Anchor ads are not supported on this page.

4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

College Area residents thwart shiftily contrived project

Councilmembers okayed decade-old environmental impact report

5030 College Avenue
5030 College Avenue

The City of San Diego failed to conduct the proper environmental reports for a 91-unit student-housing facility on the campus of San Diego State University, ruled a Superior Court judge on Friday, May 27. The decision means the project from Capstone Development is now on hold until an environmental study is completed.

A group of residents calling itself the College Area Residents Association filed a legal complaint against the city and Alabama-based developer Capstone Development Partners in February 2016, as first reported by the Reader. The complaint arrived after nearly a year of objections to what residents say is essentially a dormitory disguised as an apartment building.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Also, the city allowed the developer to use a 2004 environmental study for an unbuilt sorority housing project at the site (5030 College Avenue) along with an accompanying amendment to address potential environmental impacts.

In June 2015, also reported by the Reader, the College Area Planning Group voted against the project. Three months later, the city's planning commission followed their lead, denying the project due to the use of the outdated environmental report.

Executives from Capstone appealed the commission's decision to the city council while at the same time agreeing to reduce the size of the development from 94 units to 91 and limiting the number of beds to 351 from its original proposal of 365. Councilmembers agreed to the changes.

Residents then filed their lawsuit, arguing, according to the complaint, that they were left with "no adequate remedy at law unless this court grants the requested writ of mandate requiring [the City of San Diego] to set aside its approval of the project; set aside its adoption of the 2004 [document]; and prepare an environmental impact report addressing all issues set forth in this petition....

“In the absence of such remedy, [the city's] approval will remain in effect in violation of state law, and [the College Area Residents Association] will suffer irreparable harm because violations of applicable land use laws and regulations and significant adverse environmental impacts generated by the Project will have not been properly analyzed under [the California Environmental Quality Act]."

On May 27, judge Timothy Taylor sided with the residents while acknowledging that the residents would likely prevail on the merits of their argument.

"[The development may] well have been appropriate if the city had completed an [environmental impact report] in the first instance. But it did not…. There never was a full EIR (for the old project or for the current project)," read Taylor's May 25 tentative ruling made official on May 27.

Commenting on the use of the 2004 environmental review, Taylor continued, "A decade is a long time…. Moreover, the Project, while a little smaller than the one rejected by the planning commission, is still substantially larger than the one which was the subject of the 2004 [mitigated negative declaration]."

Taylor said that allowing the city and Capstone to use the outdated report could potentially "open the door to situations in which developers could acquire a permitted parcel involving a low impact use and negative declaration, bank the land for a decade, and then proceed with a far denser use and an Addendum and thereby almost completely evade environmental review. This is antithetical to [the California Environmental Quality Act], which expresses a preference for resolving doubts in favor of environmental review."

Taylor issued a preliminary injunction, barring any construction to take place. Capstone, however, will be allowed to prepare the site for future development.

A civil case management conference is scheduled for July 8. The final hearing is scheduled for November 4.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Rosemarie's out to show sliders have legs in Mission Beach

A stationary kitchen turns out even saucier superstuffed mini buns
Next Article

Hullabaloo, Stick Figure, Beat Farmers Hootenanny, Josh Weinstein, Adam Wolff

Jazz, pop, reggae, and reunions in Encinitas, downtown, Solana Beach, Little Italy, Coronado
5030 College Avenue
5030 College Avenue

The City of San Diego failed to conduct the proper environmental reports for a 91-unit student-housing facility on the campus of San Diego State University, ruled a Superior Court judge on Friday, May 27. The decision means the project from Capstone Development is now on hold until an environmental study is completed.

A group of residents calling itself the College Area Residents Association filed a legal complaint against the city and Alabama-based developer Capstone Development Partners in February 2016, as first reported by the Reader. The complaint arrived after nearly a year of objections to what residents say is essentially a dormitory disguised as an apartment building.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Also, the city allowed the developer to use a 2004 environmental study for an unbuilt sorority housing project at the site (5030 College Avenue) along with an accompanying amendment to address potential environmental impacts.

In June 2015, also reported by the Reader, the College Area Planning Group voted against the project. Three months later, the city's planning commission followed their lead, denying the project due to the use of the outdated environmental report.

Executives from Capstone appealed the commission's decision to the city council while at the same time agreeing to reduce the size of the development from 94 units to 91 and limiting the number of beds to 351 from its original proposal of 365. Councilmembers agreed to the changes.

Residents then filed their lawsuit, arguing, according to the complaint, that they were left with "no adequate remedy at law unless this court grants the requested writ of mandate requiring [the City of San Diego] to set aside its approval of the project; set aside its adoption of the 2004 [document]; and prepare an environmental impact report addressing all issues set forth in this petition....

“In the absence of such remedy, [the city's] approval will remain in effect in violation of state law, and [the College Area Residents Association] will suffer irreparable harm because violations of applicable land use laws and regulations and significant adverse environmental impacts generated by the Project will have not been properly analyzed under [the California Environmental Quality Act]."

On May 27, judge Timothy Taylor sided with the residents while acknowledging that the residents would likely prevail on the merits of their argument.

"[The development may] well have been appropriate if the city had completed an [environmental impact report] in the first instance. But it did not…. There never was a full EIR (for the old project or for the current project)," read Taylor's May 25 tentative ruling made official on May 27.

Commenting on the use of the 2004 environmental review, Taylor continued, "A decade is a long time…. Moreover, the Project, while a little smaller than the one rejected by the planning commission, is still substantially larger than the one which was the subject of the 2004 [mitigated negative declaration]."

Taylor said that allowing the city and Capstone to use the outdated report could potentially "open the door to situations in which developers could acquire a permitted parcel involving a low impact use and negative declaration, bank the land for a decade, and then proceed with a far denser use and an Addendum and thereby almost completely evade environmental review. This is antithetical to [the California Environmental Quality Act], which expresses a preference for resolving doubts in favor of environmental review."

Taylor issued a preliminary injunction, barring any construction to take place. Capstone, however, will be allowed to prepare the site for future development.

A civil case management conference is scheduled for July 8. The final hearing is scheduled for November 4.

Comments
Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Hullabaloo, Stick Figure, Beat Farmers Hootenanny, Josh Weinstein, Adam Wolff

Jazz, pop, reggae, and reunions in Encinitas, downtown, Solana Beach, Little Italy, Coronado
Next Article

Just when you thought it was safe to go back into The Children's Pool

LION, Summer 2024
Comments
Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox Movies@Home — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close

Anchor ads are not supported on this page.