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There are many issues that need to be addressed. A resident sent in his concerns about how development will affect traffic on the Ranch. What we would usually put in our Dialogue section, we have put here, since it sparked the issue.
A bulldozer, in the form of more traffic, is bearing down on the Ranch. This is not "pass-through" traffic from outside the community, but added trips to be created from two new development proposals within Scripps Ranch. If the city approves these projects, our community streets could be even more clogged with traffic than they are already.
A development company is proposing to build hundreds of houses, plus retail, on land which was part of the Alliant International University (AIU) campus. This new development, plus the continuing build-out of the university, would have access only from Pomerado Road. The new proposal would be a major shift in land use, converting it from exclusively educational to residential and commercial.
In the second proposal, Intel is proposing to build a development in the business park east of Scripps Ranch High School. In general terms this is consistent with the intent of the land use for the business park as industrial. But are you aware of the size of Intel’s proposed development?
This project could help complete the intended plan for the business park, if the planning is done correctly and the project does not create a negative impact on the community. Too much of a good thing, however, may be bad. Intel should go through a planning process to ensure the business park is being used as originally designated and is not overloaded.
The community deserves more information about these proposals and to be able to question whether they should be approved. If you are concerned about traffic, contact Councilmember Brian Maienschein’s office or your community planning group representatives.
- Intel–on 30+ acres of the Scripps Ranch Business Park.
- Western Pacific Housing–in escrow to purchase the 100-acre parcel that wraps around the AIU campus. Plans include commercial and residential buildings.
- San Diego Unified School District –new middle school on the western portion of the parcel that wraps around AIU.
- AIU–building-out facilities and working to expand enrollment.
- Chabad Hebrew Academy–building new facilities and will double enrollment to 400 students.
You may wonder if anyone is working on behalf of the community to ensure our quality of life is maintained. That is the job of the Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG). It is the city-chartered group made up of community volunteers that advises the city on community concerns with respect to planning and development. It works with each of the entities to ensure the community’s concerns are addressed.
We asked the entities involved to update the community on their projects and to respond to the resident’s concerns about increased traffic. We also asked our councilmember, Brian Maienschein, to address the development issue.
- Intel’s plans are on indefinite hold;
- The school district will convene a design task force this fall–the community will be invited to participate;
- Western Pacific Housing’s plan is expected to be submitted to the city in late June; and,
- Chabad will begin construction soon on their expansion plans.
Intel’s development of a Greenfield San Diego campus within the Scripps Ranch Business Park will remain on hold indefinitely. Several factors currently weigh in Intel’s site development decisions says Intel San Diego Corporate Services Site Manager Deb Foster. Those include the strength of the technology sector rebound and Intel’s overall business plan in wireless and networking communication technology.
Intel purchased six parcels, totaling 31 acres, within the business park in 1999. There were plans to consolidate Intel’s two existing sites in North County, and to position Intel for growth in a region renown for its leadership in high-speed digital technology.
It is not clear on how Intel will respond to economic dynamics and wireless customer demands in the near term. Intel understands and appreciates the Scripps Ranch area lends itself to a very desirable and strategic location for wireless and networking communication technologies and will continue to work with Scripps Ranch in the future on any development plans.
The city of San Diego’s proposed draft of the City of Villages identifies the AIU campus and 100-acre parcel that wraps around the university as a Neighborhood Village Center. This designation suggests future development as a neighborhood or community-oriented area where local commercial, office, and multi-family residential buildings are intermixed. Such development would be pedestrian-friendly and designed to encourage the use of public transit.
Western Pacific Housing (WPH) is in escrow to purchase the 100-acre parcel. The western portion of the parcel was chosen as the site of the new middle school. WPH is seeking community input regarding the future development of the remaining 65 acres as a Neighborhood Village Center.
It will provide a mix of for-sale luxury condominiums, for-rent student housing, and several small neighborhood retail uses. The project is expected to include 700 to 1,200 attached residential units, and 15,000 to 30,000 square feet of retail space. Based on WPH’s preliminary analysis, the Average Daily Trips (ADT) generated by the proposed project will range from 4,800 to 10,800 ADT.
