Eager for an ecodistrict in PB? Now is time to get your two cents’ worth in the mix
by DAVE SCHWAB
Apr 16, 2014 | 3343 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mission Bay is among the areas targeted in the campaign to create a local ecodistrict. Photo by Ethan Orenstein
Mission Bay is among the areas targeted in the campaign to create a local ecodistrict. Photo by Ethan Orenstein
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Now that experts have weighed in on how Pacific Beach, Mission Beach and Mission Bay Park can become more eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable, it’s up to local residents to make that happen.

The first step in accomplishing that objective is to map out a strategy.

Local residents will be doing exactly that at the long-awaited EcoDistrict/Livability Workshop, to be held Tuesday, April 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Pacific Beach Middle School, located at 4676 Ingraham St.

“We will be giving a presentation to review some key proposals, then participants will go to various stations of their interest to learn more and give more input,” said Chris Olson, a member of beautifulPB and Pacific Beach Planning Group, in touting the April 29 workshop. “We will also be looking for more people to volunteer in these efforts, as we are all volunteers and this is community-driven.”

Olson said a plethora of topics — including zoning and land use, community gardens, public spaces, PB parks, watershed/stormwater issues, Rose Creek matters, neighborhood greenways and safe routes to school, Garnet/Grand/Mission Boulevard improvements, community identity, signage and entryway improvements, creation of a community benefit district, Mission Bay gateway and a transit-oriented development Balboa trolley stop — will be discussed at the workshop.

In 2013, several members of the American Institute of Architects’ sustainable design assessment team (SDAT) visited the beach areas to collaborate with local residents on ways to develop concepts for making communities more environmentally sustainable.

SDAT members are nationally accredited professionals in numerous areas of expertise, including those of urban design, planning, landscape architecture, renewable energy, traffic and transportation. They were invited by local stakeholders to offer expertise on how best to make beach communities greener, cleaner and more economically lean.

Pacific Beach resident Ambrose Wong of Burkett & Wong Engineering will be presenting at the April 29 ecodistrict workshop.

Wong said the SDAT’s assessment of what could be done to make the beachfront more sustainable has been broken down into four main categories for further analysis: sustainable infrastructure, urban design and community identity, transportation and economy and land use.

“We’re taking a neighborhood-wide approach to planning for the future in such areas as street and alley improvements and sustainable design, including such things as rain gardens and pervious pavement,” said Wong. “We’re also integrating that with bike lanes, pedestrian crosswalks and ramps and stormwater improvements filtering water before it reaches the bay or beach areas.”

Wong said SDAT’s experts have “passed the ball to us (residents) and now we’re going to have to run with it. This meeting is to involve everyone in creating that game plan — how we run with the ball.”

Wong is lending his expertise as a civil engineer, having chaired the sustainable infrastructure committee. PBPG chairman Brian Curry will head the economic and land-use committee at the ecodistrict workshop. Elvin Lai, president of Discover PB, is heading the transportation committee.

The urban design and community identity committee will be chaired by Danielle Page Buttacavoli.
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