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In an effort to keep you apprised of development in Scripps Ranch and how it will affect our community, the SRCA Newsletter is following up on a Special Report we first brought you last summer. In this report, we update some of the projects we presented last time, as well as bring you up-to-date on new developments you may see happening around us.
We asked the several entities involved to update their projects and to explain how they will deal with the infrastructure issues that will impact our community, such as traffic, schools, parks, and police/fire/safety issues. We thank all who responded. We also thank the Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG) and the Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee (MRNPC) for providing key information about several of the projects.
In addition, we asked our Councilmember Brian Maienschein to give us his general thoughts about development. We appreciate his ongoing, active involvement with our community and his efforts to solve the difficult challenges that development presents.
The Gateway project is located on the north side of Scripps Poway Parkway just east of Interstate 15. The project, named for its high visibility as a gateway into our community, is being developed by Shea Homes and is nearly complete. The two hotels, Wendy’s, and Chili’s now are open. The only Park and Ride in Scripps Ranch also is at this site and is now available for use. Still to be built is a USA gas station. The multi-family homes adjacent to the project are complete and are now occupied.
Directly south of the Gateway project is the Med-Impact site. From adjacent roads, you can see the graded lots and trailers with graffiti behind a locked fence. Med-Impact previously presented plans to build a campus-type business park consisting of 4 to 5 buildings, each with 3 to 5 stories. With Councilmember Brian Maienschein’s help, the design was tailored so the project would enhance the gateway to our community and serve the needs of Med-Impact.
The city has said that no permits have been pulled regarding the site, and realtors have informed us the site likely will be sold. Recently, Councilmember Maienschein contacted the City Code Compliance Department concerning the trailers. Hopefully, they or at least the graffiti will be removed soon.
The 4-acre parcel that is located behind the Washington Mutual Bank and Jack in the Box on the south side of Scripps Poway Parkway is earmarked for a recreational center. Presently, the YMCA has expressed interest in using the site. Unfortunately, the director of the City Real Estate Assets Department was tragically killed with his daughter. As a result, development of the site will be delayed somewhat until his replacement is up to speed. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.
The next step is for the YMCA to conduct marketing studies to identify the type of programs that the community is interested in and will support. After the studies are complete, the YMCA will design a site plan and estimate development costs. The YMCA has stated that it is incumbent upon the community to raise the money to develop the site.
Both Mira Mesa and Scripps Ranch Blvd. are heavily traveled roadways that require improvements both for safety and aesthetics. The major change will be installation of permanent medians. The Scripps Ranch Planning Group currently is working with city staff to design effective, aesthetic, and affordable medians that will make this entrance to Scripps Ranch a hallmark of our community.
The Monarch development, located at the old K-Mart site, just south of Mira Mesa Blvd., includes both leasable apartments and office buildings. Presently, the apartments are nearly fully rented, with only 40 units remaining. Additional construction includes a parking garage and another office building.
Upgrades to the Miramar Water Treatment plant are continuing through 2008. The city has selected a contractor and is aware of community issues regarding traffic and aesthetics. An additional $6 million has been added to the project to support use of union labor. Any new signage for the plant will be designed in consultation with the Scripps Ranch community.
Intel’s development of a Greenfield San Diego campus within the Scripps Ranch business park remains on hold indefinitely. Several factors currently weigh in Intel’s site development decisions, including the strength of the technology sector rebound and Intel’s overall business plan in wireless and networking communication technology, says Michael Jacobson, Intel California public affairs manager.
Intel purchased six parcels totaling 31-acres within the business park in 1999 with 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 how Intel will respond to economic dynamics and wireless customer demands in the near term, said Jacobson.
Bill Mueller, Intel Public Affairs, stated that Intel understands and appreciates that 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 SRPG indicates there has been no viable activity or recent contact with Intel regarding disposition of the parcel.
The old PSA flight simulator site at the northwest corner of Carroll Canyon Rd. and I-15 has three large existing buildings that have been sitting vacant for some time. A developer has done preliminary planning for adding three additional large (100,000 sq. ft.) buildings to the site. The site only has ingress/egress to Carroll Canyon Road, which is of concern to the SRPG, who is in the process of investigating what levels of discretionary approval will be required by the City Zoning and Planning Departments.
CalTrans currently has planned for a west-side access to the I-15 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes from Hillery Drive, just south of the Mira Mesa Marketplace shopping center. The SRPG has met with the Federal Highway Administration, CalTrans, and the City of San Diego to consider having an eastern access, possibly near Old Grove Road. There is no funding for this project, but CalTrans has agreed to consider this access in the next decade.
The University of California at San Diego (UCSD) owns about 800 acres of land south of Pomerado Road and east of Interstate 15. Presently visible from Pomerado Road is construction of a "shake table," a structure designed to test the effects of earthquakes on differently designed buildings. The USCD dean of engineering has designed a conceptual master plan for use of the rest of the 800 acres, though it has not been reviewed by the community nor approved by UCSD.
The new Scripps Ranch middle school, which is scheduled to open in September 2006, is located on land previously owned by the United States International University (USIU). Contractors for combined design and construction will be selected in November 2003, and construction of the school will begin in January 2004.