The Neighborhood Village Center is in a conceptual stage. Detailed analyses of environmental and community concerns will be addressed as plans evolve. The first step in the planning process will be the initiation of a Community Plan Amendment. This application, expected to be filed with the city in late June, will start the formal review process.
The planning and review process may take 12 to 18 months. There will be many issues to address, including traffic, parks, schools, sewer, water, other public services, wetlands, visual aesthetics, and preserving community character.
WPH provided an introduction to SRPG in May, and at their request, is working with AIU, SDUSD, and Chabad to develop an integrated plan for the build-out of this area. The WPH design team will work closely with the SRPG, the Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee, the SRCA, and the Rec Council at many future public meetings.
[Ed note: After a presentation by WPH, the SRPG cited potentially major issues–parks, schools, traffic, aesthetics, noise, removal of tree groves, and open space–with any project of this size and scope connecting to Pomerado Road. The SRPG board requested city staff investigate issues relating to parcel subdivision and lot line adjustments. A subcommittee was formed and will meet on the fourth Monday of each month to identify and document the potentially unmitigated cumulative impacts of this project on Pomerado Road].
The San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) is just beginning pre-acquisition planning with the AIU property owner and the university, according to Jim Geldert, project manager for the new Scripps Ranch middle school.
The appraisal of the site should be completed within 90 days. As to the potential traffic associated with the new middle school, Geldert says the Scripps Ranch traffic and access are at the top of the agenda.
He says that during this land pre-acquisition phase, they are relying on traffic data from the final March 2002 Environmental Impact Report. However, they will soon begin detailed traffic safety engineering studies that will become a part of the design parameters.
Lou Smith, SDUSD’s Proposition MM manager, says an architect has been hired, but site design work has not yet commenced. The concept of developing "schools within a school" will be pursued, as suggested by the community. The planning will be on a district level so the concept can be applied elsewhere.
- The task force concludes its work — November 2003;
- Design and approvals completed– October 2004; and,
- Construction completed and ready for students–fall 2006.
Last year, Alliant International University (AIU) purchased the 60 acres on which our core campus sits. We also lease an additional 100 acres from the property owner on which some of our student housing and recreation facilities are located. We have recently selected the architectural design firm of SMWM to help us develop a vision of the future that will help us grow, but also makes sense for the community.
It is important to note that any changes to the AIU campus will be driven by the needs of our academic programs. We are currently in the midst of an academic review, which will help us determine what redevelopment efforts our campus may require.
The WPH project and the new middle school will impact the university. We believe that by working side-by-side with the school district, the developer, and the community we have a unique opportunity to craft a plan that will result in a mutually beneficial outcome.
The Academy is set to double its student body from about 200 to 400 upon completion of the new facilities in the fall of 2003. Traffic safety and traffic flow are of concern to Chabad. Our traffic mitigation was required by the city at the time of the approval of our project years ago.
These included the construction of a new intersection and street improvements on Pomerado Road. Chabad had originally desired the less expensive access to our project from Avenida Magnifica. At the request of community residents, Chabad agreed to build the access from Pomerado Road instead.
Other factors that may mitigate the traffic issue are: our hours of 8:15 am to 3:30 pm; our expansion will allow us to accommodate siblings; and, since many families carpool, new children may be able to join existing carpools.
I grew up on the I-15 corridor and have seen first-hand the effects of poor planning. Since my election to the City Council, I have made sure that we would not continue to be subjected to the same decisions as were made in the past. I have not looked favorably on any development that plans to be built before adequate infrastructure is in place.
I drive I-15 every day and know what a chore it can be just to get home. The residents of Scripps Ranch have problems simply trying to get on and off the freeway. Projects that propose to add significant and unmitigated increases in daily vehicle trips are just not acceptable.
There are many unanswered questions regarding development on the Ranch. Community members should learn about the projects and ask the tough questions when they have concerns. The place to do that is at the SRPG meetings, held the first Thursday of the month at 7 pm at the Scripps Ranch Library.