PROTECT OUR PRESERVES, INC.
Saving special habitat into the future
A 450,000 square foot office campus on 11-acres, surrounded on three sides by the 900-acre Del Mar Mesa Preserve, consisting of 3 buildings comprised of 4, 5 6 stories, a one story amenity building and a 7 story parking structure.
Rezoning and Plan Amendment Required:
The project requires an upzone from AR-1-1 (agricultural-residential effectively one house) to IP-3-1 (Industrial Park). It also requires a General Plan Amendment, Community Plan Amendment to the Torrey Highlands Subarea Plan, Site Development Permit, and Planned Development Permit to change the plan designation from Commercial Limited (CL), (religious facilities, storage, veterinary clinics and nurseries to Employment Center (EC).
Del Mar Mesa Preserve:
The 900-acre Del Mar Mesa Preserve lies on the east end of Del Mar Mesa west of Rancho Penasquitos and south of Torrey Highlands. It is protected under the city's Multiple Species Conservation Plan. Parts of the Preserve are under State, City and Federal jurisdiction. Home to dozens of endangered and threatened species of plants and animals, some unique to San Diego, the Preserve is also home to many vernal pool complexes. The Preserve is connected to Los Penasquitos Canyon and serves as a critical animal migration corridor for the City and County.
A popular recreational destination for equestrians, trail bike riders, naturalists, and hikers, the City Parks Department developed a Resource Management Plan to designate compatible trails in consultation with community, environmental and recreational user groups that was enacted by the San Diego City Council.
Del Mar Mesa Preserve is a City of San Diego resource-based park, created over twenty-five years through the combined efforts of US Fish and Wildlife, CA Fish and Wildlife, San Diego County, the City of San Diego, environmental groups both large and small, individual developers, property owners who dedicated up to 75% of the land in exchange for density, and hundreds of citizen volunteers, including among many others, Endangered Habitats League, Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, Del Mar Mesa and Carmel Valley Planning Boards and Friends of Los Penasquitos Canyon. The route for SR56 was planned to avoid the future preserve.
In 1990s, when the City’s MHPA boundaries were under discussion, the 11-acre site was excluded because it was a religious holding. The Catholic Diocese subsequently purchased it in 1999 after the passage by voters of Proposition H in 1996 and Proposition M in 1998. The Church village-like development proposal, approved in 2004, was low-rise and made up of different shapes and sizes of buildings interspersed with open space and was viewed as a community benefit by the Rancho Penasquitos community.
Planning Board Response:
Planning Boards are the official advisory bodies to the City of San Diego Planning Commission and the San Diego City Council. The Rancho Penasquitos and Del Mar Mesa Planning Boards voted unanimously to oppose the project due to its massive University City size/proportions and irrevocable intrusion into Del Mar Mesa Preserve.
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