Overall planning for the school continues with the active involvement of the community and city. A traffic plan will be submitted to the city in August and will be reviewed by the SRPG. Of greatest concern is design of a Willow Creek entrance and its effect on traffic on Pomerado Road. Additional concerns are that adequate onsite parking be provided and an eventual loop road to the Western Pacific property and Chabad Drive be facilitated. Refer to page 17 for a financial update about the school.
After months of meetings with the Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG), the San Diego Unified School District, Western Pacific Housing, the citizens of Scripps Ranch, staff, faculty, and students, Alliant International University (AIU) will submit its proposed master plan for the redevelopment of its campus to the City of San Diego for approval later this summer. The process of planning and review is a complicated one that begins with AIU’s application for an updated Conditional Use Permit (CUP).
The new proposal takes into account the requirements of housing, parking, traffic, as well as the natural resources and environmental concerns of the 60-acre campus. Every effort was made to make the renovated campus environmentally friendly and make the best use of our sustainable resources.
Part of the plan will require that the students housed in the Alpha and Beta complexes on the west side of campus be moved to the Gamma housing area on the east side. Before the students are moved, the Gamma housing complex and its facilities are scheduled to be renovated and updated beginning in the fall.
The Graduate School of Education (GSOE) also will relocate its offices to Daley Hall. Newly remodeled classroom space will be created in M-13 and M-14 in time for fall 2003 classes. This will provide students with classrooms that will be closer to the large parking lot to the west of the SportCenter.
Phase one of the master plan includes planning for the new Center for Innovation in Behavioral Health (CIBH) building, as well as enhanced student services facilities. The master plan will enhance the university for everyone involved. However, it will take perseverance, as well as a great deal of fundraising, to become a reality.
A rendering of the master plan, designed by the architectural design firm of SMWM, will be on display in Walter Library. We hope that you take a moment to view the plans and see the exciting possibilities for the future of AIU.
As far as the timeline for the student housing changes, these will begin this summer. We are currently making the transition for our GSOE faculty to move into Daley Hall and plan to have the project completed in time for students to attend classes in the renovated classrooms in the fall. As far as any major changes, we are dependent on how successful our fundraising efforts turn out to be. We expect the total project will take a number of years before it is completed.
An integral part of our master plan is the aspect of sustainability. This is designed to reduce the impact of traffic on the community and has a number of proposed components that are particularly aimed at lowering the number of single-car trips to and from AIU.
Western Pacific Housing (WPH) is planning age-restricted housing and a congregate care facility on the 64-acre parcel east of Alliant International University (AIU). The proposed project includes 600 to 875 residential units and a senior center to be open to the public.
In a Special Report in the July 2002 SRCA Newsletter, we reported on WPH’s initial planning for the site. At that time, WPH was proposing a mixed-use development with local retail and multi-family residential buildings, not age restricted. Over the past year, Western Pacific participated in many discussions with the Scripps Ranch planning groups regarding the project and community needs. The community raised particular concerns about heavy traffic on Pomerado Road and overcrowding in our schools and parks.
In response to these concerns, and with the identification of a need for senior housing and services in our community, WPH has retooled its plan with a new concept for age-restricted housing, a congregate-care facility, and a senior center. Benefits of this land use include reduced traffic generation and no additional students. In order to implement this plan, the zoning for the parcel, which is currently designated as institutional, would have to be changed to a multi-family residential designation, with special requirements to enforce the age restriction.
The Scripps Ranch Planning Group (SRPG) and the City Planning Commission have both voted to support further consideration of the proposed project. With that green light, a detailed project planning and review process has begun between WPH, the City of San Diego, and the SRPG. The process is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete, and every aspect of the project including traffic, parks, infrastructure, public services, bicycle and pedestrian circulation, wetlands impacts, and community aesthetics will be presented in an open dialogue among the groups involved, as well as having updates in the SRCA Newsletter.
WPH currently is working with its neighbors–AIU, the new middle school, and Chabad Hebrew Academy–to find synergy amongst the projects. Examples of possible interaction include a drop-off area for the middle school, senior volunteers in the schools, senior attendance of AIU classes, and AIU student internships and work opportunities at the proposed congregate-care facility. The ultimate goal will to be to provide much needed senior facilities and services in Scripps Ranch, while complementing the existing neighborhood.
Chabad Hebrew Academy submitted in December 2002 its Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application for a preschool and daycare facility. The city’s first assessment letter was to be distributed in July 2003. The SRPG is discussing with Chabad the hours of operation, number of students, and other conditions.
Chabad is seeking to have the daycare/preschool CUP approved by the Planning Commission before September 2003. Buildings for the elementary school, defined as kindergarten through 8th grade, are progressing and the anticipated date for occupancy is Monday, Sept. 15, in time for the new school year.
At that time, the portable classrooms are supposed to be removed. It is believed that once the permanent buildings are occupied, Chabad will restart dialogue with the community to define a master plan for potential future construction. The SRPG, in conjunction with adjacent property owners, will continue to work toward separating Chabad from the old United States International University (USIU) Conditional Use Permit.
