Monday, May 21, 2012
Opposition to a 1,000-home development along the San Diego River has caused it to be temporarily pulled from a local planning group agenda. Opponents of the Riverbend project hope that means major changes to a plan they believe will increase congestion and damage the watershed.
Some people in Grantville fear a new development will bring lots of traffic and environmental harm to the San Diego River.
“Riverbend” is slated for construction on 23 acres in the Grantville neighborhood that lie between Mission Gorge Road and the San Diego River. Developers want to build apartments, townhomes and 37,000 square feet of commercial space.
The project was facing an up-or-down vote tonight before the Navajo community planning group, but local resistance has forced it back to the drawing boards.
Anthony Wagner is vice chair of the planning group. He said current plans for the Riverbend project would add an intolerable volume of traffic, block views of the river valley, and require a huge amount of grading in the river's flood plain.
"In doing so, they will absolutely change the course of the San Diego River, affect the temperature, invite non-native plant species and have unintended consequences downstream," said Wagner.
The development manager of Riverbend is Urban Housing Partners. One of their principals is Mike Dunham, who said the company is taking neighborhood opposition very seriously.
"We have taken their feedback and input, and we're having to analyze it," he said.
Dunham wouldn't comment on what changes could be made. But he expects the plan to go before the Navajo planning group in July. After that, the plans must be approved by the San Diego Planning Commission and the City Council.
Anthony Wagner said the Riverbend project doesn't stand alone. Developers are hoping to build as many as 10,000 homes in the area, extending all the way to Mission Trails Regional Park.