Riverbend Project Sent Back to Drawing Board

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor A controversial mixed-use project along the San Diego River has been sent back to the drawing board by the Navajo community planning group, KPBS.org reports. The Riverbend project, proposed on 23.5 acres of land in the Grantville neighborhood, between Mission Gorge Road and the San Diego River, calls for the [...]

A controversial mixed-use project along the San Diego River has been sent back to the drawing board by the Navajo community planning group, KPBS.org reports.

The Riverbend project, proposed on 23.5 acres of land in the Grantville neighborhood, between Mission Gorge Road and the San Diego River, calls for the development of 1,050 multifamily units, 30,000 gross square feet of commercial/retail space and a 2.2-acre park along the river.

Opponents of the Riverbend project have requested major changes to the plan, which they believe will increase congestion and have a negative environmental impact. The development manager of the project is Urban Housing Partners. Mike Dunham, one of the principals, said the feedback and input received from the neighborhood opposition will be analyzed and taken very seriously.

The San Diego Union-Tribune sheds light on some of the concerns regarding this project which would require amendments to the city’s General Plan, the current San Diego River Park Master Plan and the Navajo Community Plan. The current height limit for residential buildings in the region is 30 feet; however, according to the developer, in order for the development to be profitable, it requires an 85-foot height limit. Another major concern is the fact that the developer is seeking approval to grade nearly 110,000 cubic feet of earth to raise the development above the flood zone, which is believed to have some unintended consequences such as changes to the river flow, temperature changes, and potential flooding of areas around the development.

Mike Dunham expects the revised plan to be back before the Navajo planning group in July. If approved, the plan has to go before the San Diego Planning Commission and the City Council. The community is also wary because, upon approval of the plan, a precedent for future developments in the region will be created. Anthony Wagner, vice chair of the planning group, confirmed developers are hoping to build up to 10,000 new homes in the area.

Illustration Courtesy of: riverbendsd.com