Adobe Falls updates
Posted by George J Janczyn on July 30, 2009
A few days ago I wrote about SDSU’s expansion plan to develop Del Cerro’s Adobe Falls area and the lawsuits challenging the plan. Here’s an update:
As I wrote previously, the lawsuits against CSU were consolidated into one case (GIC855643), the combined case was transferred from downtown’s Superior Court to the north county branch in Vista, and some hearings have been held with more scheduled. For the city, the case is being handled by San Diego city attorney Andrea Dixon who serves as counsel to the Planning Commission.
Echoing events that followed SDSU’s 2005 Master Plan, the latest hearings revolve around plaintiffs’ contention that SDSU’s 2007 Master Plan Update and EIR is invalid, in part, because the university claims that “SDSU, as a state entity, is not subject to local planning directives, such as the City of San Diego General Plan and other community plans, and is subject only to state planning laws.” Those plans include: 1) City of San Diego General Plan Planned Use Map; 2) College Area Community Plan; 3) Navajo Area Community Plan; 4) City of San Diego Municipal Zoning Code.
The plaintiffs also challenge SDSU’s assertion that it is not financially responsible for a fair share of the cost of environmental mitigation required by CEQA. SDSU allows only that it would seek funds from the legislature for mitigation, but regardless of success in obtaining those funds, SDSU would be under no obligation to pay for mitigation expenses.
Recapping the main reasons cited by Del Cerro Action Council and the City for wanting SDSU’s EIR and Master Plan decertified: 1) the EIR fails to identify, mitigate, and consider alternatives to local & regional traffic impacts; 2) the EIR fails to provide correct or adequate fair share calculations; 3) the EIR fails to adequately identify impacts to or mitigation measures to reduce impacts to area population and housing stock; 4) the EIR fails to provide analysis or description of proposed open space and/or recreational facilities; 5) the EIR fails to adequately identify or mitigate for impacts to Adobe Falls Creek and surrounding riparian wetlands, or to native plant habitat, open space, or visual character.
Coincidentally, I haven’t been able to see the casefile for updates since I published the Adobe Falls story. I’m a brand new blogger with a miniscule readership so I’m sure I have nothing to do with that, but it certainly hinders my trying to follow new developments.
Jul 30: Records for the recent June 10 and July 27 hearings are not yet available
Aug 3: According to Gina Coburn, Communications Director for the City Attorney, the case was transferred from downtown to Vista because none of the CEQA-designated judges in downtown San Diego were acceptable to the parties. Her office will not answer any other questions about the case or subsequent hearings. Additional hearings are scheduled for August 4 and 25, September 25, and October 23.
Sep 28: I asked Matt Potter @San Diego Reader if he could help me learn why the casefiles have been kept off the shelf; he subsequently indicated the Reader’s attorneys were unable to shed more light on the situation
Nov 8: A fire near the falls burned a fair number of palms along the creek along in addition to vegetation: http://groksurf.com/2009/11/08/del-cerro-fire-mop-up/
Nov 9: Since my July update, the case file has still not been available in the Superior Court viewing room (I’ve checked a minimum of once a week). They have no answer when asked why.
Nov 23: Casefile still not available for public viewing. I called the department (Judge Thomas P. Nugent) twice this month and left a message but they haven’t returned my calls.
Dec 1: Casefile still not available
Dec 9: Casefile still not available
Dec 18: Casefile still not available
Dec 28: Casefile still not available
Jan 6: Casefile still not available
Jan 12: Casefile still not available
Jan 25: Casefile still not available
Jan 29: Casefile still not available
Feb 4: All further updates will appear in Ongoing Topics.