The Fairbrook property is approximately 10 acres of unimproved land on Fairbrook Road and is owned by the San Diego Unified School District. The land has been held as excess school property for more than a decade, awaiting either a school to be built on it, or to be sold for other purposes. The Scripps Ranch community has requested that the school district continue to hold the land until the new middle school is open and updated demographics are available.
A few years ago, the City of San Diego approved a vesting tentative map for the site, to include 17 single-family homes and a 3-acre neighborhood park. Recently, the city granted an extension of the time to implement this map and agreed to purchase the land for the park. School district representatives have said that the land will not be sold while the middle school is being constructed, although funds from the sale are planned to be used to help finance construction of the new school.
Versante is Italian for "hillside," and is the last of the residential neighborhoods to be constructed in Scripps Ranch. Located at the corner of Pomerado and Spring Canyon Roads, Versante has a total of 27 single-family homes, all constructed by Cal Sun Development. Vanessa Van Wieren of Cal Sun Development notes that they anticipate the first homebuyers to move in during late July. The six final Versante homes will be released for sale later this summer.
This 40-acre property owned by the Renzulli family is listed for sale. This highly visible icon has long been part of Scripps Ranch, an exotic hilltop location, steeped in colorful stories of helicopters, Hells Angels, and multi-day parties. More recently, it was one of the four sites considered for the new middle school. Any development of the site would involve completion of Cypress Canyon Road and an additional two acres of Cypress Canyon Park.
Previously referred to as Rancho Encantada, StoneBridge Estates is now being graded for nearly 1,000 luxury and multi-family homes. McMillin is the master developer of the area. Model homes will be open in January 2004.
In addition to the extensive grading that is now visible from various parts of the Ranch, there will be extensive modifications to Pomerado Road in the near future. These will include installation of a traffic light and re-routing of traffic in order to install utilities in the roadway. Modifications to the intersection of I-15 and Pomerado Road are funded in part by this development.
StoneBridge Estates is a near neighbor to the existing Scripps Ranch, with some similarities and some differences. It is in the City of San Diego, but not in City Council District 5 like the rest of Scripps Ranch. The 4-acre recreational field it will provide to the city likely will be scheduled and controlled by the Scripps Ranch Recreation Council. It is unknown at this time how youth baseball, soccer, and other sports will be organized in the community.
StoneBridge Estates is in the Poway School District, not the San Diego Unified School District like the rest of Scripps Ranch. Children from the new development will go to Poway schools. And we recently learned that StoneBridge Estates is in the Scripps Ranch 92131 zip code. Whether the SRCA Newsletter will be extended to this area will be decided by the SRCA Executive Board.
The U.S. Marine Corps has considered three possible sites on the eastern part of the Miramar Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) to construct military housing. The preferred site (a) is located off Santo Road near Tierrasanta and is proposed to have 1,600 homes. The other two sites are located on the northern part of MCAS, near Scripps Ranch. The "Chantemar" site (b) is visible to the west of Rue Chantemar and is immediately south of Crown Pointe. The "Birch Bluff" site (c) is east and south of the Birch Bluff neighborhood.
Presently, these two areas are not being considered for construction of homes, at least in the immediate future. Military leaders have cautioned, however, that they do have plans to eventually construct 1,300 homes on the "Chantemar" site and 1,000 homes on the "Birch Bluff" site.
These plans are presented in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and are being reviewed by the Scripps Ranch Planning Group. A copy of the EIS is available at the Scripps Ranch Library. As we receive briefings and electronic information, they will be placed on the SRCA website [www.scrippsranch.org].
When I was elected to the City Council, I came into office with a "neighborhoods first" attitude. By that I mean that I intended to protect the quality of life in our community and oppose any measures that would diminish that existence, as I have done on numerous occasions. Scripps Ranch is a beautiful and unique community. Our community must be protected, and I have always acted to do just that.
Ensuring that basic infrastructure needs and public safety facilities are in place before any development is approved is a fundamental requirement in my mission to protect our neighborhoods. Most of our communities are already "built out" or are very near capacity. Therefore, new projects must either add to or include new improvements to the streets, parks, library, or other public facilities needed to accommodate any new population.
Enforcers of this Community Plan are the volunteer residents who dedicate numerous hours to making Scripps Ranch an even better place to live. A large number of talented volunteers throughout Scripps Ranch spend a great deal of time on a variety of large and small issues affecting life in Scripps Ranch. I am very pleased my office has a great working relationship with these groups, and I will continue to support their work.
While Scripps Ranch has many ongoing projects that will affect individual neighborhoods in different ways, you can be confident that the community volunteers and my office are watching them closely at each stage in the planning process. We all are working toward the same goal–to protect Scripps Ranch and preserve the quality of life and unique community character that is enjoyed here.
The SRCA extends a special thank you to the many people who contributed to this article, including community members: Gordon Boerner, Bob Ilko, Bill Bernard, Bob Dingeman, Marc Sorensen, and Wes Danskin; development representatives Lynne Schendel with AIU, Linda Scott with WPH, and Michael Jacobson and Bill Mueller with Intel; and, Councilmember Brian Maienschein. We also thank SanGIS for the map information on pages 44-45.