Mission Valley Community Plan and EIR
Dyett & Bhatia led the consulting team that prepared an updated Community Plan, adopted by the City Council in 2019. D&B also led the EIR on the project.
Mission Valley is San Diego’s earliest settlement area and near the geographic center of the city. It is defined by the San Diego River, and home to the largest malls, as well as offices, hotels, apartment complexes, and Qualcomm Stadium, in a high-intensity but suburban-style setting. The new Community Plan flips the planning paradigm from an auto-centric setting to a focus on development centered around trolley stations, connectivity, walkability, mixed uses, and access to the river, with sustainable and flooding/development integrated solutions. The plan will result in 50,000 additional residents and 7 million s.f. of commercial development.
Below are excerpts from an article from San Diego Union Tribune dated September 10, 2019:
San Diego City Council adopts new community plan that rezones the entire region, and allows for more housing and commercial development near transit
City leaders have set in motion a 30-year plan for Mission Valley that flips the region’s focus from its roads to the San Diego River and the trolley system. It simultaneously creates room for 50,000 additional residents and 7 million more square feet of commercial development.
Tuesday, the City Council voted unanimously to adopt the Mission Valley Community Plan Update and certify the associated environmental impact report. … The land-use and policy document also cleared without a hiccup the city’s Land Use & Housing Committee and the Planning Commission earlier in the summer.
The updated document replaces a plan that was adopted in 1985 and contributed to the town’s highly commercial, auto-centric character. The overhauled version organizes the region around the San Diego River, which flows horizontally through Mission Valley. The plan also divides the town into four so-called “urban villages,” with residential and commercial activity at its peak in the central and eastern areas.
Council members applauded the plan for its approach to housing and commercial space alongside mass transit. Councilwoman Barbara Bry, who is also running for mayor said, “This (plan) will probably used in city planning classes around the country. It’s really terrific.”
The approach accommodates as many as 28,000 additional housing units by 2050 through a comprehensive rezoning process that will see much of the area designated as “mixed use.” The designation is an all-new, citywide zone that local planners say will make projects easier to build, increase housing near jobs and transit, and promote alternative modes of transportation. The zone type, for instance, requires developers to incorporate pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly amenities, such as pathways to transit and park spaces.
The community’s residential population is anticipated to balloon by 248 percent from 20,800 people in 2012 to 72,400 people in 2050, according to the plan.
“We want to make sure that the development that comes forward is very thoughtfully designed,” said Nancy Graham, who led the city’s planning effort. Graham spoke of the city’s desire to break up large blocks with pedestrian walkways, and highlighted the plan’s attention to bicycle infrastructure.
APA San Diego Section, Comprehensive Plan: Large Jurisdiction Award (2020)