Mission Valley OK’d for massive rezoning
City leaders have set in motion a 30-year plan for Mission Valley that flips the region’s focus from its roads to the San Diego River and the trolley system. It simultaneously creates room for 50,000 additional residents and 7 million more square feet of commercial development.
(You can review the Mission Valley Community Plan Update online at bit.ly/readplan)
The City Council voted unanimously Sept. 10 to adopt the Plan Update and certify the associated environmental impact report. The approval is the last needed in a process that dates to 2015, when City planners first teamed with community members to come up with a new framework for Mission Valley. The land-use and policy document also cleared without a hiccup the City Council’s Land Use & Housing Committee and City Planning Commission earlier in the summer.
The updated document replaces a plan that was adopted in 1985 and contributed to the area’s highly commercial, auto-centric character. The overhauled version organizes the region around the San Diego River, which flows to the west through Mission Valley. The plan also divides the area into four so-called “urban villages,” with residential and commercial activity at its peak in the central and eastern areas.
The approach accommodates as many as 28,000 additional housing units by 2050 through a comprehensive rezoning process that will see much of the area designated as “mixed use.” The designation is an all-new, citywide zone that local planners say will make projects easier to build, increase housing near jobs and transit, and promote alternative modes of transportation. The zone type, for instance, requires developers to incorporate pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly amenities, such as pathways to transit and park spaces.
The community’s residential population is anticipated to balloon by 248 percent from 20,800 people in 2012 to 72,400 people in 2050, according to the plan. Parts of the policy document received pushback from community members and businesses, but they were ultimately overruled.
For one, the San Diego River Park Foundation objected to two new streets in the western portion of Mission Valley that would cross or follow the river. The roads are called for in the plan and included in the proposed redevelopment of the Riverwalk golf course. That project, which is going through its environmental review process, proposes 4,300 residential units, 152,000 square feet of retail, 1 million square feet of office space and 106 acres of open space.
The Mission Valley Community Plan Update also makes room for the redevelopment of the SDCCU Stadium site, which is owned by the City. San Diego State University is negotiating to acquire 132 acres of the property and is in the midst of a separate planning process for the site.
— Jennifer Van Grove, The San Diego Union-Tribune
PLA receives $60K for ‘Anchor Lights’
The Point Loma Association (PLA) received a $60,000 grant from the County of San Diego for its proposed “Anchor Lights,” project along Rosecrans Street. The name coincides with the nautical history of the Peninsula.
“This incredibly generous grant from County Supervisor Greg Cox provides essential project funding, and gets the PLA much closer to making ‘Anchor Lights’ a reality for our community,” said JT Barr, PLA board member and project lead.
He explained that “Anchor Lights” will include the installation of string lights across Rosecrans Street from Talbot to Cañon streets to bring a lifestyle transformation and a sense of place to the community, while signifying the presence and importance of the historic Point Loma Village.
“ ‘Anchor Lights’ will create a festive, attractive gateway, further enhancing community pride and becoming a beacon lighting the way for Point Loma’s visitors,” said Supervisor Cox, who was behind the funding for the project.
The total cost is estimated at $240,000. Given the significant scope of the project, the PLA requested support from the County in the amount of $60,000 to complete the design and necessary government approvals. For more details or to donate to the project, visit pointloma.org or contact the PLA at (619) 736-1752.
Free weekend hikes with the Canyoneers
Canyoneers from the San Diego Natural History Museum (SDNHM) are offering 80 free, guided hikes on trails throughout San Diego Country, September-June. Most occur on weekends and cover diverse terrain, ranging from the Coast to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and from the Tijuana Estuary to Palomar Mountain.
Canyoneers are citizen scientists and volunteers with comprehensive training by SDNHM scientists and local experts on the natural history of the region. The hike schedule and interactive map are available online at sdnat.org/canyoneers, and brochures are available from outdoor retailers such as REI and Adventure 16, as well as at Subaru dealerships.
Additionally, the Canyoneers are offering guided hikes to local schools, at no cost.
For more information or to book a hike, visit sdnat.org/schoolnaturehikes or call (619) 255-0349.
New cruise season underway in San Diego
The Port of San Diego launched its 2019/2020 cruise season, which will feature the Port’s long-term partners Holland America Line and Disney Cruise Line, as well as the return of Carnival Cruise Line and some additional cruise offerings. The new season began with the arrival of Le Soleal, a luxury vessel from the French cruise company, Ponant. Le Soleal will be journeying to the Sea of Cortez on a 14-day cruise.
This season, the Port has 104 cruise calls scheduled, up from the 92 in 2018/2019. Those 104 cruise calls will bring approximately 338,000 passengers, up from last season’s 295,000. According to the Port, each homeported cruise, which is a cruise that begins and ends in San Diego, has an average of $2 million in economic impact to the region.
City issues handbook for building ‘granny flats’ in town
The City teamed up with the San Diego Housing Federation, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR) to write the “Companion Unit Handbook,” a guide to help homeowners navigate the process of constructing a companion unit (granny flat) on their property.
To view a copy, visit bit.ly/CompanionUnitHandbook
The handbook explains: a property’s zoning, and issues such as setbacks and parking; companion unit design and construction; permitting requirements; funding; supporting documents and resources.
Point Loma fashion program opens industry doors for area students
Ashley Sevilla, a sophomore at San Diego State University and Landen Saunders, a freshman at California State University, Long Beach, have big plans to work in the fashion industry. Over the summer, they took extra courses to help them achieve their goals. The fashion Maker Lab Classroom at San Diego Continuing Education’s (SDCE) West City Campus in Point Loma, 249 Fordham St., became their creative outlet.
SDCE offers two career training programs in fashion: Clothing Construction and Sewn Product Business. Students learn basic to advanced apparel construction skills as well as the ins and outs of developing a sewn product from concept to consumer. The Maker Lab Classrooms are equipped with sewing machines, mannequins, and fabric-cutting tables for a hands-on learning experience.
After graduating from Point Loma High School, Saunders said he wanted to get ahead in the fashion industry. “Before leaving for college I wanted to at least know how to sew,” he said.
Saunders has plans to design an apparel line following his Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Merchandising and Design. He hopes his brand will empower his peers to be more socially aware of the world. “My generation has a lot of potential to do great things,” he said.
Sevilla dreams of being a couture fashion designer. She attends SDCE’s fashion classes while studying Criminal Justice at SDSU. “As a young Latina, I hope to make a difference in the world by combining my love for fashion and social justice,” she said.
After certification at SDCE, students are ready for entry-level employment or can transition to San Diego Mesa College with up to four college credits earned toward an Associate Degree in Fashion. Learn more at (619) 388-1873 or sdce.edu