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Will O' Wisp Aug 15, 2018 5:53 AM

Contrary to popular belief, the FAA doesn't set a general limit on building height near airports. There's a required 7460 notification of anything above 200' AGL (this rule is broken so often it hurts) or less if you're closer than 15,000' from the airport like Lindbergh, which fall under the "imaginary surfaces".

https://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyre...rport_Imag.gif

The FAA then does an Obstruction Evaluation study, which 90% of the time clears you to build. If they didn't, downtown would practically be flat. Caltrans though requires you get a permit from them if your structure both penetrates one of the imaginary surfaces and is taller than 500' AGL, a permit which they never give, not even if the FAA clears you. So this whole 500' limit only applies in California, which is why Boston's downtown still has skyscrapers of nearly 800' when their airport is close as or closer to their downtown than ours.

I have zero clue who gave the Tribune this garbage info about MSL, clearly someone whose never had to build anything near an airport before.
Source: me, someone whose had to build way too many things near an airport before.

mello Aug 15, 2018 5:56 AM

Does the Balboa Park redo still include those really nice reflecting pools that renderings used to have? I also think they could make the fountain a bit more grand and add some greenery in Plaza de Panama.

Also how has no one brought up the convention center expansion missing the ballot this year? I thought we would have a lot of discussion on that.

SDfan Aug 15, 2018 6:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 8281716)
Contrary to popular belief, the FAA doesn't set a general limit on building height near airports. There's a required 7460 notification of anything above 200' AGL (this rule is broken so often it hurts) or less if you're closer than 15,000' from the airport like Lindbergh, which fall under the "imaginary surfaces".

The FAA then does an Obstruction Evaluation study, which 90% of the time clears you to build. If they didn't, downtown would practically be flat. Caltrans though requires you get a permit from them if your structure both penetrates one of the imaginary surfaces and is taller than 500' AGL, a permit which they never give, not even if the FAA clears you. So this whole 500' limit only applies in California, which is why Boston's downtown still has skyscrapers of nearly 800' when their airport is close as or closer to their downtown than ours.

I have zero clue who gave the Tribune this garbage info, clearly someone whose never had to build anything near an airport before.
Source: me, someone whose had to build way too many things near an airport before.

OHemgee, thank you. So, theoretically, a developer would need to lobby Caltrans instead of the FAA on this?

The Flying Dutchman Aug 15, 2018 9:26 AM

What's the reasoning for Caltrans rejecting an FAA approved height waiver? States have total say in anything not enlisted in the Constitution, so what's the deal? Specifically, CA. Thanks Will

Will O' Wisp Aug 15, 2018 2:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SDfan (Post 8281721)
OHemgee, thank you. So, theoretically, a developer would need to lobby Caltrans instead of the FAA on this?

I mean sure, theoretically. Theoretically I if I kept pounding my face against a brick wall I could knock it down, but in reality I'd just end up with a busted nose and a bunch of broken dreams. This rule has been in place for decades, the ALUCP* even advises you that you won't be able to get a permit. I don't think anyone's even tried for years and years.

*Airport Land Use Comparability Plan

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman (Post 8281788)
What's the reasoning for Caltrans rejecting an FAA approved height waiver? States have total say in anything not enlisted in the Constitution, so what's the deal? Specifically, CA. Thanks Will

*mumble mumble* safety *mumble mumble* potential hazard to aerial navigation *mumble mumble*

Permitting structures is actually a state/local responsibility, not a federal one. The FAA requires states to issues laws requiring compliance with its rulings, but state/local governments are free to tack on any additional restrictions they'd like. San Jose set a limit at 300', so things could very well be worse.

Streamliner Aug 15, 2018 3:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 8281716)
Caltrans though requires you get a permit from them if your structure both penetrates one of the imaginary surfaces and is taller than 500' AGL, a permit which they never give, not even if the FAA clears you. So this whole 500' limit only applies in California, which is why Boston's downtown still has skyscrapers of nearly 800' when their airport is close as or closer to their downtown than ours.

