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!