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Comment on the City’s Proposed Updates to the Mira Mesa Community Plan

If you haven’t taken a moment to see or comment on the potential development updates and zoning changes the city is proposing for the Mira Mesa Community Plan, you should – and soon. Have a look via this city webpage, which leads you to development options in four different areas of Mira Mesa and Sorrento Valley, including:

Mira Mesa Gateway – This is the area incorporating the Islands shopping center and Edwards Cinema plaza immediately to the west of I-15, and north of the Legacy Apartments complex and Miramar College. To address concerns I’ve been hearing about this one, while the Village Green and Woods senior mobile home parks along Black Mountain Rd. are included in the development proposal zone, none of the plans apparently under consideration affect those locations.

Mira Mesa Town Center – This includes the shopping center areas north and south of Mira Mesa Blvd. east of Reagan Rd. and west of Camino Ruiz, and including a sliver of the southeast corner of Mira Mesa Blvd. and Camino Ruiz and the Mira Mesa Medical Mall area on the northeast corner, where the new Jollibee is going up behind IHOP.

Sorrento Mesa – This is broken down into three development options across Sorrento Valley, including the open commercial space near Qualcomm at the northeast corner of Mira Mesa Blvd. and Pacific Heights Blvd. just west of the Residence Inn; the Barnes Canyon Rd. corridor west of Lusk Blvd.; and the commercial area west of Camino Santa Fe, north of Flanders, and south of Mira Mesa Blvd. which could be zoned for dense housing.

Miramar Gateway – ​The north side of Miramar Rd. west of I-15 and east of Camino Ruiz is an area already within the region’s development footprint that could be “neighborhoodized” with some zoning changes and conversions of industrial and office park space into housing, with stories added in the course of conversions and renovations. This is also along what could be a good transit route on Miramar Rd., and could one day be an anchor for a trolley extension between UTC and I-15.

In the case of the Mira Mesa Gateway and Mira Mesa Town Center, you can select current zoning options if you want nothing to change, and there’s an opportunity to leave comments at the end. While I’ve previously advocated for repurposed and renovated housing along the north side of Miramar Rd., I’m not impressed by the “pretty pictures,” drawing and computer mock-ups that so often accompany development package proposals. We need pedestrian bridges over Mira Mesa Blvd. and maximum affordability as the overriding factor for any housing proposal. These plans seem to unnecessarily dissect rather than bring our community together with more cohesive – and desperately needed – transit.

To be clear, none of the zoning or development proposals being considered relate to the pending Stone Creek and Three Roots developments along Carroll Canyon, which already have unknown and unquantifiable traffic impact questions. Construction on Three Roots could begin as early as next year at the southeast corner of Camino Santa Fe and Carroll Canyon Rd. The much larger Stone Creek development was just approved by the Mira Mesa Planning Group at the Vulcan quarry on either side of Camino Ruiz at Carroll Canyon Rd.

The questions the mayor, our concilmember, and city staff need to answer for the proposals posted at the city’s website are:

  • How will these proposals look in 10 or 20 years?
  • How will they integrate into or improve their respective neighborhoods?
  • Where will all the new reisdents park?
  • What kind of traffic impacts will come with these developments, given the Mira Mesa community’s historic, and ongoing, lack of effective transit options?

Some of the details posed in these questions could be addressed over time by a matter of code enforcement, but that is something the city continues to lack active action on and seems to be in no hurry to fund. The concern is that this loose outreach from the city, without any real “none of the above” options available, may be another case of a developer-happy City Hall simply going through the motions in an attempt to railroad another bad plan through a community it has little interest in hearing from or working with, especially as our roads continue to deteriorate.

In the meantime here’s one of the said “pretty pictures” of faceless humanoids standing by trees and doing yoga in the city’s idea of a “pocket park.” How many residents is this kind of park supposed to accommodate? It’s barely the size of a small lawn.