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-   -   SAN DIEGO | Boom Rundown, Vol. 2 (https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=126473)

Will O' Wisp Apr 16, 2019 3:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SDfan (Post 8540950)
Can you clarify, were they talking about raising downtown's height limit over 500 specifically, or was the piece addressing his recent efforts to raise height limits in transit priority areas generally?

I haven't heard anything about downtown's height limit being raised at all. I think there may be some miscommunication going around.

And Will O' Wisp, thank you for the information on actual rules and regs for the height limit. I've shared with some friends who may actually be able to do something about this...

No one I know has heard of this thing either, so I'm inclined to think this is either a false rumor or a paper napkin idea.

If your friends are anything like my friends they like big, bright, colorful pictures to explain everything to them, and they tend to like better sources than "some guy on the internet". Luckily I've got just the thing for that:

SDIA ALUCP Chapters 1-6
SDIA ALUCP Appendices
SDIA ALUCP Factor Maps and Matrices

This is the Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan for Lindbergh Field, as published by the airport and adopted by the city. It defines in detail how San Diego's land use planning is effected by the airport and the state/federal rules surrounding it. Most of it has to do with noise, but Appendix E4 (page 117 of the second PDF) deals directly airspace protection measures.

Here's what amounts to a graphical depiction of my previous post, a map of the Part 77 surfaces surrounding KSAN:

https://i.imgur.com/euYKSvz.jpg

This map only illustrates the Part 77 surfaces going up to 366.6' (the highest terrain penetration), but it's enough to get you the idea. There's nowhere in downtown you could build even a 300' structure without breaching one of the surfaces. Page 137 also has a description of the state regs I've been talking about, although I've always found their wording needlessly confusing. If a structure penetrates a Part 77 surface Caltrans won't issue it a permit for it to go over 500', that's all you've got to say.

And finally there's this, a map of the TERPS surfaces around KSAN:

https://i.imgur.com/Cp7yDEg.jpg

These are the surfaces that actually effect air travel. If one is breached the FAA needs to redo the landing procedures for aircraft coming in during bad weather, likely requiring higher visibility minimums. That's bad because if aircraft can't land on Rwy 27 they have to land on Rwy 9, but there's a significant segment of aircraft operation out of KSAN that can't take off on Rwy 9 because they can't make it over Banker's Hill. So then we've got aircraft trying to take off and land in opposite directions, which causes nightmares of delays.

Still, you can see that you could build structures up to 600'-700' in Horton Plaza without effecting air traffic into KSAN, and there are really no height restrictions on the Seaport Village area at all.

CaliNative Apr 16, 2019 10:45 AM

These are the surfaces that actually effect air travel. If one is breached the FAA needs to redo the landing procedures for aircraft coming in during bad weather, likely requiring higher visibility minimums. That's bad because if aircraft can't land on Rwy 27 they have to land on Rwy 9, but there's a significant segment of aircraft operation out of KSAN that can't take off on Rwy 9 because they can't make it over Banker's Hill. So then we've got aircraft trying to take off and land in opposite directions, which causes nightmares of delays.

Still, you can see that you could build structures up to 600'-700' in Horton Plaza without effecting air traffic into KSAN, and there are really no height restrictions on the Seaport Village area at all.[/QUOTE]

So what agency sets the height limit? The city? The FAA? Is the 500' height limit a law, or just an informal agreement? You say a 600 or 700' building could be built near Horton or even taller near Seaport Village that would not interfere with traffic. Where would a developer need to go to get permission or an exemption to build taller? It would be nice to have at least a few buildings well above 500' so we don't have a plateau skyline.

Nerv Apr 16, 2019 7:02 PM

I keep thinking about a episode of Air Disasters that commented once about San Diego’s airport that having either a airplane in trouble or flying in bad weather flying over one of the 10 largest cities in the country full of high rises is a bad idea on any day. I’ve never heard the details spelled out about other options that the FAA has picked with its flying lanes but I have heard comments there are some but I’m guessing money and convenience probably trump safety?

Either way IMO the FAA today is a joke after their recent “issues” with their Boeing “relationship” and aren’t really all that interested in safety. Pretty bad when even past FAA management piles on the current players at FAA.

Anyway that’s my rant. Lol

I expect nothing less than 500 footers in SD into the future and when a plane finally plows into one expect the pilot to get the blame and not the idiotic flight paths that were picked by the FAA. :(

mello Apr 16, 2019 9:15 PM

Nice Renders of 1st and Beech what about constuction?
 
It seems we keep getting Ooh and Aah renders but no shovels in the ground. Does anyone have any idea when some of these towers will come to fruition?

I checked that Minto Company that has had their 8th and Broadway tower approved for 2 years now builds tract housing in South Carolina and Florida, not really sure if they have ever built a tower in a major city...

