The San Diego City Council approved more items than usual on Tuesday for its first meeting of the year.
A total of eight actions were moved forward that deal with construction in some way, including land development, hiring of consultants and future improvement projects. All were passed unanimously.
The item with perhaps the most impact alters the Land Development Code and eliminates six City Council policies.
These alterations make it so a development agreement does not have to be filed with the city manager; the city manager may enter into, amend or extend agreements related to the approval of the final map on a development; the city engineer is required to approve any request to name or rename public streets; and a neighborhood development permit is required except when structures extend into the public right-of-way.
The council said these code amendments are necessary to allow for the retirement of outdated policy and guideline documents.
The council also authorized the mayor and his staff to file nine grant applications with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and to take all necessary steps to secure funding for an amount not to exceed $4.97 million under SANDAG’s Smart Growth Incentive Program.
The money is slated to be used for five planning projects that include the Morena Boulevard Station Area Study Phase II; the El Cajon Boulevard Complete Boulevard Project; the Pacific Beach Park; the East Village Green and 14th Street Promenade Master Plan; and the Sixth Avenue Bridge Promenade.
The grant funds are also slated to be used on four proposed capital improvement projects at: University Avenue and 54th Street; Island Avenue and Green Street; the Downtown Wayfinding Signage Program; and the Five Points Neighborhood Pedestrian Improvements project.
Civic San Diego would ultimately implement the grants if they are approved by SANDAG.
West Mission Bay Drive Bridge
The City Council also authorized the expenditure of funds for T.Y. Lin International to prepare the final design of the preferred alternative for the West Mission Bay Drive Bridge over the San Diego River, in an amount not to exceed $3.42 million.
The project segment currently has four lanes and substandard shoulders and needs to be brought up to the full standards of its classification to meet capacity demands. Narrow sidewalks and lack of roadway shoulders make it difficult for bicyclists to utilize the bridge.
The council authorized the mayor or a member of his staff to enter into a Cooperative Agreement with the California Department of Transportation and accept federal funds for the construction of seismic retrofitting and rehabilitation improvements to the Cabrillo Bridge (Laurel Street) over state Route 163.
The agreement also authorizes the city’s chief financial officer to expend and receive funds that do not exceed $805,000.
Water Treatment Plant
A third amendment with Malcolm Pirnie Inc. was approved by the council for design and construction support services for the fourth phase of expanding and upgrading the Alvarado Water Treatment Plant. This amendment is intended to extend the contract by one year.
A request was supported to update the Torrey Highlands Public Facilities Financing Plan for fiscal year 2013. The revision sets the Facilities Benefit Assessment and Development Impact Fees for the community and ensures continued funding for community infrastructure.
The council approved two housing complexes for a total of 628 new units.
The Casa Mira View II project will involve constructing 319 residential condominium units within one building wrapped around a six-level, 554,846-square-foot parking garage. The complex will sit on a 7.09-acre site in the Mira Mesa area. Thirty-two units will be affordable dwellings.
The second housing development approved was the La Jolla Crossroads. It is slated to have 309 multifamily residential units (31 affordable housing units) in three, six-story buildings. It will also have two parking garages, totaling approximately 809,141 square feet. The complex will be built on a vacant 7.93-acre site in the University Town Centre community.