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Little back story and history if interested...

The parcel of land was originally zoned as AR1, land fit for a nursery or the like. It was never part of the Del Mar Preserve. It is a little notch that would make sense as part of the preserve. It was then bought by the Diocese with the intent of placing a small church and day care type facility that would meet the one story limits on the parcel. That never came to fuition and the land was put up for sale again. City did not have finances in order at that time and the highest bidder was Cisterra.

Their plans have always been to build a 3 building complex with heights between 4 and 5 stories between the three units. They also want a 7 story parking garage, all right at the eastern foot of Tunnel One, surrounded on 3 sides by USFW land and City land.

Cisterra went to the PQ Community Planning board and were unanimously shot down. The use was incompatible with the area and there is heavy community opposition due to the 1200+ increase in vehicle trips on a highway that is already a parking lot with zero plans for infrastructure improvement in the foreseeable future. Besides, there are many vacant building in the near by Rancho Bernardo Business complex framed by the 15, Camino Del Norte, Bernardo Center Dr, and RB road.

Not wanting to miss out on their opportunity, Cisterra next went to the City Building board. This is a group that is pro-building and very much in the pockets of the builders and unions that support the trade. After a lot of pleading by the community, and support by the unions, with little debate it was unanimously approved. How does a board that has no community interest get to override the board that has their finger on the pulse of the community? $$$$$$$$$ and they agreed to scale it back to a 6 story parking garage and lower the one five story building to 4 floors. I have a feeling they over built it because it took the builders 5 minutes to agree to the boards terms.

Now it has to go the the SD City Council. While it is still not a done deal, it is highly probable that it will happen.

If/when it does (SDMBA is opposed) then it becomes my job to ensure the trail out of tunnel one has viable and realistic access from the Camino Del Sur extension. The exention is a done deal as part of the Merge 56 and Rhodes crossing development. The road will push all the way down to Park Village. The first draft had a trail that climbed nearly straight up the fill at a better than 20% grade (Cowels Mountain anyone?). Since then there has been a few re-draws that have brought it to a more reasonable climb of 8-10%. I want less and more grade reversal so time will tell. Problem is this was without anticipating the Cisterra property build. Not sure of the impacts right now outside of the trail head planned for that area will be lost.

Right now, if you are opposed to the development of the Cisterra property, and I think you should be, you should check out

https://www.protectourpreserves.org/

They have all the contacts and some form letters that can help you try to sway the city council in the non-development of the property. Ideally it can become part of the preserve if this is done correctly.
 

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I attended the Planning Commision session, spoke my bit.

The zoning (apparently) of AR-1 is a default zoning. The commision voiced that approving the zoning change was akin establishing the appropriate zoning. I have no experience and cannot judge if that rationalization is or is not a true representation.

Became clear to me early on that the project was destined for approval. I thought for sure one commisioner would vote no. Another commisioner (she came off as bat sh*t crazy) seemed to be leaning no also.

The developer gave a 15 minute presentation with all sorts of 'sounds good but no details shared' blurbs. The $1/2 million environmental protection plan . . . huh? Once you sell the buildings there's no control over what the new owner does. Building work space next to esidential zones reduces traffic. . . HA! 2,000 employees on that campus. maybe 1 in 20 lives local. I count that as 1900 added vehicles. San Diego needs campuses so that companies like Google or Apple will move here. It's an orphaned parcel with no possibility to expand. Close to UCSD do that graduates won't have to move out of San Diego. My company goes to colleges across the nation recruiting because we can't find enough local talent. On and on and on. Oh and then the one piece of info which was finite. ~$10 million in exactitures to the city treasury.

So then up truck a bunch of 'random' citizens speaking in favor. "it's a good project, thank you"

Then 3 guys from the carpentry union spoke. The one guy was saying that San Diego needs this campus so that people like him can afford to live here. But he won't be employed by whoever moves in - the carpenters will only have work while it is built.
It has nothing to do with any of words does it. It was the carpenter's union sending a message. I'll let you decide what that message was.

Then on to dissenter's and some were laughable. Facts all wrong, bringing random stuff like "birds fly into windows", one dipstick from a 501c non-profit did a sermon on how corrupt the process is and how corrupt the commision is and "today is your opportunity to do the right thing for once". Brilliant, call them all turds then expect them to back your position.