What is the timeline on the Holland Courthouse redo? I can't wait to see what JMI proposes for that lot D behind Petco could that possibly try to go higher than 500 feet?

Will O' Wisp Apr 17, 2019 5:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaliNative (Post 8541741)
So what agency sets the height limit? The city? The FAA? Is the 500' height limit a law, or just an informal agreement? You say a 600 or 700' building could be built near Horton or even taller near Seaport Village that would not interfere with traffic. Where would a developer need to go to get permission or an exemption to build taller? It would be nice to have at least a few buildings well above 500' so we don't have a plateau skyline.

The 500' height limit is officially set by Caltrans, a state level agency. The limit can best be described as a policy, a standard set by a regulatory agency delegated jurisdiction over the issue.

You are required to get a permit from Caltrans if a proposed structure is either (a) taller than 500' or (b) the structure penetrates one of the Part 77 surfaces I've previously described. Caltrans has said repeatedly over the past several decades that they will issue permits for one, or the other, but will not issue a permit for both on the same structure.

The state law which gives Caltrans this authority preempts any local laws enacted by San Diego. The federal government has declined to give the FAA authority to regulate building heights, possibly because such an action would be an unconstitutional power grab from the states, and so there is no federal law to preempt Caltrans' policies.

SDfan Apr 17, 2019 3:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 8543054)
The 500' height limit is officially set by Caltrans, a state level agency. The limit can best be described as a policy, a standard set by a regulatory agency delegated jurisdiction over the issue.

You are required to get a permit from Caltrans if a proposed structure is either (a) taller than 500' or (b) the structure penetrates one of the Part 77 surfaces I've previously described. Caltrans has said repeatedly over the past several decades that they will issue permits for one, or the other, but will not issue a permit for both on the same structure.

The state law which gives Caltrans this authority preempts any local laws enacted by San Diego. The federal government has declined to give the FAA authority to regulate building heights, possibly because such an action would be an unconstitutional power grab from the states, and so there is no federal law to preempt Caltrans' policies.

First, THANK YOU for the laying out the rules and regs regarding this.

Second, so a policy solution could be a state bill giving SD a narrow carve out from Caltrans regs over height limits in this very specific (downtown) jurisdiction?

Northparkwizard Apr 17, 2019 11:23 PM

Whoa, Two America Plaza is moving ahead?

"Date of Notice: April 17, 2019
NOTICE OF APPLICATION
As a nearby property owner, occupant, or person who has requested notice, you are hereby notified that Civic San Diego (“CivicSD”) has received an application for Two America Plaza (“Project”), a proposal for a 13-story, 160-foot tall, mixed-use development comprised of 301 hotel guest rooms, 48 dwelling units, 179 parking spaces, and approximately 25,000 square feet (SF) of commercial space located on a 65,317 SF, full block site bounded by Kettner Boulevard, India Street, West B Street, and the MTS Trolley Station
in the Columbia neighborhood of the Downtown Community Plan area. This Project will require consideration of a Centre City Development Permit/Planned Development Permit/Neighborhood Use Permit (CCDP/PDP/NUP). The NUP is required for outdoor dining areas associated with ground floor
eating and drinking establishments. The PDP is required for the following deviations to:

1. Reduce the minimum floor area ratio;
2. Reduce the minimum street wall height;
3. Reduce the minimum commercial space depth;
4. Reduce the minimum distance between a curb cut and intersection;
5. Reduce the minimum distance between curb cuts; and,
6. Allow tandem spaces under a valet parking program."

This one surprises me. Link: http://civicsd.com/wp-content/upload...za-4.17.19.pdf

HurricaneHugo Apr 18, 2019 1:21 AM

I usually complain too much about lack of height but come on now,13 stories?!

CaliNative Apr 18, 2019 7:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will O' Wisp (Post 8543054)
The 500' height limit is officially set by Caltrans, a state level agency. The limit can best be described as a policy, a standard set by a regulatory agency delegated jurisdiction over the issue.

You are required to get a permit from Caltrans if a proposed structure is either (a) taller than 500' or (b) the structure penetrates one of the Part 77 surfaces I've previously described. Caltrans has said repeatedly over the past several decades that they will issue permits for one, or the other, but will not issue a permit for both on the same structure.

The state law which gives Caltrans this authority preempts any local laws enacted by San Diego. The federal government has declined to give the FAA authority to regulate building heights, possibly because such an action would be an unconstitutional power grab from the states, and so there is no federal law to preempt Caltrans' policies.

