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The City’s New Mira Mesa Community Plan Must Be Rejected

The new Mira Mesa Community Plan is up for a vote today at San Diego City Council, and honestly, it’s not looking good.

The plan calls for an additional 54,000 residents without building into the plan any of the parks, transit, road improvements, and public facilities that will clearly be needed with such a population increase. As a county planning commissioner, I can assure you this is NOT how you approach a 20-year planning document for a major urban center.

And while the update includes at least two to four times as much added density as needed, it doesn’t acknowledge the severe traffic impacts and park shortages the plan will have on our community. It will be extremely hard to “downzone” the plan later on, even when the plan proves to be excessive and damaging.

None of the considerations in the Mira Mesa Planning Group’s Nov. 17th letter were met, my former Citizens Coordinate for Century III (C3) colleague Susan Baldwin who chairs of the University Heights-based Parks and Recreation Coalition (PARC) opposes the Mira Mesa plan citing its specific park deficiencies, and even the generally pro-densification and Downtown-centric Climate Action Campaign has rejected the plan update.

Earlier today I wrote to the San Diego City Council:

Please reject approval today of the proposed Mira Mesa Community Plan, and please send this deeply-flawed plan back to the Planning Department for a more thoughtful and thorough vetting process, and a vigorous, truly good-faith public participation effort.

The previous Mira Mesa Community Plan served as an excellent guiding document for our community for the last 30 years, but the current proposal neutralizes a great deal of that progress by focusing on a massive increase in population without corresponding improvements in road infrastructure, without any considerable increase in parks given the number of new residents called for in the plan, or for basic infrastructure improvements. This is not acceptable for Mira Mesa or any other city neighborhood.

To add an additional 54,000 residents to a community that already counts 76,000 San Diegans as residents without making any good-faith effort to increase needed infrastructure, as detailed in the attachment from the president of the Mira Mesa Planning Group, given the volume of expected new residents is the antithesis of responsible community planning.

Please support our Mira Mesa neighbors and community and reject this plan so community stakeholders may continue the process of revising the proposal in conjunction with the city. Please stand with us so we may continue to make Mira Mesa a livable home for all who choose to live here. Please REJECT the Mira Mesa Community Plan proposal.

Mira Mesa has a long history of school and park deficiencies dating back to its 1969 developer-driven inception, and famously had to rely upon multiple citizen-led efforts and active grassroots leadership to add the parks it has today.

We don’t want to go back to square one with a population that doesn’t have enough corresponding park space, especially after the decades of advocacy that only got us to where we currently are with a park portfolio that barely meets the needs of residents, to say nothing of the Mira Mesa community’s long-standing need for road repairs, infrastructure improvements, an additional fire station, and a major medical center.