Downtown Community Planning Council Meeting offebruary 18, 2015

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1 - san diego Item #12 DATE ISSUED: ATTENTION: SUBJECT: February 13, 2015 Downtown Community Planning Council Meeting offebruary 18, 2015 Consideration of Support for Grant Applications for the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDA G) Smart Growth Incentive Program for the 14th Street Promenade Pilot Block and Sixth Avenue Bridge Promenade- Downtown Community Plan Area STAFF CONTACT: Brad Richter, Assistant Vice President, Planning Mark Caro, Senior Planner/Landscape Architect REQUESTED ACTION: That the Downtown Community Planning Council (DCPC) considers writing letters of support for the submittal of two grant proposals prepared by Civic San Diego ("CivicSD") on behalf of the City of San Diego under the SANDAG Smart Growth Incentive Program- Cycle 3 ("2015 SGIP"). STAFF RECOMMENDATION: That the DCPC authorizes the issuance of letters of support for the 14th Street Promenade Pilot Block and Sixth Avenue Bridge Promenade grant applications. COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION: The CivicSD Board of Directors will consider a similar request at its February 25, 2015 meeting. PREVIOUS DCPC RECOMMENDATIONS: In October 20 13, DCPC provided a letter of support for the 14 1 h Street Promenade Pilot Block when the project was submitted for an Urban Green Grant sponsored by the State of California's Strategic Growth Council. In 2012 and again in 2013, the Centre City Advisory Committee also provided letters of support for the two previous grant applications for the Sixth A venue Bridge Promenade that fell short of being awarded. OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS: The City Council ("Council") will consider their approval of the submittal of three applications at one of its March meetings, which include the two projects listed in this report. BACKGROUND: Prior to the dissolution of redevelopment agencies and the concurrent loss of tax increment financing, CivicSD (formally the Centre City Development Corporation) did not participate in the City of San Diego ("City") grant application process since redevelopment funds were available for public improvement projects. However, with the loss of this funding source, staff has been participating in various grant solicitations with the City. 401 B Street, Suite 400, San Diego, CA Phone Fax

2 Downtown Community Planning Council Meeting off ebruary 18, 2014 Page -2- DISCUSSION: SANDAG has requested applications under the 2015 SGIP. The objective of the grant program is to foster studies and projects that encourage and facilitate Smart Growth principles, specifically high-density infill development in transit rich areas of the County of San Diego. Many of the former redevelopment areas are well positioned for these grants, being that they are within identified Smart Growth communities along the various transit corridors within the City. In previous cycles, CivicSD staff evaluated a number of planning efforts and capital improvement projects located throughout the City within the former redevelopment areas, especially projects listed on the Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS) that the State Department of Finance had challenged or denied to see if they would qualify for this grant program. CivicSD was successful in being awarded grants for the Downtown San Diego Mobility Plan ("Mobility Plan"), East Village Green General Development Plan and 14th Street Promenade Master Plan totaling $600,000 in grant funds. In addition, CivicSD obtained capital grants for the Island Avenue Mobility Improvements and Downtown Wayfinding Signs totaling $1,335,000 in grant funds. CivicSD has once again met with City staff in order to identify potential project applications for the current grant cycle. The group considered past applications that fell short of being awarded a grant in previous cycles as well as new potential projects. For the current cycle of funding, $12 million is available for allocation to Smart Growth Incentive Program capital grants ($9.6M) and non-capital grants ($2.4M). The City has listed three projects it wishes to submit applications for, including two proposed by CivicSD, as follows: 14th Street Promenade Pilot Block- In 2014, CivicSD, on behalf of the City of San Diego, obtained a SGIP grant of $300,000 to complete the East Village Green park general development plan and the 14th Street Promenade Master Plan. Currently both design efforts are under way. This application would be for the design and construction of the first block of the 14th Street Promenade between Broadway and E Street (adjacent to the Police Headquarters). The 14th Street Promenade will create an approximately 30-foot wide pedestrian promenade/linear park which will connect City College to Barrio Logan through the East Village neighborhood, including connecting several existing and future park sites. Proposed Capital Grant Amount: Matching Funds: $1,000,000 $250,000 -Downtown Floor Area Ratio (FAR) Bonus Program Funds In 2014 CivicSD applied for a $990,000 grant through the State's Urban Greening Grant program (with $270,000 in matching funds) and made it to a "wait list," but ultimately were not selected.

