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North Park wants what Civita doesn't

A connector road leading to Texas Street

Civita is one of the largest master-planned communities in recent San Diego history.
Civita is one of the largest master-planned communities in recent San Diego history.

Adding a controversial connector road in Mission Valley's Civita came to a North Park Public Facilities committee (part of the area planning group) Wednesday night for review for its potential effect on Texas Street traffic. The group voted unanimously in support of the city plan to finish constructing a long-planned connector road from the western edge of the 230-acre development to the 805.

"It's in North Park's interest for that connection road to be put in," said panel member Dionne Carlson. "It will also allow people in surrounding residential areas to access the park."

At first glance, the addition of the four lane connector road far from North Park doesn't seem like a neighborhood issue. The north-south connector on the west side of the 805 would connect the northwest part of Civita to Phyllis Place, which connects to Murray Ridge and the 805 ramps. But there are few ways out of Civita, and the effect of the complex on Texas Street traffic was included in the environmental review for the project as a whole.

Carlson explained that having other ways out of Mission Valley will matter a great deal in an emergency, like a fire or flooding. In a strong earthquake, she noted, the ground beneath the development may be subject to liquefaction.

Residents fear that the connector will turn Civita into a quick shortcut around the intersection of the 805 and the 8. Though the road is part of the original plan in 2004, residents have fought it for years.

"Civita will be impacted by heavy volumes of non-stop regional traffic diminishing the community’s walkability, pedestrian safety, village character, and environmental quality," the website says. "The high traffic on the streets of Murray Ridge in Serra Mesa, Texas Street in North Park, and Mission Village Road in Serra Mesa have diminished the quality of life for those residents."

Civita is one of the largest master-planned communities in recent San Diego history. It has 4,500 homes and more than a million square feet of retail and commercial space. It was one of the first density/infill projects when development policies changed to embrace infill rather than sprawl.

The project's park, a 14-acre, $20 million amenity intended for all regional residents (not just for Civita) opened at the end of April and has been widely praised and heralded. Not all the features are completed.

The area where Franklin Ridge Road will connect has already been graded, panel member Rene Vidales said. It is about 300 to 400 feet long.

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Mission Valley's "Civita", formally known as "Quarry Falls" is a pocket neighborhood. It was one of the first projects to get people out of their cars and feel safe for their families to walk or bike to the local future school, the new public park open to all communities and the local shopping. And designed for locals to be able to walk to your job in the future business park. So we have a chance to implement what was planned and approved by the City Planners and the Developer. This was designed and embraced to stop the "Sprawl."

So, now the S.D. Planning Dept. is revisiting an old outdated Environmental Impact Report "EIR" for a "Road Connector" to the northern Serra Mesa neighborhood. This would be absolutely asinine! First of all it will bring in "Grid-Lock" as the planned connector road of 4-5 lanes will reduced into just 2 lanes. Actually it will be just one single lane in each direction entering or leaving Civita into or entering from Serra Mesa. These two streets Via Alta and Franklin Ridge Rd. are now connected as a throughway. We have on Via Alta 3 fully developed homeowner projects now, with 3 more to be completed along with a school for 600 students at the base of the hill. These residents will have to navigate opposing traffic and with a densely planted median that blocks visibility from oncoming traffic. There are no stop signs at these 8 openings, and no plans to mitigate the now speeding cars just traveling to and from home. This is a disaster waiting to happen! If there were to be a stalled vehicle or collision with a pedestrian, or opposing vehicle crossing this main roadway, the flow traffic will come to standstill. You will not be able to pass and emergency assistance would be hindered.
Also, Homes are as near as 28 feet this roadway. Are there General funds for a new Environmental Impact report?

Some with North Park Planning Commission believe our traffic imposes on their already crowded Texas Street - Qualcomm Way connector. I would partially disagree. Mostly Civita Residents access the 805 via Mission Center Rd. Civita is not the key to lessen the woes of traffic on Texas St. if the "Serra Mesa Connector" is approved. Commuters will eventually (with GPS) discover that with a backup southbound "805" at rush hour, might be force more traffic across the valley into North Park via Texas St. The traffic you see on Texas/Qualcomm Way is not even generated by Civita now. Most traffic is coming from the other feeders business roads like Camino Del Rio South/ and North, etc. If the vision of design is future forward. Please make an informed decision by visiting our community first and driving the road to the new dog park at Apex on Via Alta and view where the new connector road is planned.

May 17, 2017

I used to live in "Fashion Hills" long before the valley floor got infested with condos and apartments. Let's see, I paid $142,000 for a 1,900 sq. ft., 3BR, 3BA condo with a view of the valley (before they built Shitty Scene and blocked my view... that they said would "never be blocked").

