Walter Mencken 2 p.m., Aug. 22
Chula Vista from boom to bust to boom
Forbes calls Chula Vista "Second Fastest-Growing City Since Recession;" Growth Oversight Commission's report on fire, libraries, police and traffic
The Millenia project in Chula Vista broke ground September 26 only a short time after Forbes magazine called the city the second fastest-growing in the United States. The Forbes article looked at cities with a population of 200,000 or more since the Great Recession. On June 18 the magazine reported that Chula Vista has grown 17.7% since 2007.
Allison Sampite-Montalvo reported in the UT on September 26 that Millenia, a Corky McMillin Companies' project, will ultimately include: "3,000 multifamily residences; about 3.5 million square feet of office space, retail, hospitality, civic and mixed-use projects; six parks; a library and a school."
The same UT article quotes mayor Cheryl Cox as saying: "This is the first major development, cornerstone-type project in the city of Chula Vista in the last eight years. We're back."
Déjà vu for the city. In 2003 the census bureau released figures that show that Chula Vista was the seventh fastest-growing in the U.S. According to a July 23, 2003 UT article, the growth rate of the city was 5.5% and "fueled in large part by the explosive housing development on the city's eastern fringe."
Then came the 2008 country-wide subprime mortgage meltdown and Chula Vista was hard hit. By the middle of 2008 Chula Vista had the highest default rate in the county. The city responded to the crisis by tightening its belt and by cutting employees, employee benefits and resident services.
A look at the Growth Management Oversight Report for 2013 indicates that the city still has some work to do to accommodate current and future residents. The report states that four quality-of-life threshold standards "were out of compliance." Those four standards were: "fire, libraries, police and traffic."
Under the standard for Fire the report states: "For the second consecutive year, response times have fallen below the threshold standard...In this report, an increased call volume of 1,493 calls (10% medical and 24% fire), with no increase in staffing and resources, was reported as a hindrance."
Under the standard for Libraries the report states: "For the ninth consecutive year, Libraries is non-compliant with the threshold standard due to inadequate Public Facilities Development Impact Fees to construct additional footage."
The GMOC Library discussion says that "there will be insufficient staff and facilities to serve forecasted growth in the next 18 months and in five years. Construction of the Rancho del Rey branch has been indefinitely postponed due to insufficient Public Facilities Development Impact Fees funding."
Under the standard for Police the report states: "For the first time since 2004, the Priority 1 threshold standard was non-compliant; calls responded within 7 minutes dropped by more than 6%. The Police Department attributed this shortfall to low staffing in the Community Patrol Division and noted that additional officers are being hired."
Under the standard for Traffic the report states: "This year, two signalized arterial segments were found to be non-compliant (northbound Heritage Road between Olympic Parkway and Telegraph Canyon Road, and southbound Otay Lakes Road between H Street and Telegraph Canyon Road.
The GMOC has serious concerns surrounding the chronic non-compliance of the Traffic threshold standard and the delay in constructing Heritage Road to Main Street.
"While it is in the GMOC's purview to request the city council hold a public meeting moratorium on tentative maps or building permits" the GMOC instead called on the city to conduct a workshop on traffic issues.
The workshop is scheduled for October 24 from 6:00-8:00 at the Montevalle Recreation Center.