Sierra Club

Sierra Club comments on Heights school rebuild

If you don’t know the Sierra Club, according to their website they are the most enduring and influential environmental organization in the U.S. with over 3.8M members, co-founded in 1892 by John Muir, the father of our national park system.

Sierra Club divides their comments into the following sections of the project’s environmental report (officially known as CEQA Mitigated Negative Declaration or MND):

We have provided some excerpts from their eight page letter below. You can download their full letter by clicking the link at the bottom of this page – or by flipping through the slides at bottom.


“This school site is in a particularly sensitive location because it is adjacent to the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. We are disappointed that our concerns about protection of the adjacent reserve have not received adequate consideration to date.

Additionally, we feel the proposed 2-day window (March 23 to the 25th) between receipt of public comments on this CEQA required environmental analysis and the scheduled review of this project by the Board of the Del Mar Unified School District, is grossly inadequate. Allowing only 2 days between close of comments and final approval seems to assume that there are no potential issues to be raised, or that the intent is to ignore any concerns and proceed to approval without actually adequately considering them. It is concerning, given the extent of the community concerns that have already been raised on this project, this key part of the process appears to not be taken seriously.”

Biological Resources

“Appendix C of the MND mentions the City of San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Plan (MSCP) and the considerable erosion and damage to the sensitive habitat that has occurred as a result of the two discharge pipes. The discussion fails to address any of the project’s indirect, long-term potential impacts on the adjacent Torrey Pines State Reserve.”


Insufficient parking analysis and support for Transportation Demand Management” 

Air Quality

“No idling restrictions”

Green House Gas Emissions

“No discussion of consistency with city of San Diego Climate Action Plan”

Water Quality

“Potential impacts of on-going maintenance of stormwater system and outflows to the sensitive habitat” 

“Inadequate information on stormwater analysis”


“Potential impact on adjacent Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve” 

Public Services-Wildfire Risk

Need for an evacuation time study”

“[H]igh severity fire risk zone because of its location adjacent to hardline preserve land.”

“Schools are of particular concern in planning for evacuations because typically there is extensive traffic into the site right at the time the evacuation out of the site is needed. Given the site configuration with one way in and out, more cars inside the site boundary, and no change in nearby roadway capacity this could result in a substantial increase in potential evacuation times.”

Public Services-Recreation

“Inadequate analysis of impact on community recreational facilities”

“[T]he City of San Diego and the California Department of Education have specific standards for recreational amenities which will no longer be met if the changes are made.”

scroll pages UP and DOWN with mouse or finger

click share arrow and send link to others