I looked at Civita, for giggles, not for any serious interest. Three and four-story boxes? I hope your hips and knees hold out after climbing that shit for years. Civita is probably one of the most classic developer rip-offs I have witnessed in my 50+ years of living in San Diego. What a colossal waste of money. With the $$$ the Civita pirates want you could have bought a real home somewhere with less density, traffic and homelessness.

May 17, 2017

This article is basically a re-post of an old article done in 2016. It was wrong then and it's wrong now. Let me update here and see if the Reader will do a follow-up that will get it correct.

The North Park Planning Committee [NPPC] sent a "letter of comment" to the City Planning Department in 2016 regarding the proposed Connector Road that was highly critical of the City's PEIR done for the connector road. The letter stated there would be no support of the PEIR unless there were significant and binding mitigations. However, the City Planning Dept. misrepresented it as a letter of "support" which was far from the truth. Here is what the NPPC cover letter of 2016 actually said, verbatim:

"We have conducted an extensive review of the PEIR and while we appreciate the work that went into to it, we unfortunately find it lacking for reasons to numerous to include in this cover letter. When a PEIR includes the number of errors, lack of adequate documentation and general inadequacies as this one does, the analysis and conclusions cannot be trusted and provide limited and suspect guidance for future development. NPPC Board Members have expressed [being] satisfied with the NPCPU [North Park Community Plan Update], if not the PEIR, and would like to see the NPCPU move forward. However, they will only do so if there are significant and binding mitigations offered by the City and at the very least a timeline and commitment to provide the requested studies and analyses."

On May 16, 2017, five days after the Reader article was published, this issue once again came before the NPPC regarding whether or not the Group should vote to submit a second letter of comment, ostensibly in support. However, after taking public comment from residents of Serra Mesa and Mission Valley who were opposed to the road, significant discussion occurred among Board members, after which, the NPPC voted 10-1-0 to "withhold their support". This added the North Park Planning Committee to the Serra Mesa Planning Group and the Mission Valley Planning Group, all, of which, have now voted either to "oppose" or "not to support" the connector road.

And yet the City Planning Dept. continues to use parts of the old letter in their just-released, Final EIR, as indication of North Park's support. It is unconscionable for them to do this, and news organizations, like The Reader, should be taking note that all three local planning groups are not in favor of a road that will destroy the developing neighborhood of Civita.

Aug. 21, 2017

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Civita is one of the largest master-planned communities in recent San Diego history.
Civita is one of the largest master-planned communities in recent San Diego history.

Adding a controversial connector road in Mission Valley's Civita came to a North Park Public Facilities committee (part of the area planning group) Wednesday night for review for its potential effect on Texas Street traffic. The group voted unanimously in support of the city plan to finish constructing a long-planned connector road from the western edge of the 230-acre development to the 805.

"It's in North Park's interest for that connection road to be put in," said panel member Dionne Carlson. "It will also allow people in surrounding residential areas to access the park."

At first glance, the addition of the four lane connector road far from North Park doesn't seem like a neighborhood issue. The north-south connector on the west side of the 805 would connect the northwest part of Civita to Phyllis Place, which connects to Murray Ridge and the 805 ramps. But there are few ways out of Civita, and the effect of the complex on Texas Street traffic was included in the environmental review for the project as a whole.

Carlson explained that having other ways out of Mission Valley will matter a great deal in an emergency, like a fire or flooding. In a strong earthquake, she noted, the ground beneath the development may be subject to liquefaction.

Residents fear that the connector will turn Civita into a quick shortcut around the intersection of the 805 and the 8. Though the road is part of the original plan in 2004, residents have fought it for years.

"Civita will be impacted by heavy volumes of non-stop regional traffic diminishing the community’s walkability, pedestrian safety, village character, and environmental quality," the website says. "The high traffic on the streets of Murray Ridge in Serra Mesa, Texas Street in North Park, and Mission Village Road in Serra Mesa have diminished the quality of life for those residents."

Civita is one of the largest master-planned communities in recent San Diego history. It has 4,500 homes and more than a million square feet of retail and commercial space. It was one of the first density/infill projects when development policies changed to embrace infill rather than sprawl.

The project's park, a 14-acre, $20 million amenity intended for all regional residents (not just for Civita) opened at the end of April and has been widely praised and heralded. Not all the features are completed.

The area where Franklin Ridge Road will connect has already been graded, panel member Rene Vidales said. It is about 300 to 400 feet long.

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Mission Valley's "Civita", formally known as "Quarry Falls" is a pocket neighborhood. It was one of the first projects to get people out of their cars and feel safe for their families to walk or bike to the local future school, the new public park open to all communities and the local shopping. And designed for locals to be able to walk to your job in the future business park. So we have a chance to implement what was planned and approved by the City Planners and the Developer. This was designed and embraced to stop the "Sprawl."

