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Moving forward

Posted: November 10th, 2017 | Featured, News | No Comments

Mission Valley Community Plan Update shifts to phase 5

By Sara Butler | Editor

The Mission Valley Community Plan Update (MVCPU), which serves as a blueprint for future development of the neighborhood, has officially moved out of phase 4 of its planning process.

The plan, which has not been altered since 1985, has been revisited due to changes in population and demographics, the housing crisis, and climate change, among other reasons.

The current overhaul is spearheaded by the Mission Valley Community Plan Update Subcommittee (MVCPUS), a subcommittee of Mission Valley Planning Group (MVPG). The citizen’s group is led by Senior Planner Nancy Graham.

There are six phases in the MVCPU timeline, stretching from fall 2014 to fall 2018. Phase 4 – Community Review and Plan Development – began in spring 2017 and consisted of a community workshop on preferred land use, an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) scoping meeting, and monthly MVCPUS meetings.

Throughout the process, MVCPUS has participated in a large community outreach process as part of existing conditions and visioning. They have encouraged public engagement and welcomed input from community members.

MVCPUS has identified three different land use alternatives: String of Pearls, Vibrant Core, and Campuses and Clusters. These alternatives have been applied to all three sections of the region: Central Mission Valley, Mission Valley West and Mission Valley East.

The subcommittee held three public meetings that broke these alternatives down into smaller parts to help create a vision of what land use could be. Many residents voiced their thoughts at these meetings as well as at an open house on Aug. 12.

The community has expressed desire for the updated plan to:

  • Improve the pedestrian bicycle experience.
  • Address and manage traffic.
  • Make it easier to take public transit.
  • Create a river-focused community.
  • Provide more parks and open spaces.
  • Develop more active recreation facilities.
  • Plan for diverse mix of uses, while reinforcing existing regional commercial uses.
  • Encourage more housing options, including affordable ones.
  • Foster a more urban experience to make Mission Valley a great place.

The updated plan will address many of these community concerns and incorporate city-wide goals, such as implementing strategies put forth in San Diego’s official Climate Action Plan.

On Sept. 6, Graham presented the proposed Mission Valley land use plan to the Mission Valley Planning Group. The plan was coined the “consensus map,” as it was built by consensus with the planning group.

The purpose of the action item was to ask MVPG for approval on the map before the subcommittee closed out phase 4 and moved forward to run their traffic model. Graham provided the board with a summary of the planning process, as well as the overall goals for the update.

Goals include creating a heathier community, increasing walkability, reducing pedestrian fatalities, forming an interconnected parks system and improving connectivity for all modes of transportation.

Another focus of the update is to increase densities to support regional housing needs and transit ridership to combat the housing crisis. This would also provide options for affordable and workforce housing in the area.

“Mission Valley has been identified as a place that has the opportunity for increased capacity for housing,” Graham said at the MVPG meeting.

Although the update will make a lot of changes to the area, such as increased residential living, Graham assured that the employment centric characteristic of the region will still be valued.

“[We] still want Mission Valley to be a place where people are employed,” Graham said. “There’s been lot of investment that’s gone into that infrastructure and we want to maintain that.”

The planning group moved to recommend the proposed MVCPUS consensus land use map as the basis for mobility modeling and analysis with the report being completed with the Serra Mesa Community Plan Amendment Street Connection Project, also known as the Franklin Ridge Road Connection, included.

This motion was approved in a 17-3-0 vote. This decision advanced the MVCPU into phase 5, which will include completing a traffic model and starting to write the plan.

The San Diego City Council approved the Franklin Ridge Road Connection in an 8-1 vote on Oct. 30. Since this roadway connection was already included in the MVCPU land use map, per previous instructions from the City Director of Planning, the vote does not affect the mobility modeling and analysis report approved by the planning group.

At the Oct. 13 MVCPUS meeting, Angela Abeyta – a city representative from the financial and administrative services division – discussed facilities finance. View the full presentation at bit.ly/2AcSsBm.

Once completed, drafts of both the community plan and EIR will be released.

There will be no MVCPUS meetings held in November or December, due to Veterans Day and the winter holidays. Their next meeting, which will discuss the completed traffic model, will be held on Jan. 11, 2018 at 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the community room at the Mission Valley Library.

For a comprehensive overview of the process, visit the Mission Valley Community Plan Update Subcommittee’s website at bit.ly/2xSdEuU.

— Sara Butler is the editor of Mission Valley News. Reach her at web@sdcnn.com.

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