“We’ve got our consultant back under contract, and we’re working on a public review draft of the community plan,” Vickie White, of the city’s planning department, told planners. “What we’d like to do is set up a design template for that work, adding photographs and illustrations for what kind of urban design we have.”
White said the goal is to allow community planners, residents and stakeholders to weigh in on this phase of the Midway Community Plan Update.
Planner Cathy Denton stressed planners are especially interested in the traffic study being prepared as part of the plan update.
“We’ve been waiting three years for the traffic study,” Denton said.
White responded that the traffic study document is in process while noting it is involved and takes time.
“It will involve urban design and a more technical study, more data-crunching type of information, which will lead into an environmental impact report,” White said.
“I thought we were waiting for the traffic study so we could do a community plan update,” said planning group chair Melanie Nickel. “How can you do a community plan without a traffic study being completed?”
White noted both elements of the community plan update are being done simultaneously and that the traffic study will then be incorporated into the plan update draft.
Nickel asked White to talk to the city about getting those responsible for doing the traffic study to come out and talk to the group about that process.
Marty Schmidt and Melissa Garcia, of the city’s planning department, also informed planners of recent developments with the Midway-Pacific Highway Urban Greening Plan.
Urban greening plans recognize the importance of street design in providing connectivity for pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers and transit riders. Plan elements combine to create streets with comfortable, shaded walkways, efficient use of water, improved water quality and connections for walking, biking, transit and driving.
Schmidt said the Urban Greening Plan being prepared for the Midway area is designed to accomplish a number of goals, including providing way-finding signage, as well as improving the street tree palate, encouraging drought-resistant and native species.
Schmidt said the Urban Greening Plan “takes the community plan to a higher level,” via creation of improved bike lanes and median landscaping.
“It’s a very comprehensive project,” Schmidt said, noting that, when completed, the greening plan will be “specific” to Midway, addressing the special needs and considerations of the community.
Denton pointed out it would be helpful to “work with city staff to help identify where funding sources might be” in implementing the Urban Greening Plan.
“We (city) just hired an urban forester,” replied Schmidt, noting that that individual might be able to meet with the group to advise them on what to do, and not to do, in implementing urban landscape improvements.
In other action:
• Group chair Nickel noted the first legal, city-approved medical marijuana dispensary, The Point Loma Patients Consumer Co-Op, at 3452 Hancock St., which opened recently, has had some parking issues.
Patrons have been parking in front of the dispensary and not in the rear, where parking is provided.
“They ought to put out signs that say ‘Parking in the rear,’” suggested Nickel.