EIR on proposed Mission Beach condo site finds significant impacts
Published - 08/12/15 - 05:57 AM | 5261 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An environmental impact report on the proposed conversion of the old Mission Beach Elementary School site into a large-scale condominium project found significant — but remediable — impacts on noise, health and safety, historical resources, transportation/circulation and parking and land use.

A public review period ended Aug. 10 for the recently released draft report on The Mission Beach Residences and Santa Barbara Place projects.

The combined development calls for construction of 18 three-story residential buildings, creating a total of 51 condominium units on the old Mission Beach Elementary School site.

The project site is bounded by Mission Boulevard to the west, Bayside Lane to the east, Kennebeck Court to the north and Santa Barbara Place to the south.

Mitigation measures proposed in the report for project construction noise include muffling construction equipment, installing sound barriers/shielding, maximizing the distance between construction equipment staging areas and occupied residential areas and use of electric air compressors and similar power tools rather than diesel equipment.

The project requests permitting for the demolition of the abandoned school facility structures, including existing surface improvements. That is to be replaced by construction of buildings housing 51 condos with a total gross floor area of approximately 74,362 square feet. The development also would have 102 parking spaces and a pocket park.

The project also envisions construction of associated site improvements including hardscape, site walls and landscaping.

The project would pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification or the equivalent.

As laid out in the report, the objectives of the two condo development projects are to:

· Adaptively reuse a vacant, developed site;

· Develop new multifamily condominium dwelling units on the Mission Beach Residences Project site on the 27 existing legal lots to accommodate the current and growing housing demand in Mission Beach;

· In keeping with the City of Villages strategy and Smart Growth policies, develop an infill site where public facilities, transit and services are within walking distance;

· Contribute to a cohesive development compatible in scale and character in the Mission Beach Community Planning Area, in compliance with Mission Beach Planned District Ordinance standards;

· Implement sustainable building design measures;

· Increase and improve public vehicular and pedestrian access; and

· Create a new pedestrian access and public view to Mission Bay from Jersey Court.

Mission Beach Town Council in May voted overwhelmingly to urge the city to require developers of the old Mission Beach Elementary School site to reconsider their condo project’s design, calling upon it to add a true community park instead of the narrow landscaping strip proposed.

Developer McKellar-McGowan is planning a 63-unit, for-sale condominium complex on the 3.25-acre site of the old Mission Beach Elementary School, off Mission Boulevard, at 825 Santa Barbara Place.

The elementary school function on the site ceased in the summer of 1973. The facility was converted to a special education school until the mid-1980s. Upon closure of the site as an education facility in 1996 because of declining student enrollment, it was then used for limited administrative purposes by San Diego Unified School District until 2013.

The remains of the former elementary school are to be razed to make way for condos.

In 2013, San Diego Unified School District Board voted 4-1 to accept a bid of $18.5 million for the old Mission Beach Elementary School site.
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