So if the limit is because Caltrans rejects anything above 500' AGL, why are all of these new towers seemingly capping out at 500' above MSL? As a specific example, the Pacific and Broadway tower by Bosa has this limit: Link

Will O' Wisp Aug 16, 2018 12:28 AM

Quote:

The development standards for this site are defined in the DA including official policies governing the permitted uses of land, density, design, and improvement of the site and to the extent they are consistent with the terms of the DA; the 1992 CCPDO, as amended through 2004, is also applicable. Specific development regulations for this site include the following:
[...]
• Maximum building height of 500 feet above mean sea level;
Oh I see, sorry I don't do as much work downtown so I don't know every one of the ins and outs. Everything I said previously about the FAA, Caltrans, and the 500' AGL limit is still true, but it seems there's also a provision in the Centre City Planned Development District that limits height to 500' MSL. That limit would only apply in downtown SD (abit all of it, so no 2,000' towers in East Village even if Caltrans and the FAA say okay). That's how must of these regulations go, they get more restrictive the more local you get.

A planned development district is pretty much just a fancier local zoning code, so that particular limit could be waived with just a majority vote from the city council. I suspect the amount of extra height you'd get from that would hardly be worth the trouble though.

The SDUT article still makes zero sense though, no one in the world measure building height from sea level. Otherwise all the tallest buildings in the US would be in Denver.

Streamliner Aug 16, 2018 3:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 8282870)
Oh I see, sorry I don't do as much work downtown so I don'y know every one of the ins and outs. Everything I said previously about the FAA, Caltrans, and the 500' AGL limit is still true, but it seems there's also a provision in the Centre City Planned Development District that limits height to 500' MSL. That limit would only apply in downtown SD (abit all of it, so no 2,000' towers in East Village even if Caltrans and the FAA say okay). That's how must of these regulations go, they get more restrictive the more local you get.

A planned development district is pretty much just a fancier local zoning code, so that particular limit could be waived with a majority vote from the city council. I suspect the amount of extra height you'd get from that would hardly be worth the trouble though.

The SDUT article still makes zero sense though, no one in the world measure building height from sea level. Otherwise all the tallest buildings in the US would be in Denver.

What you said about FAA, Caltrans, and the 500' AGL limit all makes a ton of sense, so thanks for providing that insight. I am just frustrated that there seems to be an additional 500' AMSL limit downtown. And now that you clarified the FAA/Caltrans rules, it seems so arbitrary. :hell:

Nv_2897 Aug 17, 2018 12:50 AM

Savina will have a beautiful presence on the skyline.
https://i.imgur.com/MM0Ttgq.jpg

Streamliner Aug 17, 2018 4:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nv_2897 (Post 8284039)
Savina will have a beautiful presence on the skyline.

The surroundings on that rendering are so old. The new park wasn't even built. That same view in April

Nv_2897 Aug 17, 2018 11:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Streamliner (Post 8284663)
The surroundings on that rendering are so old. The new park wasn't even built. That same view in April

Yeah you're right the rendering is old now with Pacific gate and the waterfront park and the Lane field hotels I think the waterfront looks much better now and will look stunning after, once the Manchester Pacific Gateway, Pacific Gates Companion Tower and Seaport San Diego are done

Will O' Wisp Aug 18, 2018 9:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nv_2897 (Post 8285159)
Yeah you're right the rendering is old now with Pacific gate and the waterfront park and the Lane field hotels I think the waterfront looks much better now and will look stunning after, once the Manchester Pacific Gateway, Pacific Gates Companion Tower and Seaport San Diego are done

Not to mention the longer term opportunities north of the new Marriott and Intercontinental on Ash and replacing the office depot/substation on E St. Once those are finally don't I'll challenge any city to claim they have a better looking waterfront.

staplesla Aug 19, 2018 9:47 PM

Don’t get me wrong, I love taller buildings. But I’m glad that downtown SD has grown the way it has. Otherwise we’d currently have a few more taller buildings with less density and more empty blocks scattered around downtown. The density creates vibrancy and adds to the quality of life for those downtown.

