Traffic was the primary concern of residents attending a July 23 presentation about a proposal to build 26 single-family homes on a 5.6-acre vacant site located south of the Del Cerro Boulevard/College Avenue intersection and north of westbound Interstate 8. About 100 people attended the Del Cerro Action Council meeting where Tony Pauker, vice president of acquisitions for San Diego-based ColRich, Inc. spoke about the project that would have only one entrance/exit.
As Pauker answered questions at Temple Emanu-El, other people spoke, and it was sometimes difficult to hear. I contacted him on July 24 to clarify details. Furthermore, people didn't give their names during or after the meeting.
Large windows, flat roofs
The "largely one-story" homes priced in the "high $600,000s" will be built on 5000-square-foot lots. The three-bedroom, three-bathroom homes will be 1800, 2000, or 2275 square feet. The design "concept is based on the mid-1960s architecture of the surrounding homes with large windows, open floor plans, flat and shallow-pitched roofs, and large windows," said Pauker.
He described a timeline that included submitting a tentative map to the city a week and half earlier.
Chevron patrons turn illegally
Project access would be on College Avenue, about 100 to 150 feet south of the Chevron station on the southeast corner of Del Cerro Boulevard and College. There are plans for a deceleration/acceleration lane on the property, and the right-turn lane from College to eastbound Del Cerro Boulevard will be lengthened. Drivers can only leave or enter the property by turning right on College.
U-turns aren't allowed at the Del Cerro Boulevard signal. However, residents say some Chevron patrons make illegal turns and endanger others. Residents maintain development drivers may also turn illegally.
That issue was also raised when Pauker spoke at the July 8 Navajo Community Planners, Inc., meeting. At both forums, he said illegal turns were a police-enforcement issue. He said the City of San Diego requires a traffic study when a development will generate 500 daily trips. Although the ColRich projection is 260 trips, the developer is doing a traffic study.
No U-turns until Waring Road
Pauker said the scope would be expanded to six intersections. When I asked which intersections, Pauker responded, "That will be determined by the traffic engineer," with intersections to the "north, south, east, and west."
At the Del Cerro meeting, he said U-turns weren't allowed for southbound drivers until College turned into Waring Road in Allied Gardens. A woman asked if the study would look at school-related traffic. Before he answered, another woman said the Einstein Brothers Bagels (the northeast corner of College and Del Cerro Boulevard) "doubles the traffic" in the morning.
Marburn Corp. from Toronto owns the land
Pauker said the city requires studies during the school year and summer.
A woman asked how residents would return from Phoebe Heart Elementary School, which is west of the College/Del Cerro Boulevard intersection. Pauker said by driving south of College to El Cajon Boulevard. "Oh my God," another woman said as he described a freeway route.
Later, someone asked who owned the land. "Marburn Corporation," said Pauker. At the earlier meeting, he said the owners were in Toronto. Websites including California Corporates showed Marburn incorporated in 1975, has a San Diego agent, and Toronto address.
A man referred to a previous owner's plan to build duplexes on the site during the 1970s.
Will they become SDSU mini-dorms?
People asked when they could comment on the project. He said documents were public, and he would return to the planning group with updates.
The woman who spoke about Einstein traffic said, "We can go to the city as a group."
After the meeting, a man distributed a yellow handout with reasons the development "should not proceed." The reasons (also cited in the meeting) included construction noise and concern that the homes across the freeway from San Diego State University would become mini-dorms.
Other people spoke about taking their objections to 7th District city councilman Scott Sherman.