Notice of Preparation for the Blueprint San Diego Program. Project Description: The General Plan provides a policy framework for land use decisions in the City that balance the needs of a growing City. It expresses a Citywide vision and provides a comprehensive policy framework for how the City should develop, provide public services, and maintain and enhance the qualities that define the City of San Diego. Community plans work together with the General Plan to provide location-based policies and recommendations in the City's 50 community plan areas.
The General Plan and Community Plans play a critical role in meeting the City’s Climate Action Plan goals and contributing to the region’s mobility vision and needs, by identifying land uses and public improvements that work toward achieving the Citywide mobility mode share targets that reflect quantified greenhouse gas emissions. As the City and State have shifted away from accommodating additional vehicular travel, to instead focus on reducing vehicular travel through strategic land use planning – primarily by locating new development near transit - and investments in walking, bicycling, and transit improvements, proactive and comprehensive land use planning is more critical than ever.
Community Plans serve as a framework for the future development of the City communities over a 20 to 30 year timeframe. Community plans are written to refine the General Plan’s Citywide policies and implement the Climate
Action Plan, to designate land uses, plan for complete mobility networks, and provide additional site-specific recommendations as needed. They provide more detailed land use designations and site-specific policies on a wide array of topics including housing, mobility, open space and parks, public facilities, sustainable development, environmental justice, urban design, and historic preservation. Together, the General Plan and the community plans guide future development to achieve Citywide policy objectives in line with the CAP for more sustainable housing and mobility to prioritize reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The City updates community plans to provide policy direction that reflects the current vision and needs of the City and community. An updated community plan can catalyze both public and private investment and opportunity in a community through new housing, job growth, infrastructure, and public spaces to ensure that our neighborhoods thrive in a way that furthers the City’s attainment of the Climate Action Plan goals.
Community plan updates provide land use maps and designations to address housing and employment needs and to target the connection between our residents and jobs to reduce vehicle miles traveled through safe and efficient mobility options. They establish new and updated policies that address community or neighborhood-specific issues consistent with the General Plan and identify new and improved public facilities and infrastructure needed to serve local and citywide residents and visitors. Community plan updates may also contain community-specific supplemental development regulations, zoning amendments, urban design policies, and other measures to implement the updated Community Plan.
Blueprint San Diego is a new approach to comprehensive Citywide planning that will proactively identify the City’s housing, climate, and mobility goals and implement them throughout the City at the community plan level in a way that reflects the unique characteristics of each community. This approach will provide a Citywide framework to guide and focus future land use changes in each community, in a manner that is fundamentally consistent with the City’s climate, infrastructure, and environmental goals, as well as the Citywide housing allocation determined by the state-mandated Regional Housing Needs Assessment Plan. This approach will provide an equitable framework for future development throughout the City that advances the City’s environmental justice goals.
Blueprint San Diego will establish land use and mobility thresholds to identify appropriate land uses in areas near and within future and existing Transit Priority Areas. A fundamental objective of Blueprint San Diego will be to further the Climate Action Plan by establishing a framework for strategic land use planning that will achieve the City’s greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets through reduced Citywide vehicle miles traveled. Blueprint San Diego will also identify objective design standards to ensure future development is compatible with the City’s identity and vision expressed in the General Plan and community plans.
These data-driven thresholds will be used to guide future Community plan updates and other implementation actions. It is anticipated that Blueprint San Diego will involve General Plan and community plan amendments, San Diego Municipal Code amendments, zoning changes, and other implementation actions to achieve its desired outcomes.
The project has received funding from the State of California’s Local Early Action Planning grant and is intended to accelerate housing production in the City to address the City’s housing goals and to create plans to more quickly implement the mobility infrastructure to meet the housing and employment needs and reduce the citywide greenhouse gas emissions in line with the City’s CAP. These changes will allow for greater and more tailored public engagement to best inform the needs of our communities and ensure public engagement is representative of the demographics of the community.
While the Blueprint San Diego program will be used to guide future community plan updates, the program also immediately includes the current ongoing comprehensive updates to the Mira Mesa and University Community Plans, and amendment to the Uptown Community Plan for the Hillcrest Focused Plan area.
Land Use and Mobility Thresholds for Future Community Plan Updates
Blueprint San Diego will identify minimum housing and employment intensities for areas near and within future and existing Transit Priority Areas throughout the City. These thresholds will identify the levels of development necessary to further the citywide transportation mode share goals of the Climate Action Plan for walking, bicycling, and transit. Transit Priority Areas are defined in State law as an area within one-half mile of a major transit stop that is existing or
planned for in a regional transportation plan. It is anticipated that these thresholds would be used to guide future community plan updates to identify the land uses and intensities to implement Blueprint San Diego.
Objective Design Standards to Plan for Our Neighborhoods
To address the State’s housing shortage, recent State legislation requires using objective and quantifiable standards to review and approve multiple-unit housing development. Objective Standards are regulations that do not require a subjective judgment or hearing to determine that a project satisfies the applicable regulatory requirements. Blueprint San Diego includes the establishment of additional objective standards to ensure that future development is compatibly designed and developed in a manner that results in positive investments within our communities.
Mira Mesa Community Plan Update
The Mira Mesa Community Plan was adopted in 1992. The General Plan identifies Mira Mesa as a regional employment center. The Mira Mesa Community Plan Update will address housing and employment growth by identifying mixed-use villages within commercial centers along Mira Mesa Boulevard within the central and eastern portion of the community, Sorrento Mesa employment center within the western portion of the community, and the business park area within the eastern portion of the Miramar employment center. The villages areas will provide for additional housing, public spaces, multi-modal circulation improvements, and parks. The mixed-use villages are primarily located within Transit Priority Areas. The Mira Mesa Community Plan Update will also identify trails within open space areas. It will also contain recommendations for improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities and transit access consistent with SANDAG’s Regional Plan.
University Community Plan Update
The University Community Plan was adopted in 1987. The General Plan identifies the community as a regional employment center. The University Community Plan Update will address housing and employment growth by identifying areas for higher residential density and employment intensity within areas near light rail transit stations that are under construction. The University Community Plan Update will also provide urban design policies and supplemental development regulations to improve the pedestrian environment within mixed use and employment areas. The University Community Plan Update identifies village areas for additional housing and public space/parks within existing commercial centers within the southern and northern portions of the community. The mixed-use villages and areas near the light rail transit stations are primarily within Transit Priority Areas. The University Community Plan Update will also identify trails within open space areas and designate additional City owned property as open space. It will also contain recommendations for improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities and transit access consistent with SANDAG’s Regional Plan.
Uptown Community Plan Focused Plan Amendment
The Uptown Community Plan was adopted in 2016. The Focused Plan Amendment to the Uptown Community Plan for the Hillcrest area is within multiple Transit Priority Areas. The Focused Plan Amendment will address housing and employment growth by identifying areas for higher residential density and employment intensity within areas primarily along University Avenue, Washington Street, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth avenues. The Focused Plan Amendment will also provide urban design policies, multi-modal circulation improvements, and supplemental development regulations to improve the pedestrian and bicycle networks. The Focused Plan Amendment will identify areas for additional housing and public space/parks. It will also contain recommendations for improving bicycle and pedestrian facilities and transit access consistent with SANDAG’s Regional Plan.