In a complicated land deal, the financially strapped City of Chula Vista borrowed from Peter to pay Paul.
The Chula Vista City Council voted on March 2 to purchase 14.4 acres of redevelopment land in western Chula Vista and turn it into parkland. This acreage is located in the lower Sweetwater Valley at the intersection of I-805 and SR-54.
Here's how the deal went: Chula Vista's eastern Park Acquisition and Development fund loaned the western Park Acquisition and Development fund $9.6 million. The loan was used to purchase the 14.4 acres from the redevelopment agency. This allowed the redevelopment agency to pay down some of its debt to the City. The $9.6 million is now in the City's general fund. Controversies still plague the area.
Gary Halpert, director of planning and building, said the purchase only begins to address "the park acreage shortfall in Chula Vista's west side." An additional problem for the landlocked area is access. Council members preferred access through the Kampgrounds of America (KOA) located on the northern end of Second Avenue; however, that decision was postponed.
Neighbors in the surrounding area fought a number of alternative plans, including dense residential development. Now visions of public parkland dance in everyone's head. Mayor Cheryl Cox suggested signage proclaiming the area "open space." Peter Watry, a civic activist, called for an equestrian site and trails that connect the western side of Chula Vista with the eastern side.
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