Frequently Asked Questions

Mission Beach Residences and Santa Barbara Place Residences

When did Mission Beach Elementary School cease operations?

The San Diego Unified School District operated the properties as an elementary school from 1925 until 1973. The facility was then used for adult education until the early 1990’s. The property south of Santa Barbara was used for administrative purposes by SDUSD until 2013; the property north of Santa Barbara was left to fall into a dilapidated and uninhabitable condition. The San Diego Unified School District formally declared both properties surplus in 2012, and elected to sell at that time.

Why were the properties not sold to the City for a park or other public use?

The School District offered both properties twice to the City of San Diego and other public agencies at a price substantially below market value. Neither time did the City, nor any of the other public agencies, make an offer to buy. After the public agencies declined to buy, the properties went to public auction. McKellar McGowan was the chosen bidder and purchased the properties in December 2013.

How many homes are proposed for the site?

The projects include 51 condominium homes north of Santa Barbara Place (Mission Beach Residences) and 12 south of Santa Barbara Place (Santa Barbara Place Residences), in a mix of 4-plexes, 3-plexes, duplexes and a single family home.

What is the current zoning for the properties, and what density is allowed?

Both properties are zoned residential. All of the lots are subject to the Mission Beach Planned District Ordinance and are identified as MBPD-R-S, which allows 36 dwelling units per net residential acre.

Does the density fit the surrounding Mission Beach community?

The projects’ overall density is 28.25 dwelling units per acre and both are consistent with the zoning per the Mission Beach Planned Development Ordinance. Project density for the Mission Beach Residences is 27.1 dwelling units per acre, where 36 dwelling units per acre are allowed. Santa Barbara Place Residences are 35.3 dwelling units per acre where 36 dwelling units per acre are allowed. Existing density in Mission Beach is 33.35 dwelling units per acre. Density in the blocks surrounding the projects range from 27.2, 34.3, 29.2, 36.5, to 32.9 dwelling units per acre.

How do you plan maintaining a quiet, family friendly atmosphere in the homes?

The projects will be governed by a Homeowner’s Association (HOA) which will be empowered to control any unruly behavior and enforce its rules swiftly and effectively. This self-policing is unique in Mission Beach; some small properties have HOA’s, but none are of a scale large enough to make the enforcement effective.

How about the plan to locate the park on Mission Blvd.? Why did you choose that location and configuration?

The park proposed as part of the Mission Beach Residences project will be a unique attribute to the community, offering a convenient gathering area and visual break available to all who travel along Mission Boulevard. It will be a neighborhood park, but it will not include an expanse of a water thirsty lawn; there are plenty of those places in Mission Beach. The park is envisioned to be a gathering place for passersby, with carefully placed shade trees, benches, game tables, workout structures, and dog watering stations, etc.  It will pay tribute to the former Mission Beach Elementary School, as well as to the community of Mission Beach, and will be beautifully landscaped and hardscaped. The proposed park will be interactive and will be a resource for the community. Besides being in a convenient location for the community, perhaps the most compelling reason for its location is that “all eyes will be upon it”. The community and law enforcement expressed to us a firm desire that the park discourage its use for “unintended” activities. That said, the final design of the park will be determined by a park planning process involving public input.

How did you gather input with the Mission Beach community and incorporate it into the projects?

We began reaching out to the community in June 2013, asking for design input from neighbors and the greater Mission Beach community. Working through the Mission Beach Precise Planning Board (MBPPB), we hosted a design charrette to collect ideas from all interested parties. Based on the comments received, we proposed two alternatives, one with underground parking and one with the traditional Mission Beach grid layout. At our presentation, a straw vote was taken and the underground solution was overwhelmingly accepted by all in attendance. The MBPPB voted to approve that design. After developing the plan for four months, the MBPPB directed us to scrap our work and redesign the projects with the grid pattern. We complied with their directive. Over the next two years and eight months, we were on the MBPPB agenda 15 times and we attended each of those Board meetings. In addition, we hosted a community Q&A session at Santa Clara Point, we presented the projects to the Mission Beach Town Council, and we participated in a City-sponsored park design workshop at the Pacific Beach Recreation Center. We have always been available to meet with individual members of the community, and have done so many times. In fact, we encourage you to call us anytime at 858.353.2397 to ask any questions you may have. We continue to welcome the thoughts and ideas of the community.

McKellar McGowan LLC • 888 Prospect St #330 La Jolla CA 92037 • 858.353.2397