Thanks for the explanation. As you say, looks like a case can be made for some taller buildings >500 feet (maybe up to 700') in the south part of downtown near he bay, away from the flight paths. Taller buildings in UTC/UCSD area and Mission Valley also should be allowed. But NIMBYs might be a problem. No reason 40-50 story condo/apt/hotel/office towers couldn't be built, esp. near UTC where the demand is and the new trolley line is going in. Kind of a San Diego satellite downtown like Century City is in L.A. The SDSU West Village in Mission Valley on the Qualcomm Stadium site should also have some taller towers.

Will O' Wisp Apr 18, 2019 7:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SDfan (Post 8543390)
First, THANK YOU for the laying out the rules and regs regarding this.

Second, so a policy solution could be a state bill giving SD a narrow carve out from Caltrans regs over height limits in this very specific (downtown) jurisdiction?

Yes a state bill mandating exemptions from Caltrans height regs in downtown SD would be an effective solution, but in much the same way napalm is an effective pest control solution. There are alternatives that could achieve the same goals without yanking away Caltrans' state granted jurisdiction over aviation safety.

Now the big thing here is that there isn't any law that says Caltrans can't issue a permit in these circumstances. They just choose not to. The reasons why are a bit complex. First off you need to understand that there's only 8 or so people in the entire Caltrans Aeronautics Division, which regulates the safety of hundreds of airports and heliports across California doing everything from inspecting pavement conditions to updating pilot's charts.

There's one guy who handles everything south of LA. His name is Mike, and he's very overworked.

A building that is tall enough and placed close enough to an airport requires complex airspace studies, wind analysis, glare simulations, and a ton of experts in all of those fields to go over them line by line to make sure nothing is missed. Taller building further away from an airport also need these expensive and lengthy studies. Caltrans doesn't actually have the manpower to do them, so they have to get them from someone else. The FAA is the one that conducts these studies, but even their resources are limited. They would prefer to limit the amount of them they do.

Well, downtown SD is so close to its airport that damn near every project would need one of these things. So back in the late 80s when San Diego was negotiating the current height limit the FAA agreed that anything below 500' could be permitted in downtown without the need for these detailed individual studies, and Caltrans agreed not to permit anything over 500'. The FAA was happy that they didn't have to spend thousands of dollars conducting studies every time a skyscraper was built in SD. Caltrans was happy to have a simple rule they could easily enforce. Developers were happy since they wouldn't need to wait months for the FAA to finish inspecting every little detail of their designs. The city was thrilled just to get 390'+ buildings.

And that's the way things have been for the last 30 years. Nearly every other major city's airport is far enough away from their downtown to make building 500'+ tall buildings near it unnecessary. The only other exception in California, San Jose, has an approach path that goes directly over its downtown core and so isn't going to make it to 500' anyway. This issue doesn't effect anyone but San Diego, and that means no one else particularly cares to change things.

Now if one were interested in getting this limit removed you wouldn't need to take away Caltrans' jurisdiction, which would be a controversial move. All you need to do is convince them to issue permits. If you want to go through Sacramento, you could get a state bill mandating Caltrans study the feasibility of allowing 500'+ buildings in downtown San Diego. Send them some money to hire an engineering firm, and I can pretty well tell you the answer is going to come back that there's no real reason you couldn't do it. Then the pressure is on Caltrans to justify why they're holding everything up. Of course, Sacramento isn't likely to put down dollars unless there's some form of commitment from the city that they're actually going to make use of this. But then the whole thing is just another city government asking the state to conduct a scientific study to further its economic interests, which absolutely every city everywhere does all the time. Not an unreasonable thing to ask for or get.

Nerv Apr 18, 2019 8:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Northparkwizard (Post 8544133)
Whoa, Two America Plaza is moving ahead?

"Date of Notice: April 17, 2019
NOTICE OF APPLICATION
As a nearby property owner, occupant, or person who has requested notice, you are hereby notified that Civic San Diego (“CivicSD”) has received an application for Two America Plaza (“Project”), a proposal for a 13-story, 160-foot tall, mixed-use development comprised of 301 hotel guest rooms, 48 dwelling units, 179 parking spaces, and approximately 25,000 square feet (SF) of commercial space located on a 65,317 SF, full block site bounded by Kettner Boulevard, India Street, West B Street, and the MTS Trolley Station
in the Columbia neighborhood of the Downtown Community Plan area. This Project will require consideration of a Centre City Development Permit/Planned Development Permit/Neighborhood Use Permit (CCDP/PDP/NUP). The NUP is required for outdoor dining areas associated with ground floor
eating and drinking establishments. The PDP is required for the following deviations to:

1. Reduce the minimum floor area ratio;
2. Reduce the minimum street wall height;
3. Reduce the minimum commercial space depth;
4. Reduce the minimum distance between a curb cut and intersection;
5. Reduce the minimum distance between curb cuts; and,
6. Allow tandem spaces under a valet parking program."

