The Grantville Stakeholders Committee, a group that last met in July 2011, voted on September 5 to recommend that an environmental impact report should analyze the “Alternative D” land-use plan that extends Mission Gorge Place through the property occupied by the Toyota dealership on Mission Gorge Road.
City project manager Brian Schoenfisch spoke about Alternative D, the plan for the portion of Grantville north of I-8 and on both sides of Fairmount Avenue and Mission Gorge Road up to Zion Avenue. Land-uses include residential mixed-use, with the potential for approximately 8275 residential units.
North of the 8, Fairmount branches off to the left; the rest of the street becomes Mission Gorge Road. Intersections include Mission Gorge Place. A left turn onto Mission Gorge Place leads into a center with businesses that include a Roberto's Taco Shop.
"The [extended] road is going through my building," said Conant Auto Retail Group CEO David Conant, whose dealerships include Toyota San Diego. His statement prompted a discussion of whether the extension had been on the map. Chair Matt Adams checked online and said it was on the map that the committee saw in January 2011.
Talk about deleting the extension led Schoenfisch to caution that traffic studies were "based on the road going through." Eliminating it "was essentially undoing Alternative D." He said additional studies would be done during the process.
Committee member Dan Smith, a property owner, spoke earlier about issues related to Alvarado Creek flooding. "If you don't fix the roads or creek, we're not doing squat," he said. He joined in the vote recommending Alternative D.
Marilyn Reed cast the only “no” vote, saying she was concerned about analyzing "studies with the road going through Toyota and Dan's property."
Conant and Smith discussed the issue in separate interviews on September 6.
In 2001, Conant bought the dealership formerly known as Rose Toyota. It opened in 1957 and was one of the first Toyota dealerships in the United States, he said. Conant said a Toyota representative attended every meeting, and he thought Twain Avenue would be extended instead of Mission Gorge Place. "We support what's in the best interest of the community," he said. "There's no immediate threat. It could be 10, 20, or 30 years. When they're ready to put the street through, maybe we'll remodel."
Smith said property owners were prevented from developing until road and flooding issues were resolved. "We could turn Grantville into a nice little village," he said.
The next planning group meeting is scheduled for September 16.