By Jay Wilson
Good news, Del Cerro! By a 6-4 vote on May 10, the Navajo Community Planners Inc. (NCPI) supported the motion to deny the ColRich project.
This followed a vote by residents at the April 27 meeting of the Del Cerro Action Council (DCAC), where the vote was 30 against and five in favor of the project. Remember, votes by the DCAC and NCPI are only advisory votes to the city.
The primary concerns with the project continue to be emergency response times and the ingress and egress into the development from College Avenue.
The next step for ColRich is a presentation and vote by the Planning Commission and ultimately a vote by the City Council. You can view all the stipulations the city required from ColRich, as well as the date of the hearing when it is announced at delcerroactioncouncil.org. The public will have an opportunity to testify during the hearing, which will be held in City Council chambers on the 12th floor of the city administration building. Take the trolley, it stops in front of the building.
With all the vocal opposition to the project, I was surprised that only six people showed up to testify in opposition of the ColRich project. As a point of clarification, councilmembers cannot state their position on an item that will come before the City Council. Residents may share their concern or support for the project with councilmembers by letter, email and/or phone call.
Another item of key importance is the SoccerCity proposal to replace Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley. In April, the SoccerCity developers presented their proposal to the NCPI. At the May meeting, the NCPI Board voted unanimously to send a letter to Councilmember Sherman expressing their desire that if the petition supporting SoccerCity qualified, it should be brought to a vote of the people and not be decided by the City Council.
Lisa Lind, the city’s senior planner for the Navajo Community, also gave a brief update at the NCPI meeting on the status of a plan to solve the flooding issue that has plagued the businesses along Mission Gorge Place and adjacent to the Alvarado Storm Drain. The plan is moving forward and is expected to be completed by September. When the plan is complete, the project to fix the flooding issue will be at the 30 percent level. This will allow the city to apply for state and federal grants to pay for constructing the solution to the flooding. The flooding fix will ultimately allow the redevelopment of Grantville in the area adjacent to the trolley.
Under public comment at the NCPI meeting, the status of replanting the Del Cerro Median west of College Avenue was a point of discussion and was addressed by Liz Saidkhanian, the director of community outreach for Councilmember Scott Sherman. She reiterated that SDG&E has been very slow in resolving the matter and has known since August that they need to replant the median back to its original condition prior to constructing their new high-pressure gas line. She emphasized that Councilmember Sherman has expressed his frustration to city staff as well.
As part of the public comment, Del Cerro resident Dick Burson reiterated that he attended the Allied Gardens Rec Council meeting to share his frustration over the long delay in rectifying the situation and lack of action by SDG&E — and as an example, he held up a 4-foot high weed he had removed from the median. Saidkhanian stated that SDG&E is finally working on a contract with Aztec Landscape to replant the median and maintain it for 25 months.
Another SDG&E project related to the gas line appears as a road that begins at the bottom of Navajo Canyon (near Waring Road) and runs up the hillside at the west end of Del Cerro. This project now has an update. The “road” is the result of the SDG&E gas line going up the hill. The state would not allow SDG&E to revegetate the area with propagated plants, but required them to use seeds. It is hoped that the recent rain will help to germinate the seeds.
The next DCAC meeting will be on Thursday, July 20, at 7 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El. Updates on items of concern will be posted on our website at delcerroactioncouncil.org.
—Jay Wilson is secretary of the Del Cerro Action Council. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.