This one surprises me. Link: http://civicsd.com/wp-content/upload...za-4.17.19.pdf

Is there a rendering of this mini me building?

Are they just trying to benefit from the original building by stealing the name?

Not sure from that description that it has anything to do with the original outside of the name...

eburress Apr 18, 2019 4:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HurricaneHugo (Post 8544230)
I usually complain too much about lack of height but come on now,13 stories?!

On the bright side, this is one way to avoid a skyline plateau... :D

Will O' Wisp Apr 18, 2019 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nerv (Post 8544503)
Is there a rendering of this mini me building?

Are they just trying to benefit from the original building by stealing the name?

Not sure from that description that it has anything to do with the original outside of the name...

SD_Urban was kind enough to post some pics on a previous page

https://live.staticflickr.com/7907/3...1c1f1d76_z.jpg

https://live.staticflickr.com/7899/4...387f206d_z.jpg

While I immediately shared the same sentiment of everyone else here aekrid posted this blast from the past that shows that when they initially built the foundations for the site they were planning a similarly sized building.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJpDc5eTzRE

Building something larger would probably mean digging out the current foundations and rerouting the shared utilities with One America plaza, which I'm guessing cost too much to be worth it. That might be why all plans for taller tower always fell through.

Best I can say is that we're getting the authentic Two America Plaza, crappy 1980s level height and all.

Boatguy619 Apr 18, 2019 11:20 PM

You wouldn't notice 2 America Plaza even if it was 500+ ft. Glad to see that eyesore block finally being built on. That part of downtown has so much density, a little space between high-rises for SD sunshine isn't such a bad thing.

Anyone know whats U/C in TJ right now? I was in Otay this morning, haven't been down to TJ in months but this tower looks like it went up quick. Around 400+ft maybe. Easily the tallest in the city. Looks like it might be near the stadium.

HurricaneHugo Apr 19, 2019 2:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Boatguy619 (Post 8545627)
Anyone know whats U/C in TJ right now? I was in Otay this morning, haven't been down to TJ in months but this tower looks like it went up quick. Around 400+ft maybe. Easily the tallest in the city. Looks like it might be near the stadium.

This one?

http://www.skyscrapercenter.com/buil...ampestre/34956

Nv_2897 Apr 21, 2019 5:07 AM

The Manchester Pacific Gateway now has two cranes (sorry that the bad image quality). I wonder how many more will go up?
https://i.imgur.com/EI8fc3a.png

mello Apr 22, 2019 8:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nv_2897 (Post 8547399)
The Manchester Pacific Gateway now has two cranes (sorry that the bad image quality). I wonder how many more will go up?
https://i.imgur.com/EI8fc3a.png

Well to be honest guys I have some inside information on Manchester Pacific Gateway: I have been driving Uber here and there, the other night I drove some guys that work for a large construction firm in town and when MPG came up they said Papa Doug is trying to sell the entire project??? What? I asked them why, they said "He has to build the Navy Admin Tower and he is shopping the project around trying to take advantage of the hot market."

Who knows maybe this guy was confused but he seems really well connected. This is a massive legacy project for Doug Manchester and I'm shocked that he would walk away and that we haven't heard about this in the press. I called the UT and they haven't heard about it... :shrug:

SDfan Apr 22, 2019 10:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mello (Post 8548621)
Well to be honest guys I have some inside information on Manchester Pacific Gateway: I have been driving Uber here and there, the other night I drove some guys that work for a large construction firm in town and when MPG came up they said Papa Doug is trying to sell the entire project??? What? I asked them why, they said "He has to build the Navy Admin Tower and he is shopping the project around trying to take advantage of the hot market."

Who knows maybe this guy was confused but he seems really well connected. This is a massive legacy project for Doug Manchester and I'm shocked that he would walk away and that we haven't heard about this in the press. I called the UT and they haven't heard about it... :shrug:

I wouldn't be too worried about that. Manchester is in the business of developing properties, not managing them. It's his business model.

Nv_2897 Apr 22, 2019 10:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SDfan (Post 8548761)
I wouldn't be too worried about that. Manchester is in the business of developing properties, not managing them. It's his business model.

True but I heard that he wanted to manage the hotel section of the project by his own firm and be manchester hotels so I wonder if he did sell the project how would that work out?

CaliNative Apr 23, 2019 4:48 AM

What is the height limit in the UTC/UCSD area? With the trolley going in and the good freeway access, would seem to be a fertile area for some 30-40 (45?) story buildings, condos/apartments and office. San Diego's Century City. The tallest buildings there now seem to be about 20 stories. Also will a skyscraper cluster be allowed in Mission Valley? The redeveloped Qualcomm Stadium site ("SDSU west") might be a good place to start.


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