With San Diego's population booming, the theory of "smart growth" is being talked about with increased frequency. Here the Daily Transcript explores how elements of smart growth are being used throughout the county, reviews the "City of Villages" strategic plan and finds out how smart growth is financed in specific cases. A look at these topics and more is examined by area of the county:
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee recently passed the Community Character Act. The committee voted 12-7 to pass the legislation.
With a 2.5 percent rental vacancy rate in San Diego and the median price for a new home at $331,000, it will take a lot more than inclusionary housing policies to provide the 40,000 new homes estimated to be needed by 2006. This community is facing a housing crisis comparable to that experienced after World War II when GI's came back to start families and had no place to live.
Villagio, Cornerstone Communities' latest undertaking at McMillin Lomas Verdes, is planned to be an example of smart growth in San Diego. Jamie Starck of Starck Architecture and Planning has been tapped as the architect on the new community.
A smart-growth revitalization is firmly under way in downtown Chula Vista with a number of major private and public projects. Once noted for its small historic Third Avenue commercial district surrounded by single-family homes, new projects in Chula Vista's downtown are increasing the jobs/housing mix in a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood setting.
In an effort to create a balanced, fiscally vibrant community, the city of Chula Vista is developing an Economic Development Strategy in conjunction with the city's General Plan Update. The strategy will ensure greater community involvement in formulating and achieving the city's economic vision and goals, and will provide a basic blueprint for future city development.
For more than a decade, the city of Chula Vista has been implementing the principles of "smart growth" in its community planning, encouraging new projects that offer such features as mixed uses and easy access to public transportation. Today, as a result, the city has a growing number of smart-growth projects.
The city of Chula Vista has begun a comprehensive update of its General Plan, which will be based on a combination of public input and research conducted by city staff. "Chula Vista Vision 2020," as the update process has been dubbed, will set the course for all growth, development and community planning in Chula Vista over the next 20 years and already, smart-growth-oriented initiatives are emerging as a key consideration.
As the population of San Diego County continues to increase, so too will the levels of traffic the current roadway system must accommodate.
While the initial planning of Otay Ranch predates the current discussion of "smart growth" by a decade, the 5,300-acre community in eastern Chula Vista has been heralded as a model of smart growth by an number of urban planning groups.
Seems like nearly everyone supports the concept of "smart growth." After all, the alternative is to support "stupid growth," and who will admit to that? But what is smart growth and how does anyone achieve it?