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SDSU Gets Feedback On Mission Valley Campus Expansion

An artist's rendering shows pedestrians and bicyclists on the planned SDSU Mi...

Credit: San Diego State University

Above: An artist's rendering shows pedestrians and bicyclists on the planned SDSU Mission Valley campus.

San Diego State University officials held open houses Thursday to gather feedback on their plans for a campus expansion in Mission Valley.

Voters last year approved a ballot measure requiring that the city of San Diego sell the former Chargers stadium property to the university for redevelopment. SDSU plans to build a new, smaller stadium and a 34-acre park along the San Diego River. The plan also calls for 4,600 apartments, 15 academic buildings and 400 hotel rooms to eventually be built.

The university unveiled a draft environmental impact report last month, showing the effect the project would have issues ranging from noise to air quality and traffic.

Laura Shinn, SDSU's director of planning, said most of the comments on the plan so far are related to traffic, and that the project would likely worsen congestion in the area. But she said additions like shuttles, transit passes and a large network of bike and pedestrian paths should reduce the project's vehicle trips by roughly 14%.

The site is not expected to be fully developed until 2037. Shinn said one challenge for the university is trying to imagine how mobility might change between now and then.

Reported by Andrew Bowen , Video by Kris Arciaga

"We may not need 5,000 parking spaces in 10, 15 years," she said. "We don't have a crystal ball, so we don't know exactly where we're going. But we're trying to plan ahead for a variety of contingencies and balance all of that."

RELATED: SDSU Selects Architect To Help Design Future Mission Valley Stadium

SDSU is proposing changes to several roads and intersections leading into the property. Most of the streets on the property itself will be relatively narrow with one lane in each direction.

"Overall, the campus is completely interconnected to facilitate travel by mostly walking and biking," reads the project's implementation plan.

Shain Haug, a resident of nearby Allied Gardens, said he hopes the university does more analysis of how traffic might be impacted further from the stadium site. But he said he supported the "SDSU West" ballot measure last year and was glad the university will have room to grow.

"Just having it available is an incredible benefit for not just the university but the community overall," he said.

City officials are conducting closed-door talks with SDSU over the sale price of the property. While the university has yet to make its financing plan public, it has pledged to not raise student tuition or fees to pay for the project.

The final open house for the project is planned for the evening of Sept. 24 at the Mission Valley Marriott. Anyone interested in submitting comments to the draft environmental impact report must do so by Oct. 3.

Listen to this story by Andrew Bowen.

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