Proposal to Transform San Diego Arena Area Set Forth

San Diego's Sports Arena

City officials are proposing a new plan in an effort to revitalize the fertile area around San Diego's sports arena. The plan aims to reconstruct the area surrounding the arena to include commercial uses, dense and affordable housing, 30 acres of green space, and a pedestrian-friendly trail connecting prime parts of the city. Residents and government officials are keen on developing this neighborhood because of the potential it holds with its central location between downtown and the beaches, as well as its proximity to the airport.

Currently the area is hindered by its oversized city blocks and crumbling infrastructre that is not friendly to users of mass transit. The new growth blueprint would address some of these critical issues while providing a master plan for the city to enhance the area with bike lanes and more open space. To alleviate traffic concerns, the proposal also calls for street upgrades and additional bike lanes to encourage alternate ways of commuting. By providing more affordable housing options, the plan seeks to increase the residential population from its current number of 4,600 to over 27,000 by adding more than 9,000 new housing units through the use of re-zoning meausres.

In addition to adding 30 acres of parks, the propsoal also would increase much-needed access to the 4,500- acre Mission Bay Park, the largest aquatic park in the country. by including the aptly named bay-to-bay trail connecting San Diego Bay to Mission Bay, pedestrians and bicyclists will also have easier and more convenient access to some of the city's prime recreational areas.

Thurdsay's Planning Commission meeting was just the first step in the process of getting approval to move ahead. The plan will next be discussed on May 24 by the City Council’s Smart Growth and Land Use Committee. Pending approval, the final proposal will be adopted on June 26 and set into motion. If adopted, the plan would gradually transform the area over the course of the next two decades.