Updated at 7:40 p.m. Jan. 17, 2013
Nearly two years after promised, a draft environmental impact report for the Park Station project near City Hall “will soon be circulated by the city of La Mesa.”
That’s the word from Urban Housing Partners—the marketing arm and project manager of Park Station at the Crossroads of La Mesa—a mixed-use project featuring an 18-story high-rise.
The announcement came in email Tuesday from Lenette Hewitt of UHP, who also wrote: “We would like your input regarding the community and Park Station. Please participate in this short 2-minute online survey.”
In May 2011, project advocates announced on their website: “We are happy to report that Park Station is currently moving forward through the city’s environmental review process. Our next milestone is the release of the draft Environmental Impact Report, or DEIR, which is scheduled for public release this summer.”
But the traffic-circulation element of the EIR was kicked back by the city, delaying the EIR release.
Chris Jacobs, a senior planner for the city of La Mesa, said in January 2012 that Park Station was in its fifth revision of a traffic study, since “assumptions behind the studies remain an outstanding issue.”
When the draft EIR is made available, the public will have 45 days to inspect and comment on the document, the city has said. The developer pays for the EIR, while the city oversees it.
Despite the “soon” remark, Park Station didn’t have a time frame for release of the draft EIR.
“The city of La Mesa is in control of this process and this document,” Hewitt said Thursday, noting “the draft EIR is a city document. It would be best to contact the city as to the timing of the public review.”
Meanwhile, Park Station is asking these questions in its “La Mesa Community Survey”:
- Compared to 2008, is the local economy better, worse, or about the same?
- How safe does your community feel to you?
- Do you feel La Mesa needs a place for conventions and business meetings?
- Do you ride the Trolley?
- Are you satisfied with the parks in the community?
- Do you feel there is a need for Over 55 Housing, Assisted Living and Memory Care Housing in La Mesa?
- What are the top issues of concern in community? (Options include, homelessness, crime, graffiti, traffic, “Needs more stores or shopping,” lack of government services, pollution, noise and “needs more recreational activities.”)
- What do you like most about your community?
- What do you like least about your community?
Why was the online survey created?
“The survey was sent out to people that have said they are interested in the project, and it was created to get input and feedback regarding the community,” said Hewitt, who drafted the questions.
How will results of the online survey be used, and when will the survey results be known?
Hewitt replied via email: “It is one of many elements of receiving feedback from the community.”
The 6.5-acre Park Station site—bordered by El Cajon Boulevard, University Avenue, Baltimore Drive and Spring Street—could someday hold retail, restaurant, residential, office and hotel space, surface and underground parking and a 190-foot-high building—about 10 stories higher than any other in La Mesa.
Owner of the land is the Kitzman family under the name South Baltimore LLC (see attached PDF). The developer is working with San Diego-based Urban Housing Partners Inc., which features Park Station on its website. California.”
An unscientific poll in October 2011 found that an 18-story high-rise was opposed 72 percent to 23 percent, with 129 votes cast as of Wednesday afternoon.