the school district.

Two sites are under consideration. Both are within the Scripps Ranch business park. The preferred site uses lots 6, 7, and 8 and would take access off Hoyt Park Drive and Meanley Drive. The alternative site uses lots 3 and 4 and would take access off of Meanley Drive.

The school would accommodate up to 1,800 students and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2005. The concept includes 65 classrooms as well as playing fields, parking, a library, cafeteria, and administration building. The planning members expressed their concerns about traffic, especially with the proximity of the high school. Mooney reported that these were the only two sites that could accommodate the school’s requirements and that the school will be designed to mitigate the traffic impacts.

The preferred site was recommended over the alternative site because it had better traffic circulation. The community will be invited to participate in the design phase beginning next spring.

SRCA Recognition Night

The MRNPC has unanimously decided to nominate 2 of its members, Claudia Unhold and Luis Biaggi, for their tireless efforts at working to make our community better for everyone. Claudia has served on the MRNPC for many years, 2 of them as chair, and has spent countless hours fighting to make sure that things are done right in the community. Luis is the man when it comes to traffic. He chairs the SRCA Traffic Committee, supports a website [http://home.san.rr.com/mrnpc], and works constantly to assure that the traffic in our community does not get any worse, a nearly impossible task!

San Diego Water Authority Drilling

The San Diego Water Authority presented to the MRNPC in September its plans to conduct test drilling in the Scripps Ranch area during October. An additional pipeline is needed through Scripps Ranch for the City’s emergency storage project. The project already has been approved for trench construction, but they are considering placing the pipeline in a tunnel beneath Scripps Ranch. The drilling is necessary to collect samples to determine the feasibility of the tunneling. The San Diego County Water Authority will return in November to brief the MRNPC on the status of its drilling activities.

Overlook Park “Renamed”

Thanks to all those residents who submitted names for the soon-to-be-constructed park located along the south side of Scripps Ranch Boulevard, just west of the Waterford neighborhood. The two most popular names were Overlook Park and Sunset Park. In fact, the vote was so close that the planning committee had to cast the deciding vote. The new official name for the park is Miramar Overlook Park. The name Miramar was added to distinguish our park from other City parks.

MRNPC Member Update

Susan Todd’s resignation was announced and accepted at September’s meeting. Also, in September, we added two “new” members to fill our vacancies. We’re pleased to welcome Claudia Unhold back after her brief hiatus (she just couldn’t stay away!) and Tim Gaughen, a Willows resident.

Rancho Encantata

The proposed Rancho Encantata project consists of about 1,000 homes to be located south of the Legacy area on presently ungraded hills. The draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Ranch Encantata project is expected to be released for public review on Wednesday, Nov. 1. All comments itemizing concerns about the project will need to be made in writing by Wednesday, Dec. 20. The primary concern of the MRNPC continues to be traffic, but to date no specific traffic plan has been provided by the developer.

Scripps Ranch Planning Group

The Scripps Ranch Planning Group held its regular meeting on October 5, 2000, in the community room of the Scripps Ranch Library.

New City Councilperson

Tom Daglish reported that he’s been busy bringing new City Councilperson Phil Blair up-to-date on issues affecting the Scripps Ranch community. Specifically, the issues they’ve been working on include:

  1. Scripps Gateway project for which they’ve been meeting with Shea Homes and the Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee;
  2. Scripps Ranch business park rezone application; and
  3. Community pool at Miramar College.

They’ve been working, via meetings, with the college and the Scripps Ranch Recreation Council to ensure the community’s needs will be met with respect to use of the pool. Over the past year, the college has unilaterally scheduled the pool without community representation.

When the Scripps Ranch community donated $350,000 to complete construction of the pool, it was done with the understanding that the Scripps Ranch Rec Council would have a seat on a scheduling committee to ensure that the pool provides a defined benefit to the Scripps Ranch community.

SR Business Park

City of San Diego Planner Kevin Guy reported that Avalon’s proposal for the business park had been changed to include more affordable housing units. City staff continues to recommend denial of Avalon’s proposed residential development (PRD).

Bob Ilko encouraged all to attend the Council hearing. Buses are being arranged to transport community members to the hearing for the purpose of showing support for disapproval of the proposed changes. An SRPG representative was authorized by a vote of 16-0-0. to make a formal presentation to the City.

Subsequent to our meeting, the rezone applications were withdrawn prior to being heard by the City Council.

The City of San Diego Historical Resources Board will meet on Thursday, Oct. 26, to consider the community’s request that the Meanley Wall area be preserved as a historical area.

Middle School EIR

The Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed relocation of Marshall Middle School has been issued, and needs to be reviewed. There’s a 45-day public review period.

