Planners OK 4 housing projects, hear issues updates
The Pacific Beach Planning Group had a full agenda for its Aug. 28 meeting at the Pacific Beach Library. The group discussed and approved four new development projects. They also listened to reports on the Mission Boulevard Plan, Balboa Avenue Station Area Specific Plan, Community Plan and recent developments regarding electric scooters.
4530 Ingraham St.: Approved: The demolition of an existing dwelling unit and construction of 13 residential apartments totaling 9,682 square feet, (although some objected to the small number of parking spaces). The project will use an affordable housing density bonus to increase from 8 to 13 units. It will include three studio apartments (one designated as low-income), six one-bedrooms, four two-bedrooms, seven parking spaces, solar panels and landscaping.
1436 & 1438 Hornblend St.: Approved: The demolition of an existing duplex and construction of four apartment units in two duplex buildings. Located in an R-2-5 zone, the buildings will be designed in the Modern Craftsman style and offered as long-term luxury rentals using quality materials, natural light, solar panels landscaping. There will be three two-bedroom apartments and one three-bedroom, with two parking spaces for each unit. Presented by Ryan Cloud.
3943 Ingraham St.: Approved: Construction of a detached, two-story companion unit of 734 square feet with two bedrooms and one bath. Presented by Moises Villegas.
1836 Reed St.: Approved: Demolition of an existing single-family residence and construction of two single-family homes with detached carports, on two separate lots. Presented by Greg Goertzen.
Streets & Sidewalks Subcommittee
Eve Anderson, chair of the Streets & Sidewalks Subcommittee, summarized the Aug. 14 meeting, where Gary Chui, City senior traffic engineer, gave a presentation, with suggestions on how to prioritize neighborhood safety issues and improvement projects. She also proposed PBPG recommend prioritizing sidewalk installation in the 800 block of Agate Street. Residents in the area spoke in favor of a sidewalk, especially since it is near the Sunrise of La Jolla assisted living facility and Bird Rock Elementary School. Planners voted to prioritize the recommendation. Note: No subcommittee meeting in September.
Mission Boulevard Plan Update
Elizabeth Ocampo Vivero, City senior planner, presented final concepts in the Public Spaces & Active Transportation Study funded by SANDAG, and answered questions about implementation. (A Community Open House on the topic took place at the library from 4:30 to 6 p.m., before the Planning Group meeting.)
The plan covers improvements to the area bounded by Mission Boulevard, Pacific Beach Drive, Diamond Street and Ocean Boulevard. It includes community feedback from two workshops, held in September 2018 and May 2019, and specifies improvements to public spaces, parking and bike paths. In the area between Mission and Ocean Boulevards, the plan recommends widened sidewalks and pedestrian plazas with more trees and lights on the side streets, such as Grand, Garnet and Thomas. It also recommends a roundabout at Pacific Beach Drive and Mission Boulevard.
—To see the plan, visit: bit.ly/boulevardplan
Balboa Avenue Station Area Specific Plan
Carolyn Chase reported on the Aug. 1 meeting during which the City Council voted to adopt the Balboa Avenue Station Area Specific Plan despite objections from the PB Planning Group. She proposed a follow-up letter to the Council to reflect current concerns and stressed the importance of staying on top of key priorities. There will be a second City Council hearing on the issue in September.
Planners voted to approve a letter requesting the addition of the following to the plan:
• Make widening of bike paths and pedestrian walkways under the I-5 and Balboa underpass a priority, to be in place when the trolley station opens.
• Designate lower Rose Creek as parkland.
• Advance study of overpass for bikes and pedestrians over the I-5 or alternative approaches, such as tunnel, bridge, aerial tramway.
• Improve transit services (increased frequency and reliability) and add low/no-emission shuttles from the station to the beach.
• Implement Vision Zero and PB EcoDistrict principles.
• Actively pursue grants to support implementation of all projects.
Updating Community Plan
Michael Prinz, City community planner, discussed the City’s procedures for updating community plans, and advised the Planning Group on the timing for updating the Pacific Beach plan. The PB plan has not been updated since 1995. It is currently in the second tier of communities slated for review, meaning it will not be reviewed for at least a year or two. Although planning groups can start to identify priorities before the update, Prinz said the Planning Department discourages premature changes that do not reflect up-to-date information such as parking and housing prices.
—To see the PB Community Plan, visit: pbplanning.org/reference-materials
Scooters Moratorium Issue
Bill Zent reviewed recent developments concerning electric scooters, including District 1 City Council member Barbara Bry’s call for a moratorium. He has launched a website (scooterban.com), which includes a petition to ban scooters in San Diego.
Rose Creek Events
Karin Zirk of Friends of Rose Creek announced two upcoming events: Coastal Cleanup Day, 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Sept. 21. Rose Creek volunteers will meet in the Mission Bay High School east parking lot (see cleanupday.org for other locations). 3 Bridges Nature Walk, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, meeting at MBHS parking lot.
—PB Planning Group next meets 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 25 at the library, 4275 Cass St. pbplanning.org