San Diego Quiet Zone
THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
MINUTES FOR REGULAR COUNCIL MEETING
OF
JULY 31, 2007
AT 9:00 A.M.
IN THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS - 12TH FLOOR
View Video of Council Session

RA ITEM-6. Certification of the Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Downtown Quiet Zone- Areawide (District 2)

ITEM-337: Two actions related to Conversion of G Street to One-Way Operation within the Downtown Quiet Zone.  

(See Centre City Development Corporation CCDC Report 07-34/RTC-07-133. Centre City Community Area. District 2.)

STAFF’S RECOMMENDATION:

Adopt the following resolution in Subitem A and introduce the ordinance in Subitem B:

Subitem-A: (R-2007-283) ADOPTED AS RESOLUTION R-302926 Minutes of the Council of the City of San Diego for the Regular Meeting of Tuesday, July 31, 2007 Page 89

Approving the conversion of G Street from a two-way street to a one-way eastbound street from Pacific Highway to Front Street as part of the Downtown San Diego Quiet Zone, in accordance with the provisions of San Diego Municipal Code Section 82.19;

Approving the installation of the necessary signs, markings, and traffic signal modifications on G Street for implementation of the one-way conversion and the one-way regulation shall become effective upon the installation of the signs and markings;

Authorizing the City Clerk to deliver a copy of this resolution to the Executive Director and members of the Council;

Declaring that the Council, as Responsible Agency, under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), has reviewed and considered, prior to approving the one-way conversion, the final Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) SCH No. 2007021121, dated April 3, 2007 covering this activity, prepared by the Centre City Development Corporation as Lead Agency. Directing the City Clerk to file a Notice of Determination with the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors for the County of San Diego relating to this project.

Subitem-B: (O-2008-5) INTRODUCED, TO BE ADOPTED, TUESDAY,

SEPTEMBER 4, 2007

Introduction of an Ordinance authorizing the creation of angle parking zone on G Street between Pacific Highway and Front Street, in accordance with the provisions of the California Vehicle Code Section 22503 and San Diego Municipal Code Section 86.03;

Approving the installation of the necessary signs or markings, to be made on said street, and the regulations hereinabove imposed shall become effective upon the installation of such signs or markings;

Declaring that the City of San Diego, as Responsible Agency, under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), has reviewed and considered a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) SCH No. 2007021121, dated April 3, 2007 covering this activity, prepared by the Centre City Development Corporation as Lead Agency. Minutes of the Council of the City of San Diego for the Regular Meeting of Tuesday, July 31, 2007 Page 90

STAFF SUPPORTING INFORMATION:

Downtown San Diego has had an increase in residents adjacent to railroad tracks and crossings. As the area along the rail corridor has transitioned from industrial to residential and recreational uses, the noise associated with the sounding of locomotive and trolley horns has become a major

concern to residents and hotel visitors. Train horns, especially during the nighttime hours, can have a significant negative impact on the quality of life of the residents.

On January 31, 2000, Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting the use of train whistles in downtown San Diego between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am except in emergencies. However, this has not proven to be effective. Therefore, CCDC and the City are pursuing the option through a new rule by the Federal Railroad Administration of a "Quiet Zone" designation that would prohibit the use of train horns.

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has set out the regulatory procedures and technical requirements necessary for the implementation of a Quiet Zone in which train horn noise may be reduced. It is important to note that the rules limit, but not completely prohibit, the sounding of horns. Examples of continued use are the requirement to sound the horns when starting and stopping at stations, and in emergencies.

The City of San Diego and the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC) are working towards the implementation of a Downtown San Diego Quiet Zone to improve the quality of life for downtown residents and visitors. To do so, additional safety improvements will need to be made at each of Downtown's 13 rail crossings from Park Boulevard to Laurel Street.

These improvements include but are not limited to: additional crossing gates and/or center medians to prevent wrong-way drivers from entering a crossing; pedestrian gates where visibility is limited by adjacent buildings or other structures; and traffic signal modifications, new railroad crossing signals, and presignals. Not all of these improvements will be required at all locations.

The trolley and freight tracks cross diagonally through the intersection of Kettner Boulevard and G Street. It is not possible to use options such as medians or crossing gates to meet the Quiet Zone requirements at this location. However, converting G Street to one-way eastbound from Pacific Highway to Front Street will satisfy the FRA requirement to improve safety at this location for a Quiet Zone designation. In addition, this action has been determined to have the least negative impact to traffic circulation. The former westbound travel lane will be converted to angle parking.

CCDC, on behalf of the Agency, prepared an Initial Study in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines as amended October 1998 and the San Diego Minutes of the Council of the City of San Diego for the Regular Meeting of Tuesday, July 31, 2007 Page 91

Redevelopment Agency's Procedures for Implementation of CEQA and the State CEQA Guidelines. The Agency then prepared a draft Mitigated Negative Declaration ("MND") that was advertised in the Daily Transcript on February 26, 2007, and distributed to Federal, State, County, and City agencies as well as interested groups and individuals. Based upon the Final MND, the Agency has determined that the proposed Quiet Zone and the associated roadway

and/or crossing changes would not have a significant impact on the environment with implementation of the mitigation measures identified in the Final MND prepared for the project.

FISCAL CONSIDERATIONS:

This action only approves the conversion, and has no fiscal impact. The estimated $529,000 capital cost to implement the conversion will be paid by CCDC and will be brought for action later with the entire Quiet Zone project.

PREVIOUS COUNCIL and/or COMMITTEE ACTION:

On January 31, 2000, the City Council adopted Ordinance O-18744, amending the Municipal Code to create Section 85.28, prohibiting the use of train whistles in downtown San Diego between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am except in emergencies.

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION AND PUBLIC OUTREACH EFFORTS:

• March 3, 2005: CCDC public workshop, with over 100 attendees

• December 7, 2005: CCDC Real Estate (Planning and Projects) Committee meeting

• January 18, 2006: Centre City Advisory Committee and Project Area Committee meeting January 25, 2006: CCDC Board meeting

• July 17, 2006: Public meeting convened by Council Member Faulconer, with nearly 300 attendees

• May 30, 2007: CCDC Board recommended (5-0) that the City Council approve the G Street One-Way Conversion and the MND

KEY STAKEHOLDERS & PROJECTED IMPACTS:

Downtown San Diego residents and hotel guests will benefit from the reduction of train whistle noise throughout the day, but especially late at night.

Some downtown residents along the G Street corridor may need to alter travel routes because of the conversion of G Street to one-way operation.

An increase of 10 parking spaces on the north side of G Street will be provided to local residents and visitors.

Boekamp/Haas

Staff: Patti Boekamp- (619) 236-6274

Carol A. Leone - Deputy City Attorney Minutes of the Council of the City of San Diego for the Regular Meeting of Tuesday, July 31, 2007 Page 92

NOTE: See the Redevelopment Agency Agenda of July 31, 2007 for a companion item.

FILE LOCATION: SUBITEM A: MEET

SUBITEM B: NONE

COUNCIL ACTION: (Time duration: 3:36 p.m. – 3:36 p.m.)

MOTION BY FAULCONER TO ADOPT THE RESOLUTION IN SUBITEM A AND INTRODUCE THE ORDINANCE IN SUBITEM B. Second by Atkins. Passed by the following vote: Peters-yea, Faulconer-yea, Atkins-yea, Young-yea, Maienschein-not present, Frye-yea, Madaffer-yea, Hueso-yea.

 

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