Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C-3) hosted a brief panel discussion followed by an audience participation charrette addressing how to ensure that redevelopment of the Mission Valley stadium site is integrated into the surrounding community to the greatest extent possible, rather than becoming a separate island of development. As moderator Cary Lowe instructed, the goal was to “provide inspiration and inform a better discussion [about SDSU West] going forward.”
In addition to Lowe, who chairs C-3’s focus on the Mission Valley stadium plan, event speakers included Rachel Gregg, director of government and community relations at San Diego State University (SDSU); Jonathan Frankel, chair of the Mission Valley Community Planning Group; and Mike Stepner, professor at NewSchool of Architecture & Design.
Gregg provided a snapshot of progress at SDSU West, saying the draft project sale agreement was submitted in April to the city of San Diego; SDSU West has requested permits for right of entry; and a draft environmental impact report (EIR) will be available this summer.
SDSU has already hired construction and design professionals for the project. Clark Construction will build the stadium; Gensler will design the new Aztec stadium; and SDSU is in the final stages of hiring a project manager. Also, SDSU has formed a San Diego River Park advisory group and a community advisory group and continues to meet with area community planning groups.
Frankel told the audience that the Mission Valley planning group is encouraging SDSU to be mindful of the Mission Valley community plan update, now three-and-a-half years in the making, and the 25% increase in residential density planned for Mission Valley, which will increase total housing units in the Valley to about 27,000. The planning group also hopes SDSU will look at the “edges and connections” of SDSU West to make sure they integrate well with the rest of the community.
Stepner provided a historical recap of Mission Valley’s land use evolution and reminded the audience, mostly comprised of land use and design professionals, of the late, longtime city planner Max Schmidt’s advice to “use the highest possible architectural and landscape standards” to create a model for how other parts of San Diego could be planned.
Audience members and C-3 organizers then broke into groups to brainstorm and record their ideas for SDSU West’s improvements in mobility and connections; public and gathering spaces; and design principles. C-3 will compile the groups’ comments and submit them to SDSU West organizers.
As part of C-3’s mission to be a conduit for information, a facilitator for civic dialogue and a source for reasoned opinions, the member-supported nonprofit organization hosts monthly events highlighting a multitude of issues and themes of interest to engaged San Diegans, with particular emphasis this year on the Mission Valley Stadium site and Mission Bay planning.
Since 1961, Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C-3) has sought and successfully advocated for the highest standards in urban design, community planning and access to public open space. As a member-supported, non-profit organization, we bring together residents and professionals to jointly craft solutions to the challenges we face in our city and region. http://c3sandiego.org.