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Sudberry Properties, the developer of what they term a 230-acre “urban village,” is touting the energy-efficient and sustainable features of the 4,780-unit mixed-use Civita development in Mission Valley.

“Recent technological advances are enabling us to select from a vast array of sustainable techniques and practices that are new to the marketplace," said Marco A. Sessa, a Sudberry senior vice president who recently raised $13,500 for city councilwoman Lorie Zapf’s political war chest.

Working with SDG&E to implement “smart grid” technology, Sessa says, includes the installation of local solar arrays and fuel cells, and may allow the community to keep parts of the community deemed critical operating even during power outages.

Sudberry says the units are not only rated to exceed California energy efficiency standards by 15 percent or more, the community plans to use up to 50 percent less water than other neighborhoods due to high density (read: less landscaping), and will employ “bioswales,” a type of man-made stream system designed to trap pollutants from runoff before reaching groundwater sources.

“Every aspect of the community is being studied from a sustainability point of view,” says Sessa.

Builders are also planning to construct a “multimillion-dollar” pedestrian footbridge across Friars Road to provide access to the trolley system, as well as a more controversial access road linking the development to Serra Mesa to the north.

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