By Ken Williams | Contributing Editor
City seeks your opinion on Mission Valley’s future
You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to give your opinion on the future of Mission Valley.
Public input is being sought on the update of the Mission Valley Community Plan, an important city document that will guide development and public investment priorities for the next two decades. The community plan was last updated in 1985, and an amendment was approved in 2013.
“We want the public to be part of this process,” said Nancy Graham, a senior planner with the city’s Planning Department who is the project manager for the Mission Valley Community Plan Update.
“This is an effective and convenient way for residents and stakeholders to help shape the future of Mission Valley, all from the privacy and convenience of their own home.”
Part of the city’s General Plan, the Mission Valley Community Plan is currently being revised by a panel of local volunteers who represent stakeholders such as homeowners, property owners and the business community. The panel is a subcommittee of the Mission Valley Planning Group, an advisory panel to the Planning Department.
The panel members are Deborah Bossmeyer, Paul Brown, Perry Dealy, Terrence Fox, Alan Grant, Ryan Holborn, Derek Hulse, Rob Hutsel, Richard Ledford, Elizabeth Leventhal, Andrew Michajlenko, Patrick Pierce, Michael Richter, Karen Ruggels, Rebecca Sappenfield, John Schneidmiller, Marco Sessa, Nate Smith, Dottie Surdi, Rick Tarbell and Karen Tournaire. They face a deadline to complete their mission.
“Our three-year timeline has us completing the project in the spring of 2018,” Graham said.
Mission Valley is considered a desirable place to live, eat and shop. Conveniently located near Downtown, the regional airport and the beaches, Mission Valley has the chance to take advantage of all the transit options via future development. Additionally, the potential demolition of the aging Qualcomm Stadium site could present numerous opportunities, from an expansion of San Diego State University to a large regional park that fits into plans for turning the San Diego River into a recreational destination for bicyclists, hikers and pedestrians.
“I don’t know if you would say the committee has specifically identified a single biggest issue facing Mission Valley,” Graham said. “The bullets below represent the major themes we heard from community members, which include:
- Improve the pedestrian and bicycle experience.
- Address and manage traffic.
- Make it easier to take transit.
- Reinforce the vision of a river-focused community.
- Develop more parks and open spaces.
- Create more active recreation facilities.
- Provide a diverse mix of land uses, while reinforcing regional commercial.
- Recommend more housing options, including affordable ones.
- Offer a more urban experience — making a great place.
“However the general sentiment can be encapsulated in this statement: The single biggest challenge in Mission Valley is providing a graceful transition from an auto-oriented commercial environment to a vibrant urban neighborhood that celebrates the San Diego River,” Graham said.
To learn what the experts are saying about Mission Valley’s potential for future development, read the document titled “Issues and Options Analysis” found at bit.ly/1ZgOqgS. The lengthy document was prepared for the city by consultants Dyett & Bhatia Urban and Regional Planners.
To provide comments, visit the city of San Diego’s online portal, where you can take a short survey and complete an interactive mapping exercise to share what you believe should be priorities for development in Mission Valley for the next 20 years. Future development is expected to double the current population of 21,303.
The interactive exercise gives the participant 30 pins to tag the best opportunities for growth in Mission Valley. Five of those pins must be placed in each of three categories: housing, employment and commercial. The rest of the pins can be allocated however you choose.
According to Graham, the map pins should reflect how you would distribute new development intensity throughout Mission Valley, which stretches on both sides of Interstate 8, from Interstate 5 on the west to the east side of Interstate 15. Do you think that intensity should be focused on one or two areas, or spread out across Mission Valley?
City planners have also highlighted on the interactive map all the Green Line trolley stations in Mission Valley, where properties within a quarter-mile distance are considered “transit priorities areas” for future development because the land is within walking distances of trolley service. The city’s Climate Action Plan to significantly reduce greenhouse gases encourages development near transit centers, bus stops and trolley stations.
To give your opinion, visit the online portal at bit.ly/1X14pBS. These two online activities —the first in a series that will be launched on the portal — will take comments through June 30. Future exercises will focus on parks and recreation, infrastructure, urban design and more.
—Ken Williams is a contributing editor of Mission Valley News and can be reached at email@example.com or at 619-961-1952.