SDG&E Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Project in Serra Mesa
As part of SDG&E’s system-wide plan to enhance our natural gas pipeline system throughout the communities we serve, SDG&E crews will be in Serra Mesa beginning in early June to replace a 4.2 mile section of one of the older natural gas pipelines in San Diego County.
This project is part of SDG&E’s Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan, or PSEP, which identifies various pipeline sections for review and upgrade as needed. PSEP was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in 2014. Since that time, SDG&E has upgraded and modernized more than 23 miles of natural gas pipeline in San Diego County.
Pipeline 1600 is an existing 50 mile pipe that was constructed in 1949 and runs from Rainbow, on the San Diego – Riverside county border, down to Mission Valley, including this segment that runs through the Serra Mesa community.
State pipeline safety laws require certain pipelines to be tested or replaced, including Pipeline 1600. The CPUC has approved the plan to replace 37 miles in populated areas and strength test the remaining 13 miles in rural areas.
Construction on the Serra Mesa segment of the replacement project will begin in early June 2020 and be completed by January 2021 and will start near the intersection of Ruffin Road and Ridgehaven Court. The alignment runs through Ruffin Road, Aero Drive, Sandrock Road, Murray Ridge Road, Raejean Avenue, Greyling Drive and Sandmark Avenue, until reaching the end of Pipeline 1600 at SDG&E’s Mission Station.
Extra precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of our crews and the public. All workers are required to wear facial coverings and practice social distancing whenever possible while completing the work during this COVID-19 pandemic. For additional details, please see the following resources:
- Pipeline 1600 Serra Mesa Replacement Project fact sheet, which includes a map of the alignment (HERE)
- Pipeline 1600 Serra Mesa tentative construction schedule, which provides intersection-to-intersection segments and anticipated date ranges (HERE)
- SDG&E will utilize two simultaneous crews to safely and efficiently conclude the work in Serra Mesa
- The schedule has been prioritized to complete work near local schools while they are out of session
- More information is available at SDG&E’s Pipeline 1600 project website at com/psep
- For specific questions, call SDG&E at 1-866-382-0886
Information provided by SDG&E
City Council Candidate Forum – Jan 22, 6:30 PM, Cubberley Elementary School
Cubberley PTA and the Serra Mesa Community Council are co-sponsoring a District 7 City Council Candidate Forum on Wednesday, January 22, 6:30-8:30 pm, at Cubberley Elementary School, 3201 Marathon Drive. The forum will be moderated by the League of Women Voters according to their guidelines. District 7 encompasses Allied Gardens, Del Cerro, Grantville, Linda Vista, Mission Valley, San Carlos, Serra Mesa, and Tierrasanta. Flyer HERE.
As the result of 2017 state legislation California becomes one of 14 states to hold primaries on “Super Tuesday”, March 3. Mail-in ballots will be distributed in February. Consequently, if you haven’t already selected a city council candidate, this forum is for you. It’s a chance to meet the candidates, ask questions, and find out their position on issues – citywide and locally.
The two candidates who receive the most votes in the primary advance to the general election in November. The city council representative is extremely important for Serra Mesa since we tend to keep representatives for a long time. In the last 18 years we’ve only had three representatives – Scott Sherman, Lorie Zapf (representative for only 4 years because her residence changed to another district as a result of redistricting), and Donna Frye.
The forum is open to all – invite your friends and neighbors!
Veterans Affairs Hospital Annex on Aero Drive
The Veterans Affairs Hospital Annex project, located at 8825-8875 Aero Drive in the Kearny Mesa planning area, proposes “a building renovation that would include two building additions of approximately 25,000 square feet, resulting in a two-story, 139,000-square-foot office building for the hospital use, the construction of a four-story parking garage, and associated improvements. One addition would be located along the northern edge of the building and the second addition would be located along the western edge of the building.
The project proposes to provide services for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), including audiology, pathology, eye clinic, radiology, mental health, and general wellness clinics. A total of 637 parking spaces will be provided, where 486 are required by the San Diego Municipal Code (SDMC). The additional 151 parking spaces are necessary to meet federal requirements.” (Staff Report, p. 2)
Planning Commission Hearing: Representatives from the Serra Mesa Planning Group (SMPG) and the Serra Mesa Community Council (SMCC) spoke at the Planning Commission hearing on the VA Hospital Annex Conditional Use Permit project on January 31. The SMPG spoke primarily about their efforts to obtain information and the declined invitations to present the project at a community meeting. SMCC presented the concerns regarding the proposed improvement to Sandrock Road and the drainage issue at the Sandrock/Aero intersection. None of the representatives expressed opposition to the VA Hospital Annex. The Planning Commission was asked to either continue the item or to delete the line regarding Sandrock Road, “The northbound approach shall be restriped to provide two dedicated left-turn lanes and a shared thru/right-turn lane.”
Drainage at the Sandrock/Aero intersection was discussed. Louis Schultz, City Engineer, stated that “Aero is a very challenging drainage system. If a project is going to send an increase to that drain system, then that probably needs to be addressed by the project. But if they are not, then that is not a responsibility of that project.”
Planning Commission Decision: The Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the project as recommended by City staff. According to the CUP the Sandrock improvement “…shall be completed in a manner that is satisfactory to the City Engineer. All improvements shall be installed and operational prior to occupancy.”
The Planning Commission didn’t discuss who is responsible for the drainage issue.
Future: Your community council and planning group made a valiant effort to represent the best interests of the community. The Planning Commission was asked to foster communication, coordination, and cooperation.
References: Please Note – At the last minute staff made a change to the conditional use permit and Condition #37 referenced in the Serra Mesa Community Council speech and Planning Commission booklet became Condition #38.
Staff Report – select January 31, 2019 agenda
Planning Commission Hearing – http://sandiego.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=8 > January 31, 2019 > 2:40. Community speeches begin at 24:04.
Serra Mesa Website Updated
This website redesign corrected some technical issues, improves functionality, and includes webpages for other community organizations. Most of the major Serra Mesa community organizations provide information about their organization and community events on this website.
Ruffin Canyon Enhancement
San Diego Canyonlands is sponsoring workshops to discuss the Ruffin Canyon Enhancement Project (a trail from Serra Mesa to Mission Valley). For more information, go HERE. If you are interested in this item, the best way to keep informed is to Sign Up for Serra Mesa notices. The Serra Mesa Community Council will send out an email notice when the next workshop is scheduled.
Taft Joint Use Project
A joint use park on the south side of Taft Middle School, 9191 Gramercy Drive, will be constructed with fees from Broadstone Corsair, the development at the corner of Aero and Sandrock. When school isn’t in session the park is open to the general public. Possible amenities for the 4.7 acre project include natural turf sports fields, accessibility upgrades, fitness stations, tennis courts, a track, and a parking lot. There was community interest in adding a small cement stage to the site (e.g., could be used for concerts). In July 2016 the Serra Mesa Park & Recreation Council voted to approve the joint use project concept to include a stage. The architect is working on the final plans for presentation to the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Board for review and approval, possibly in December 2016. The views of Ruffin Canyon and the surrounding area from this park should be awesome!