HurricaneHugo Aug 20, 2018 6:24 AM

Hello all,

I was looking at the trolley's 2050 plan and it looks like the Mira Mesa extension is next?

Is that true?

Why would it be before the North Park line?

I mean I guess lots of UCSD students would use it to go to/from school but...

SDCAL Aug 20, 2018 7:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by staplesla (Post 8286469)
Don’t get me wrong, I love taller buildings. But I’m glad that downtown SD has grown the way it has. Otherwise we’d currently have a few more taller buildings with less density and more empty blocks scattered around downtown. The density creates vibrancy and adds to the quality of life for those downtown.

I don’t think that’s necessarily true. If we had 2 or 3 buildings that were over 500 feet, I don’t think that would take away from density that much and it would add some much needed diversity to the skyline.

SDCAL Aug 20, 2018 7:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneHugo (Post 8286838)
Hello all,

I was looking at the trolley's 2050 plan and it looks like the Mira Mesa extension is next?

Is that true?

Why would it be before the North Park line?

I mean I guess lots of UCSD students would use it to go to/from school but...

I agree it makes zero sense. SANDAG is incompetent. I’m guessing one reason might be the topography and density for a North Park line would be difficult, but it would also be a lot shorter than the Mira Mesa line so I would think the costs might come out about the same?

staplesla Aug 20, 2018 3:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SDCAL (Post 8286844)
I don’t think that’s necessarily true. If we had 2 or 3 buildings that were over 500 feet, I don’t think that would take away from density that much and it would add some much needed diversity to the skyline.

It’s simple math. If you move the square footage higher then you decrease the amount that is spread out.

spoonman Aug 20, 2018 7:49 PM

If you want to use a real comparison, we could look at one of the many twin tower developments in DTSD. If we have a twin tower project (each tower ~40 stories) on a podium in a city block, we could take that tower and combine it to make a single 80-90 story tower, which would likely have a similar podium (possible it could take less of the city block). The result is a dramatically taller building with roughly the same street life (same-ish podium). However, there would obviously be 1 tower instead of two.

I think the "density" argument holds only if you are talking about more buildings in the skyline, but there is probably not much change at street level. As some have said, I would gladly trade some (but not all) twins for a single larger tower.

If someone has free time and is good at photoshop, I would love to see a mockup of a couple twins turned into to double height singles.. :drooling:

Will O' Wisp Aug 21, 2018 5:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneHugo (Post 8286838)
Hello all,

I was looking at the trolley's 2050 plan and it looks like the Mira Mesa extension is next?

Is that true?

Why would it be before the North Park line?

I mean I guess lots of UCSD students would use it to go to/from school but...

I thought the Mira Mesa extension was cancelled (or at least postponed past the planning period of 2050). Next up was supposed to be another extension of the blue line, this time to the Sorrento Valley train station, followed by a new line up the 805 corridor from San Yisidro to Kearny Mesa.

SDCAL Aug 21, 2018 5:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 8287975)
I thought the Mira Mesa extension was cancelled (or at least postponed past the planning period of 2050). Next up was supposed to be another extension of the blue line, this time to the Sorrento Valley train station, followed by a new line up the 805 corridor from San Yisidro to Kearny Mesa.

It’s confusing because SANDAG is always changing their “long term plans.” That agency is extremely unreliable and I’ve learned it’s useless to rely on their long term plans because they will alsmost certainly change. Example, as someone pointed out, the North Park line was on their long term plan for many years. It kept getting pushed-out until the latest long term plan where it’s not even there anymore. Instead it’s the “purple line” which I think is the Mira Mesa line.


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