“Save Civita” flyer posted on walking trail closure sign
  • “Save Civita” flyer posted on walking trail closure sign
  • Image by Andy Boyd

Just What Trump Needed

Your October 20 issue really was perfect. You exposed the growing prices of homes in San Diego and how the average American wage earner can’t keep up or even contemplate purchasing a home. This is probably due to how American industries are sending American jobs overseas and leaving American citizens to live a life with lower expectations.

But what an endorsement for Donald Trump. This is what he’s been trying to tell Americans for over a year. The new socialist Democratic party that endorses globalization is in the process of moving the American standard of living down to what it is in places like India, China, Syria and Libya.

Great work, guys and gals. You’re just what Mr. Trump needed!

  • D.B.
  • via email

Don’t tread on us

A Glaring Exception

Thanks, Reader, for Dorian Hargrove’s informative story about Civita Mission Valley’s newest and brightest residential development. Those who live in Civita bought into the vision the Grant family and Tom Sudberry (of Sudberry Properties) have for their creation. We’ve not only invested with our pocketbooks but, mor importantly, with our hearts.

I, personally, moved from Carmel Valley, where I lived for 28 years, in order to be a part of this wonderful, progressive, walkable community and, so far, I love it!

Without question, the Grants and Sudberrys are creating something very special here and have not missed a step — with one glaring exception. As the article so accurately pointed out, there is a potential fatal flaw and that is the impact of a proposed road that will connect directly to I-805 and channel traffic, nonstop, right through the heart of our residential community. And, because of that concern, virtually every Civita owner supports our community’s grass-roots movement, Save Civita.

If a connector road were to be approved, Civita would morph into something beyond its original vision. Instead of a perfectly walkable, livable, sustainable, contiguous community of neighbors, a freeway connector road would split Civita into three separate parts divided by two roadway barriers that would funnel traffic, noise, pollution, and safety hazards up and down the narrow, residential streets of Via Alta and Franklin Ridge Road. And it will become even worse once a school is built on the corner of Via Alta and Civita Blvd.

Circumstances and conditions have changed drastically since the original concept of a connector road was born in 1985 when what is now Civita was nothing more than a barren, rock quarry. What may have seemed like a reasonable plan 30 years ago will now, if put into place, actually harm a new community and place laudable development goals at risk decades later. In fact, in 2004, Mr. Sudberry requested the City Council overturn the City Planning Commission’s decision to support a connector road. After the request was denied, the company said it would remain “neutral” going forward. But ten years later, Civita is in a position where it could become a shining star of planning.

While I can respect Sudberry’s intent to remain neutral, though not on the merits of the issue, recent comments to the Reader by the Civita project manager, Marco Sessa (who, to this point, has done an admirable job moving Civita forward), would seem to indicate neutrality has given way to tacit support, particularly when he states the road would not destroy the community, a contention with which we strongly disagree.

If Sudberry Properties did not think the infusion of a freeway connector road directly into the heart of Civita would be detrimental, why didn’t their marketing map depict that potential connection? Instead, it showed (and still shows) a dead-end, a cul-de-sac, at the top of Via Alta and Franklin Ridge. And there is also no indication on that map of a possible road leading up to Phyllis Place. We assume both were left out because their inclusion would raise red flags and negatively affect home sales in the community. And their marketing would have to reflect the negative impact road traffic would have on an otherwise well-planned community.

Mr. Sessa also says he has heard from other Civita residents who support the road. Perhaps he has, but the Save Civita organization has seen virtually no support. To this point, the grass roots campaign has polled over 80% of the Civita residents and a whopping 95% (out of 376 households polled) expressed strong opposition to the road, and have written letters to the city’s planning department stating so. The remaining five percent declined to answer, were unsure, or loosely supported it giving the reason that it would be convenient for them and possibly save a few minutes on their commute (however, studies show the traffic on backup ramp to get onto I-805 be much longer and, therefore, it will actually take more time to access the freeway than it currently does).

The decision to approve or deny the road will ultimately lie with the City Council, and they will be pressed on this issue by Civita owners/residents when the time is right — but the Sudberry company has the ears of the San Diego City Council right now, including our representative councilmember Scott Sherman’s, so remaining neutral on such an important community topic is a disservice to all who live in Civita.

Instead of what is being planned and marketed, a connector road will allow Civita to become nothing more than a pass-through community which shows up on every driver’s GPS device as they search for the shortest and/or fastest way between Mission Valley East and I-805. Those drivers don’t care about the impact they have on local neighborhoods; they are concerned only with how their GPS can get them from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Even traffic planners and engineers acknowledge they are struggling with how to accurately measure and predict increases in traffic and the subsequent impact to communities from the use of this ubiquitous new “hurry up” technology. Please consider the effect traffic has had on Texas Street, Mission Village Road, and Murray Ridge Road.

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