Two current Rancho PQ Planning Board members spoke and spoke eloquently. That the commision never consulted the PQ board given that multiple members were present was a slap in the face considering the unanimous no vote.

The parcel has always been zoned for development. Many dissenting voices were either ignorant of that or lived in an alternate reality. I got up there and said "it's too big for that particular parcel, and doesn't fit with the other two projects going in on the mesa".

A 15 minute recess and the commisioners return. One dismisses that the local habitat is of high value and reiterates the same blah blah Google, UCSD, reduced traffic horse manure. Bat sh*t crazy lady says "I was inclined to vote no but after hearing the speakers opposed to the project and their attacks on my character . . . off she went". Oh, of note, they all started off with that teeth clenched inhale . . . 'this is tough one". Like they were anywhere close to sitting on the fence . . . what a show. They all spoke on and repeating the same non-facts. Let the record show that a prolonged and thoughful discussion and consideration occured . . . otherwise what was the value?

and so back to the guy I thought would vote no. "This 5 story parking garage that backs up to the Federal Wildlife Refuge, can we plant some trees so that it doesn't look so bleak from that side?" It's the side no humans are supposed to be on so for whose benefit are the trees? I'm sitting there reading between the lines thinking 'somethings up' because otherwise this prolonged conversation with the landscape architect is ridiculous. There are no trees native to that habitat that are 50 feet tall.

And then the question of reducing the height of the parking garage and reference to another motion defeated at Rancho PQ Planning Board of a reduced sized campus of 360,000 sq ft vs 450,000 sq ft. The Cisterra principals huddle for 30 seconds and hey presto, how about we take the top story off the six story building that is sits along the road with single family homes on the other side then we can know two stories off the parking lot?

Yeah right, you just came up with that . . .

I needed to pee, I'd seen enough. As MTRP master plan was also on the agenda, some key parks and rec folks were also present. Took the time to speak with Laura regarding an alternate proposal I'd made for T-1 egress. Day wasn't a complete loss.

and that my friends is the scoop. Influential developer is a powerful ally for a want to be politico. Big projects mean big money to the city. Carpenters union won't pee in the pool if you approve this project we'll work on. Commisioners yatter on so public record shows impartiality. Don't fault the players. Fault the game.
 

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The more important point/fact is if that area wasn't zoned for anything in particular and SDMBA asked to build trails on it, they would have been told it has "sensitive habitat" or is going to be a "preserve", yada, yada, yada...
 

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I attended the Planning Commision session, spoke my bit.

The zoning (apparently) of AR-1 is a default zoning. The commision voiced that approving the zoning change was akin establishing the appropriate zoning. I have no experience and cannot judge if that rationalization is or is not a true representation.

Became clear to me early on that the project was destined for approval. I thought for sure one commisioner would vote no. Another commisioner (she came off as bat sh*t crazy) seemed to be leaning no also.

The developer gave a 15 minute presentation with all sorts of 'sounds good but no details shared' blurbs. The $1/2 million environmental protection plan . . . huh? Once you sell the buildings there's no control over what the new owner does. Building work space next to esidential zones reduces traffic. . . HA! 2,000 employees on that campus. maybe 1 in 20 lives local. I count that as 1900 added vehicles. San Diego needs campuses so that companies like Google or Apple will move here. It's an orphaned parcel with no possibility to expand. Close to UCSD do that graduates won't have to move out of San Diego. My company goes to colleges across the nation recruiting because we can't find enough local talent. On and on and on. Oh and then the one piece of info which was finite. ~$10 million in exactitures to the city treasury.

So then up truck a bunch of 'random' citizens speaking in favor. "it's a good project, thank you"

Then 3 guys from the carpentry union spoke. The one guy was saying that San Diego needs this campus so that people like him can afford to live here. But he won't be employed by whoever moves in - the carpenters will only have work while it is built.
It has nothing to do with any of words does it. It was the carpenter's union sending a message. I'll let you decide what that message was.

