Peñasquitos project will test San Diego’s housing plans
David Garrick, June 11, 2021
project would be built in suburban area, but along existing
Diegos plan to help solve its housing crisis with dense
developments in suburban areas will face a key test Tuesday
when the City Council considers the 536-unit Junipers project
in Rancho Peñasquitos.
project fits the citys model for suburban areas, which
focuses on adding large housing projects along existing transportation
corridors and leaving the surrounding single-family areas
a well-organized group of nearby residents say The Junipers
would clog nearby roadways and make it impossible for residents
to evacuate quickly from one of the citys most wildfire-prone
residents, who call themselves the Peñasquitos Northeast
Action Group, want road improvements and a second exit to
speed evacuations from what will become one of the citys
densest suburban neighborhoods after The Junipers project
because The Junipers, which would be built on the defunct
Doubletree Golf Resort, is next to two other new projects:
the nearly complete, 601-unit Pacific Village and the 331-unit
Millennium PQ, which is under construction.
of it added together is what really creates the concern,
said resident Joe Peirzina. We have concerns we wont
be able to get out of here.
Homes, the developers of The Junipers, says the area will
be safer with The Junipers than it is now.
Junipers is the result of nearly five years of outreach and
engagement with our neighbors, said Ryan Green, Lennar
San Diego division president. Their feedback and concerns
were integrated into the communitys design including
additional evacuation and emergency access routes that reduce
evacuation time by more than 50 percent.
also describes The Junipers, which was unanimously approved
in April by the citys Planning Commission, as a model
addition to public parks and trails, The Junipers provides
much-needed housing for the underserved 55-plus market and
designates 15 percent of the homes for low-income seniors,
Green said. The project has undergone rigorous and thorough
residents and an attorney they hired have raised questions
about the environmental review, moves that are often precursors
to filing a lawsuit that could seek to block the project.
a 65-page letter submitted to the city in April, the attorney,
Everett Delano, argues that the review failed to properly
analyze the project, contending it violates the citys
general plan, housing goals and mobility policies.
also contends the analysis failed to consider the cumulative
impact of all three new projects.
say the three projects would add 3,000 more vehicles to the
area, more than doubling the current 2,800.
wildfires, Lennar officials say their evacuation and fire
protection plan for the area is sound.
say The Junipers includes three points of emergency ingress
and egress, noting that residents would be able to head south
through The Junipers to access Carmel Mountain Road if Peñasquitos
Drive is closed during an emergency.
also tout an emergency exit at the end of Andorra Way, where
they plan to remove bollards. But the residents say the road
is too narrow for two-way traffic, preventing evacuations
if fire engines are coming into the site.
also has agreed to plant ignition-resistant landscaping
and clear flammable brush.
residents stress that the area has been evacuated at least
five times in the last 20 years, including the 2003 and 2007
critics may characterize the objections as another instance
of people engaging in not in my back yard opposition,
the residents say they dont oppose development and have
understand in-fill development; just dont put us in
danger, said resident Judy Piercey.
council meeting is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.