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Critics Say SDSU Expansion Plan Fails to Address Impacts

Critics of San Diego State University's expansion plans say the university is underestimating the impact of the project on traffic, neighborhoods and the environment.

The city of San Diego, Alvarado Hospital and a community council have already filed lawsuits over the expansion, which is slated for a vote by the California State University trustees Sept. 18.

The groups sent letters to SDSU in response to a draft environmental impact report reiterating concerns about the development, which would add classrooms, offices, housing, a hotel and a larger student center by 2025.

San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre contends the report's traffic analysis is flawed. In his letter to SDSU, Aguirre argued that the university will not pay its fair share of the road improvements if the state Legislature fails to provide the funding. He also said SDSU is attempting to avoid responsibility for public works projects it must pay for.

City traffic analysts also say SDSU is overestimating the amount of traffic streets can handle and underestimating the number of cars that development would bring.

SDSU spokesman Jack Beresford said the revised expansion plan reflects major changes made in response to community input, such as more student housing, less faculty and staff housing and a smaller classroom and office complex adjacent to the Alvarado Hospital, just east of the campus.

CSU trustees approved the university's initial expansion plan in September 2005.

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