Then on to dissenter's and some were laughable. Facts all wrong, bringing random stuff like "birds fly into windows", one dipstick from a 501c non-profit did a sermon on how corrupt the process is and how corrupt the commision is and "today is your opportunity to do the right thing for once". Brilliant, call them all turds then expect them to back your position.

Two current Rancho PQ Planning Board members spoke and spoke eloquently. That the commision never consulted the PQ board given that multiple members were present was a slap in the face considering the unanimous no vote.

The parcel has always been zoned for development. Many dissenting voices were either ignorant of that or lived in an alternate reality. I got up there and said "it's too big for that particular parcel, and doesn't fit with the other two projects going in on the mesa".

A 15 minute recess and the commisioners return. One dismisses that the local habitat is of high value and reiterates the same blah blah Google, UCSD, reduced traffic horse manure. Bat sh*t crazy lady says "I was inclined to vote no but after hearing the speakers opposed to the project and their attacks on my character . . . off she went". Oh, of note, they all started off with that teeth clenched inhale . . . 'this is tough one". Like they were anywhere close to sitting on the fence . . . what a show. They all spoke on and repeating the same non-facts. Let the record show that a prolonged and thoughful discussion and consideration occured . . . otherwise what was the value?

and so back to the guy I thought would vote no. "This 5 story parking garage that backs up to the Federal Wildlife Refuge, can we plant some trees so that it doesn't look so bleak from that side?" It's the side no humans are supposed to be on so for whose benefit are the trees? I'm sitting there reading between the lines thinking 'somethings up' because otherwise this prolonged conversation with the landscape architect is ridiculous. There are no trees native to that habitat that are 50 feet tall.

And then the question of reducing the height of the parking garage and reference to another motion defeated at Rancho PQ Planning Board of a reduced sized campus of 360,000 sq ft vs 450,000 sq ft. The Cisterra principals huddle for 30 seconds and hey presto, how about we take the top story off the six story building that is sits along the road with single family homes on the other side then we can know two stories off the parking lot?

Yeah right, you just came up with that . . .

I needed to pee, I'd seen enough. As MTRP master plan was also on the agenda, some key parks and rec folks were also present. Took the time to speak with Laura regarding an alternate proposal I'd made for T-1 egress. Day wasn't a complete loss.

and that my friends is the scoop. Influential developer is a powerful ally for a want to be politico. Big projects mean big money to the city. Carpenters union won't pee in the pool if you approve this project we'll work on. Commisioners yatter on so public record shows impartiality. Don't fault the players. Fault the game.
Thanks Rodster- Clearly its $ that speaks in SD- I know you're not with SDMBA anymore but for Matt and others who are, why didn't SDMBA let us all know about this meeting before hand so we could show up to support Rod? I hate hearing about things like this after the fact.
 

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I have never been there, are the trails any good? If so, I'll make an excuse to come down some weekend just to ride and say I've been there before the trails are gone.

We are on borrowed time on a parcel that some of my local trails are on. A construction project started up about 6 months ago ruining a couple of the trails. Only a matter of time before the rest are gone. They are not a part of the park, old military land that went to the city.
 

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The more important point/fact is if that area wasn't zoned for anything in particular and SDMBA asked to build trails on it, they would have been told it has "sensitive habitat" or is going to be a "preserve", yada, yada, yada...
When this first came to the PQ Planning Board was around the time that I moved out of PQ and had to relinquish my seat. I still attended the sessions for a few months though.

In an initial concept, Cisterra showed a trail from T-1 coming up onto their parcel along with a parking lot at the north east corner.

As Deer Canyon will get filled to extend Camino Del Sur southward it changes the topology and blocks the egress-ingress of T-1. The plans show a reroute of T-1 up to street level that actually cuts across that northeast corner of the Cisterra property. It's a bad alignment for a number of reasons.

It's at the toe of the fill. In a big rain, the trail is the stream bed.
Has an average gradient of 16% with sections over 20%
Cisterra will probably grade their property so that this alignment would end 3/4 of the way up at a wall of dirt.

The plans show an alternate that city staff gave thumbs down to (trail at toe of fill then some stupid switchbacks to road level) Text White Line Font Black-and-white


We need a trail extension with reasonable gradient that is sustainable (not coincident with where the water will flow). Text Colorfulness Line Font Parallel


I propose to use a single switchback on the fill more than doubling the linear feet of the route at the toe. It's completely on the fill, stays off cisterra parcel.
 

