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Otay Mesa update approved by City Council

The Otay Mesa Community Plan update was unanimously approved Tuesday by the San Diego City Council, with District 2 vacant after Kevin Faulconer’s transition to mayor, and District 4’s Myrtle Cole absent.

Councilmember David Alvarez made a motion to approve the plan as presented, save for changing the land use designation of the Torrey Pines Bank site to heavy commercial use to address traffic and transit concerns.

The plan, 13 years in the making, focuses on increased industrial and residential uses. It calls for two new village centers, adding over 10,000 residential units, transit centers and consequential mixed-use retail, and creates two new land-use zones: international business and trade, and heavy industrial.

Theresa Millette, senior planner in the Planning and Neighborhood Restoration Department working on the plan, said the change in land use is 4 percent of the area’s 9,300 total acres, most of which are undeveloped.

As for funding, Frank January of the Facilitates Financing Department said the plan requires $1 billion in infrastructure investment, with most of it for transportation projects, parks, police, fire and library needs. Facilities Benefit Assessment and Development Impact Fees will cover $669 million of the total.

One of the sticking points surrounded the proposed Southbound Truck Route Project, which representatives from adjacent properties said would cause at least one business to close.

San Diego Planning Director Bill Fulton stressed that the council wasn’t voting on any specific plan, and city planning officials will continue to work with residents and business owners to finalize a route to and from the border causing the least disruption possible.

“We’re not asking you to vote on a specific design of the truck route anymore than voting on the design of a certain housing division or industrial park,” Fulton said. “What is before you is a plan, the design of that is moving forward separately. We’re willing to work with landowners and business owners to figure out how to minimize the impact and look at all alternatives.”

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