Press Release: Urgent Call to Protect Mira Mesa Epicentre from Commercial & Residential Development

June 17, 2024

Contact: Lainie Hardman
Community Advocate
Mira Mesa Concerned Citizens
Phone: 858-229-4315

*Media Advisory*

A Call to Action – Protect the Mira Mesa Epicentre from Future Commercial and Residential Development

San Diego, CA – June 17, 2024 – Mira Mesa residents are calling for assurance that their community park will remain untouched by commercial or residential development. Neighborhood leaders are raising concerns about the increase in urbanization without proper community input.

Mira Mesa Concerned Citizens, a community advocacy group, is actively working to protect a small but vital piece of property that adjoins and shares a parking lot with Mira Mesa Community Park. They are circulating a petition to have this property designated as Dedicated Park Land (see attached petition).

The Mira Mesa Community Plan designates the acre-and-a-quarter property, currently home to the deserted Epicentre, as an Urban Village. This designation includes housing, business/professional offices, commercial services, and retail.

San Diego’s Policy on Dedication and Designation of Park Lands (Policy 700-17) states: “Park lands are an invaluable resource for citizens of the City of San Diego. It is important to protect these lands from being converted to non-recreational uses. Such protection is best provided in the form of dedication or designation.”

Community concerns have been heightened by a June 7, 2024, article in the U-T by Jennifer Van Grove. The article states, “The newly adopted Mira Mesa Community Plan, approved in December 2022, seeks to boost the neighborhood’s population by transforming the area’s suburban strip malls, like Mira Mesa Market East and West, into urban villages. The mixed-use zone allows for up to 73 dwelling units per acre.”

Currently, the County of San Diego is negotiating with the city to lease the Epicentre and renovate the neglected building. However, this does not address the zoning of the property, leaving it unprotected against future commercial or residential development.

“I would like to ask Councilmember Lee and Mayor Gloria to explain the downside of incorporating the Epicentre into the park. It makes me suspicious as to their agenda,” says Sandy Smith, a long-time resident of Mira Mesa.

These lease negotiations are alarming as they proceed without community input and could move directly to the full City Council for approval, bypassing the customary review by the Land Use and Housing Committee. Typically, city lease negotiations are first presented to this committee, allowing the community a chance to voice their input. “This expedited lease process, which silences Mira Mesa residents, is a slap in the face. Why the rush to avoid community review?” asks Lainie Hardman, chair of Mira Mesa Concerned Citizens. “Why must we constantly fight to be heard while other D6 communities get multiple hearings and thoughtful dialogues with the City?”

“Why allocate $43.3 million to enhance the park but leave this city-owned corner vulnerable to commercial or industrial development, jeopardizing the investment? It doesn’t make any sense,” says Mitz Lee, Executive Director of Mira Mesa Senior Center.

Dedicating the Epicentre area as parkland will safeguard and enrich the community for future generations.

Latest Community Meeting

Join Us for a Community Meeting

We invite all concerned residents, stakeholders, and members of the press to join us for a community meeting on June 20th, 2024, at 6 PM. The meeting will be held at the Mira Mesa Senior Center. This is a critical opportunity for the community to come together, discuss the issues, and plan our next steps in protecting the Mira Mesa Epicentre.

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