3 Downtown Community Planning Council Meeting of February 18, 2014 Page -3- Sixth Avenue Bridge Promenade- This project would provide for the schematic design of the Sixth Avenue Bridge Promenade which will provide an enhanced pedestrian connection between Downtown and Balboa Park. The project would I) remove a freeway off-ramp free-tum andreconfigure the Sixth A venue/elm Street intersection to eliminate pedestrian hazards and 2) convert a parking lane and travel lane to provide a widened, enhanced pedestrian pathway with landscaping and other pedestrian features. Proposed Planning Grant Amount: $200,000 Matching Funds: $50,000 -Downtown FAR Bonus Program Funds In 2012 CivicSD applied for a $1.5M SANDAG Active Transportation Grant (ATG) (with $500,000 matching) to take the project through feasibility analysis, design and construction. CivicSD staff believes that grant application was not selected because the ATG was looking for both bicycle and pedestrian enhancements. In 2013 CivicSD applied for a SGIP Planning grant of $175,000 to do just the feasibility and concept design. However, CivicSD staff is fairly confident the project didn't make the cut because no matching funds were being offered and therefore no points were received in that category. At this time the traffic feasibility analysis is being conducted with the Mobility Plan so the project can go directly into schematic design. The FAR Bonus Payment Program was established in 2007 to allow developers to achieve FAR bonuses by paying into a special fund established for public parks and enhanced public right-of-ways. The price for this additional FAR was originally established at $15.00/square foot (SF) of building area to be achieved with the FAR bonus, but this price has been adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index and currently is $17.09/SF. In 2012, the Council amended the program by expanding the areas where the FAR Bonus Payment Program applied and the amount off AR which could be purchased in order to increase the potential revenue from this program and increase funding for public parks and enhanced public rightsof-way. To date, $1.7 million has been paid into the fund, which is managed by CivicSD on behalf of the City. An additional $4.1million is anticipated to be paid into the fund over the next several years if entitled projects commence construction. Both applications are consistent with the following Downtown Community Plan goals and policies: 4.1-P-9 Improve Green Streets as an essential element of the open space system- as connections to the waterfront, Balboa Park, activity centers, and parks and plazas; as treelined open spaces; and as continuous recreational paths. 5.4-G-2 Envision streets as extensions of downtown's open space network, presenting opportunities to linger, stroll, and gather, rather than simply as traffic movement spines. 5.4-P-2 Undertake, as a priority, cohesive streetscape improvements to streets designated as Boulevards, Green Streets, Main Streets, and Residential Streets in Pedestrian Priority Zones, as established in Chapter 7: Transportation.

4 Downtown Community Planning Council Meeting offebruary 18,2014 Page G-1 Foster physical and visual linkages between downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, working together with adjacent communities. 7.1-G-1 Develop street typology based on functional and urban design considerations, emphasizing connections and linkages, pedestrian and cyclist comfort, transit movement, and compatibility with adjacent land uses. 7.2-G-1 Develop a cohesive and attractive walking and bicycle system within downtown that provides links within the area and to surrounding neighborhoods. 7.2-P-4 In Pedestrian Priority Zones (Figure 7-2): o Undertake strategic streetscape improvements (such as, sidewalk widenings, bulb-outs, enhanced lighting, and signage ); o Lengthen traffic signal walk times for pedestrians and explore feasibility of"all walk" signalization at intersections with heavy pedestrian flow; and, o Accept lower levels of automobile traffic level of service CONCLUSION: Staff recommends that the DCPC support both of these grant applications by writing letters of support as both projects are consistent with the Downtown Community Plan and the grants will help fund much needed public open space and infrastructure further improving the quality of life in San Diego's densest community. Respectfully submitted, Brad Richter Assistant Vice President, Planning Attachments: A Street Promenade Master Plan B - Sixth A venue Bridge Promenade s:\planning\grants\20 15 sandag smart growth incentive program\dcpc docx

5 Ful l Application for the Urban Greening Projec t 4. SITE PLAN Downtown San Diego Cedar Street 1 Pilot Site Spurlock Poirier landscape Architeds Burnett LAND & WATER ETM Associates HR&A Advisors SLP Urban Planners Lourie Madigan KPFF PCG Utility Consultants ~ North - Existing O pen Space Proposed Open Space Downtown Public Open Space Implementation Plan (POSIP), , City Centre Development Corporation Yision: Cultivate Communi!J Healtfl 6

6 14th Street Pilot Block GROW G ree n Rights -of-way Broad~ ~~ ~ --, r Existing traffic signal to remain Pilot Site Existing fire hydrant to remain Existing pedestrian lighting Existing section of the pilot block Proposed section of the pilot block j "~ Crosswalk Adjust existing stormwater inlet and seat walls capture seasonal runoff 7

7 14th Street Pilot Bl ock GROW Green Rig h ts -of-wa y Exotic trees in grates will be replaced with native species. 13

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