HELIX Environmental Planning (HELIX) prepared an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) addressing a proposed mixed use development located in the City of San Diego. In support of the EIR, HELIX prepared technical studies related to air quality, greenhouse gases (GHG) and noise. The development, known as One Paseo, would be one of the largest mixed use, sustainable developments proposed in the City of San Diego. The project consists of a total of 1,175,871 gross square feet (GSF) including 280,000 GSF of commercial office, 95,871 GSFof retail, and 608 multifamily units on a 23.6-acre site.
Major issues associated with the One Paseo project included traffic, aesthetics/neighborhood character, noise, and GHG. HELIX worked closely with the project traffic engineer to identify a series of roadway improvements available to reduce traffic impacts. In addition to adding turn lanes and restriping, traffic measures included state-of-the-art adaptive traffic signals which are interconnected to respond to local traffic flow. In response to the community concerns over the aesthetic impacts of the large-scale development, HELIX worked with the project architect to generate visual simulations to visually depict the relationship of the buildings, and to incorporate architectural and site design features to reduce the development’s visual impact. HELIX modeled traffic noise and developed noise attenuation measures required to achieve mandated interior and exterior noise levels.
Subsequent to the initial public review of the EIR, the project applicant decided to reduce the scale of the project in response to public concern. HELIX developed three new alternatives including one alternative that the applicant intended to pursue in lieu of the originally proposed project. To accommodate the City Council’s ability to approve the alternative, HELIX expanded the analysis to include mitigation measures specific to the applicant’s desired alternative. The three alternatives were recirculated for a second public review period.
As a highly controversial project, HELIX was challenged with responding to over 3,000 individual comments raised in a total of 423 letters received during the public review period of the original and recirculated EIR. In addition, HELIX coordinated additional analysis prepared by the applicant’s consultant team to support the responses to comments. The EIR was subsequently certified by the City Council.