City of San Diego parts done, but others still behind
By Doug Curlee | Editor at Large
City of San Diego stormwater crews have cleaned much of the brush and non-native growth out of the clogged Alvarado Creek flood control channel, but several other agencies apparently have still not begun the process.
Bill Harris of the city’s stormwater department said “the last truckloads of material left lower Alvarado Creek on Friday the ninth of September.” Trucks could be seen loading up and pulling out that day.
What can also now be seen is the line where the city crews had to stop, because that was where the Metropolitan Transit System property started. The city’s permit allows the city to clean out only channels that fall within the city’s jurisdiction.
That MTS property has been a bone of contention among businesses along Mission Gorge Road and Mission Gorge Place after the July rains that left some 50 businesses in water nearly up to their knees.
The reason the city was able to finish its work was because San Diego, alone among the several agencies, had completed the process and gained the needed permits from the Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Each of the other agencies along the creek must do the same process and get the same permits, unless they somehow qualify for a special waiver, which is not often granted.
The other agencies that need approval to clean their respective parts of the creek are at various points in the process, if they’re in it at all.
Mark Olson of MTS said, “MTS is working with the Urban Corps to clean out the creek. We hope to begin those efforts in the next few weeks.” That presumes that MTS has, or thinks it will have, the necessary permits in that time frame.
San Diego State University, on the other hand, said through media spokesperson Natalia Elko, “San Diego State has no plans to do anything there at this time.”
There may be some question about what La Mesa has in mind. Public Works Director Greg Homura said “the land along the creek in our area pretty much belongs to private owners, not the city.” That would seem to indicate that someone would need to get Water Board permission to clean out the creek bed itself.
The process is underway, at least.
Slowly, but underway.