City sued and college-area construction halted

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martiemerald1Marti Emerald, city council member, has requested the stoppage of construction at an apartment complex on El Cajon Boulevard near San Diego State University. Mayor Bob Filner agrees with Emerald and has ordered work be halted.  “They’re really building student dorms.  They’re renting by the bed,” Filner said.

The debate concerns already begun plans for a mixed-use development on the 8.9 acre lot on the corner of El Cajon Boulevard and 63rd Street. Carmel Partners, who are developing the site, calls the 332 unit complex, which is less than a mile from SDSU, “luxury apartments.” Emerald, the former newscaster and consumer advocate believes the building will become a huge college dorm. In response to the concerns of a number of members of the community, her constituents, she asked the Mayor to halt work on the project.

An administrative hold has been put on work on the complex. The Mayor admitted, “We made a mistake to give them what we call the ministerial permits. The community deserved more honesty.”

Carmel Partners has been sent proposals to rent by unit, instead of by bed, and to add parking spaces. They say they have agreed to rent by unit, and that there already will be 1,091 parking spaces in the garage, while the building code requires only 348.martiemerald3

Council member Scott Sherman, another City Council member representing a different district says he is concerned for the reaction of other developers who want to do business with the city of San Diego.  Sherman said, “These people did everything they thought was proper, went through all the permitting and everything else. Quite a lot of other businesses would come here and employ San Diegans and put money into our economy are thinking twice about doing so.”

Carmel Partners has sued the city of San Diego concerning the order to halt work on the project. Mayor Filer says the developer needs to go through another alternate procedure for the building permit.

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