The Chula Vista City Council has approved a consultant to prepare zoning regulations for the University Park and Innovation District Sectional Planning Area, a new development in the southeastern part of the city.
The council OK'd the two-party agreement with Santa Ana-based William Hezmalhalch Architect at Tuesday’s meeting.
William Hezmalhalch will work with city staff to lay out the planning and design guidelines for a 375-acre site that would include a university campus, business park for private companies that would work in conjunction with the future university -- similar to what Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) do -- trails, and open and park space.
Scott Donaghe, principal planner for the city of Chula Vista, said William Hezmalhalch was specifically chosen not for its design work, but for its knowledge of the neighboring Sectional Planning Area for Village 9 in Otay Ranch.
“They have done similar work on zoning for this area, as well,” Donaghe added.
The contract for University Park and Innovation District Sectional Planning Area zoning work is for $254,850; the work is expected to take a year to complete.
Donaghe said a specific university or college has not been chosen to be included in this plan. He said the city plans to hire a master developer with an expertise in developing property for universities and colleges, once William Hezmalhalch Architect finishes its zoning work.
“We need someone who can use their knowledge and contacts with colleges and universities, and help us narrow down the type of feasible higher education campus for Chula Vista,” Donaghe said.
He said that a University of California or Cal State University system school don't have to be the only two options.
“We at the city have talked about bringing in a private or international college, or even build a campus that could house various colleges and [university] satellite campuses in one area,” Donaghe said. “We want a university that can generate jobs and keep those graduates here in Chula Vista.”
The city has talked about creating a university park and business district in Chula Vista since 1993, when the Otay Ranch General Plan was put in place and called for zoning of a higher education facility.
For the last several years, the city has been completing various land offer agreements with private land owners to completely own the 375-acres for the University Park and Innovation District.
Donaghe said he expects the city to gain the full land needed by the end of 2014.