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I attended the Planning Commision session, spoke my bit.

The zoning (apparently) of AR-1 is a default zoning. The commision voiced that approving the zoning change was akin establishing the appropriate zoning. I have no experience and cannot judge if that rationalization is or is not a true representation.

Became clear to me early on that the project was destined for approval. I thought for sure one commisioner would vote no. Another commisioner (she came off as bat sh*t crazy) seemed to be leaning no also.

The developer gave a 15 minute presentation with all sorts of 'sounds good but no details shared' blurbs. The $1/2 million environmental protection plan . . . huh? Once you sell the buildings there's no control over what the new owner does. Building work space next to esidential zones reduces traffic. . . HA! 2,000 employees on that campus. maybe 1 in 20 lives local. I count that as 1900 added vehicles. San Diego needs campuses so that companies like Google or Apple will move here. It's an orphaned parcel with no possibility to expand. Close to UCSD do that graduates won't have to move out of San Diego. My company goes to colleges across the nation recruiting because we can't find enough local talent. On and on and on. Oh and then the one piece of info which was finite. ~$10 million in exactitures to the city treasury.

So then up truck a bunch of 'random' citizens speaking in favor. "it's a good project, thank you"

Then 3 guys from the carpentry union spoke. The one guy was saying that San Diego needs this campus so that people like him can afford to live here. But he won't be employed by whoever moves in - the carpenters will only have work while it is built.
It has nothing to do with any of words does it. It was the carpenter's union sending a message. I'll let you decide what that message was.

Then on to dissenter's and some were laughable. Facts all wrong, bringing random stuff like "birds fly into windows", one dipstick from a 501c non-profit did a sermon on how corrupt the process is and how corrupt the commision is and "today is your opportunity to do the right thing for once". Brilliant, call them all turds then expect them to back your position.

Two current Rancho PQ Planning Board members spoke and spoke eloquently. That the commision never consulted the PQ board given that multiple members were present was a slap in the face considering the unanimous no vote.

The parcel has always been zoned for development. Many dissenting voices were either ignorant of that or lived in an alternate reality. I got up there and said "it's too big for that particular parcel, and doesn't fit with the other two projects going in on the mesa".

A 15 minute recess and the commisioners return. One dismisses that the local habitat is of high value and reiterates the same blah blah Google, UCSD, reduced traffic horse manure. Bat sh*t crazy lady says "I was inclined to vote no but after hearing the speakers opposed to the project and their attacks on my character . . . off she went". Oh, of note, they all started off with that teeth clenched inhale . . . 'this is tough one". Like they were anywhere close to sitting on the fence . . . what a show. They all spoke on and repeating the same non-facts. Let the record show that a prolonged and thoughful discussion and consideration occured . . . otherwise what was the value?

and so back to the guy I thought would vote no. "This 5 story parking garage that backs up to the Federal Wildlife Refuge, can we plant some trees so that it doesn't look so bleak from that side?" It's the side no humans are supposed to be on so for whose benefit are the trees? I'm sitting there reading between the lines thinking 'somethings up' because otherwise this prolonged conversation with the landscape architect is ridiculous. There are no trees native to that habitat that are 50 feet tall.

And then the question of reducing the height of the parking garage and reference to another motion defeated at Rancho PQ Planning Board of a reduced sized campus of 360,000 sq ft vs 450,000 sq ft. The Cisterra principals huddle for 30 seconds and hey presto, how about we take the top story off the six story building that is sits along the road with single family homes on the other side then we can know two stories off the parking lot?

Yeah right, you just came up with that . . .

I needed to pee, I'd seen enough. As MTRP master plan was also on the agenda, some key parks and rec folks were also present. Took the time to speak with Laura regarding an alternate proposal I'd made for T-1 egress. Day wasn't a complete loss.

and that my friends is the scoop. Influential developer is a powerful ally for a want to be politico. Big projects mean big money to the city. Carpenters union won't pee in the pool if you approve this project we'll work on. Commisioners yatter on so public record shows impartiality. Don't fault the players. Fault the game.
This is so depressing...
 
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