Banyon Tree Permit

The planning group approved the Banyon Tree conditional use permit (CUP). Nanci Engle representing the Banyon Tree Day School was seeking an amendment to an existing CUP for the property, located at 10695 Treena Street, to operate a specialized school for children with learning differences.

The proposal is to operate the school in the spaces leased by the Faith United Methodist Church. Ms. Engle distributed copies of the CUP issued for the church to operate and a response to the preliminary review issues addressed by the City of San Diego. The City’s principal concerns were traffic and parking, and according to Ms Engle, they been adequately answered.

The SPRG members asked several questions regarding the size of the school, and the number of students and staff. The information provided included the following:

  • Students’ age range: 7 to 13;
  • Maximum enrollment: 48 students;
  • Staff members: 20; and
  • Parking spaces: All 28 spaces available for use.

Dave Prewett, who owns the property adjacent to the church, commented that his experience indicates that the Banyon Tree Day School operations will have no negative impact on either traffic or parking in the area, and he has no objection to the proposed amendment to the CUP. Motion was made by Linda Scott, seconded by Mark Russell, to recommend approval of the application for amendment to the CUP, as written. SRPG by a vote of 16-0-0 passed the motion.

High School Electronic Sign

The Scripps Ranch High School e-message board was endorsed by the planning group after another presentation by the SRHS Foundation. The purpose of the electronic message board on SRHS property (viewed from northbound I-15 traffic) is to assist in generating revenue for the Foundation, and to provide a community event notification service.

In response to the question as to whether or not the proposed message board conforms to the City of San Diego’s sign ordinance, the City of San Diego does not allow electronic sign boards for commerce, and doesn’t address schools. The City’s sign ordinance allows signs up to 300 square feet and 50 feet high. The proposed electronic message board will be approximately 200 ft2 and 25 ft. high, and be positioned approximately 100 yards from I-15.

Motion made by Michael Baksh, seconded by Gordon Boerner, and approved 10-1-2, to endorse the SRHS’s plan to install the sign as proposed, with the caveat that the SRPG will have a representative on the coordinating committee to be established to govern the posting and running of messages.

Rancho Encantada

Mr. Jeff Brazel presented the traffic impact analysis report of the EIR for the proposed development. The report addresses the proposed mitigation measures and was reviewed and accepted by the City during the preparation by Kimley Horn. Each identified impact and proposed mitigation measure was discussed, with particular concern expressed about the proposed raised medians, traffic signals, and elimination of cut-through traffic for Spring Canyon Road. It was agreed that the SRPG subcommittee, along with the SRCA Traffic Committee, will conduct a more detailed review of the report and propose other potential mitigation measures or modifications that should be considered by the analysis.

Several of the SRPG members expressed concerns to Mr. Ed Struiksma regarding the Montecito portion of Rancho Encantada. Specifically, it was suggested that the recreation area in the Sycamore Estates was too remote from the Montecito development to be actively used by Montecito residents, and therefore the developer should consider providing a recreation area/facility within the Montecito development.

Both Struiksma and Brazec countered that the school in the Sycamore Estates area will serve as a draw to the Montecito residents for use of the proposed recreation area in Sycamore Estates. Being unconvinced, the SPRG chair reiterated the request for consideration of including a recreation area in the Montecito development.

The SRPG chair also asked that the Montecito plan include sidewalks non-contiguous with the streets. Response was that small size of lots and setbacks rendered the non-contiguous sidewalks plan infeasible. However, sidewalk intersections with driveway ramps will be realigned so that the sidewalks’ crossing of the driveways will be level in a transverse direction.

Ms. Mary Bostwick, an employee outreach specialist at Scripps Ranch High School, presented a teacher wish list, including needs for equipment, supplies, and furnishings, as well as speakers, expertise assistance, and the provision of internships to assist in better preparing the high school students for future integration into the workforce/business world. Ms. Bostwick asked that the group pass information about these needs along to our business contacts. She advised that a SRHS civics class will be visiting the business park to become aware of the issues and plans to attend the October 17 hearing on the proposed community plan amendment.

MCAS Miramar

Jim Paterniti reported there have been lots of complaints about the noise reporting hotline being down. MCAS is trying to get a website operational to be used for registering complaints. The air show is scheduled for October 13-15.

The EIR process for siting the Osprey aircraft has been started. Several public scoping meetings have been scheduled near the potential sites for the stationing, MCAS Miramar being one of them. The geographically closest scoping meeting will be at Mira Mesa High School on Wednesday, Nov. 8. The public is encouraged to attend.

Next Meeting

Every resident is encouraged to attend our SRPG meetings which are the first Thursday of every month at 7 pm in the Scripps Ranch Library.