Text of my remarks made to the City of San Diego Planning Commission regarding the proposed “On Point” tech center office park development in the creekbed of Carroll Creek.
Good morning, my name is Tommy Hough. I’m a Mira Mesa resident, and I serve as a San Diego County Planning Commissioner.
I’m here to support my neighbors in Mira Mesa, and those who serve on the Mira Mesa Planning Group who wisely rejected this proposal when it came before them in November.
This location is the last place where mule deer can cross from the Miramar area to Sorrento Mesa, and go under, as opposed to over, I-805. So I am astonished this project has generated the traction it has, because not only is this the epitome of an environmentally destructive project that will fully pinch off a critical wildlife corridor, it is absolutely unnecessary given the volume of new office space already going on-line in the next few years as part of the Mira Mesa and University City community plan updates.
If there’s anything we don’t need in this area, it’s more office space. There’s no shortage of it. If we need anything, it’s real, bonafide affordable housing for our neighbors. As Mira Mesans, we all understand we need affordable housing. But even then, this isn’t where you’d put it.
There’s been remarks about the height of the project. This is a creekbed. It’s a wetland. It’s Multiple Species Conservation Program land. It is not land ripe or appropriate for development. It is not intended as a placeholder. It is to be left as is, and when this basin is at flood stage it won’t matter how high you’ve built it, because you will have already wiped out the riparian area below even if the office park itself remains above the water.
Our Mira Mesa Community Plan has served our community well, and it is clear in its determination that there should be no construction in riparian areas or their associated uplands. Will you please abide by our neighborhood’s community plan and reject this, especially when so much more is to be built in the immediate surroundings not in the creekbed?
Open space designations in community plans are there for a reason. This is not a minimal impact project. As a riparian area, not only is there a species consideration here, this is exactly where Carroll Creek flows into Peñasquitos Creek. This basin will flood again, as it did two years ago, and how will you then justify to the city the expense in emergency relief for police and fire when this area is damaged or destroyed? This project is not a legacy you want to hang your hat on.
As planners, the question before you isn’t can this area be developed, but should it.
Please reject this proposal.
Photo courtesy of Andy Wiese.