So, now the S.D. Planning Dept. is revisiting an old outdated Environmental Impact Report "EIR" for a "Road Connector" to the northern Serra Mesa neighborhood. This would be absolutely asinine! First of all it will bring in "Grid-Lock" as the planned connector road of 4-5 lanes will reduced into just 2 lanes. Actually it will be just one single lane in each direction entering or leaving Civita into or entering from Serra Mesa. These two streets Via Alta and Franklin Ridge Rd. are now connected as a throughway. We have on Via Alta 3 fully developed homeowner projects now, with 3 more to be completed along with a school for 600 students at the base of the hill. These residents will have to navigate opposing traffic and with a densely planted median that blocks visibility from oncoming traffic. There are no stop signs at these 8 openings, and no plans to mitigate the now speeding cars just traveling to and from home. This is a disaster waiting to happen! If there were to be a stalled vehicle or collision with a pedestrian, or opposing vehicle crossing this main roadway, the flow traffic will come to standstill. You will not be able to pass and emergency assistance would be hindered.
Also, Homes are as near as 28 feet this roadway. Are there General funds for a new Environmental Impact report?

Some with North Park Planning Commission believe our traffic imposes on their already crowded Texas Street - Qualcomm Way connector. I would partially disagree. Mostly Civita Residents access the 805 via Mission Center Rd. Civita is not the key to lessen the woes of traffic on Texas St. if the "Serra Mesa Connector" is approved. Commuters will eventually (with GPS) discover that with a backup southbound "805" at rush hour, might be force more traffic across the valley into North Park via Texas St. The traffic you see on Texas/Qualcomm Way is not even generated by Civita now. Most traffic is coming from the other feeders business roads like Camino Del Rio South/ and North, etc. If the vision of design is future forward. Please make an informed decision by visiting our community first and driving the road to the new dog park at Apex on Via Alta and view where the new connector road is planned.

May 17, 2017

I used to live in "Fashion Hills" long before the valley floor got infested with condos and apartments. Let's see, I paid $142,000 for a 1,900 sq. ft., 3BR, 3BA condo with a view of the valley (before they built Shitty Scene and blocked my view... that they said would "never be blocked").

I looked at Civita, for giggles, not for any serious interest. Three and four-story boxes? I hope your hips and knees hold out after climbing that shit for years. Civita is probably one of the most classic developer rip-offs I have witnessed in my 50+ years of living in San Diego. What a colossal waste of money. With the $$$ the Civita pirates want you could have bought a real home somewhere with less density, traffic and homelessness.

May 17, 2017

This article is basically a re-post of an old article done in 2016. It was wrong then and it's wrong now. Let me update here and see if the Reader will do a follow-up that will get it correct.

The North Park Planning Committee [NPPC] sent a "letter of comment" to the City Planning Department in 2016 regarding the proposed Connector Road that was highly critical of the City's PEIR done for the connector road. The letter stated there would be no support of the PEIR unless there were significant and binding mitigations. However, the City Planning Dept. misrepresented it as a letter of "support" which was far from the truth. Here is what the NPPC cover letter of 2016 actually said, verbatim:

"We have conducted an extensive review of the PEIR and while we appreciate the work that went into to it, we unfortunately find it lacking for reasons to numerous to include in this cover letter. When a PEIR includes the number of errors, lack of adequate documentation and general inadequacies as this one does, the analysis and conclusions cannot be trusted and provide limited and suspect guidance for future development. NPPC Board Members have expressed [being] satisfied with the NPCPU [North Park Community Plan Update], if not the PEIR, and would like to see the NPCPU move forward. However, they will only do so if there are significant and binding mitigations offered by the City and at the very least a timeline and commitment to provide the requested studies and analyses."

On May 16, 2017, five days after the Reader article was published, this issue once again came before the NPPC regarding whether or not the Group should vote to submit a second letter of comment, ostensibly in support. However, after taking public comment from residents of Serra Mesa and Mission Valley who were opposed to the road, significant discussion occurred among Board members, after which, the NPPC voted 10-1-0 to "withhold their support". This added the North Park Planning Committee to the Serra Mesa Planning Group and the Mission Valley Planning Group, all, of which, have now voted either to "oppose" or "not to support" the connector road.

And yet the City Planning Dept. continues to use parts of the old letter in their just-released, Final EIR, as indication of North Park's support. It is unconscionable for them to do this, and news organizations, like The Reader, should be taking note that all three local planning groups are not in favor of a road that will destroy the developing neighborhood of Civita.

Aug. 21, 2017

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