Proposal for new retail complex in Scripps Ranch draws mixed reaction

Opponents say project will lead to traffic, noise

SAN DIEGO - A high-end shopping complex project in Scripps Ranch is being met with mixed reaction.

For nine years, Scripps Ranch resident Al Dutta has hoped for something useful to fill the mostly empty lot below his backyard.

"We have had Christmas tree sales, pumpkin sales down there and we lived through it without any problems, so something permanent, a little high class mini-mall type thing, would be excellent for this community," Dutta said.

Dutta may soon get his wish, as Sudberry Properties has proposed a roughly 600,000-square foot mixed-use retail complex on the southeast corner of Interstate 15 and Scripps Poway Parkway that would including shopping, restaurants, a market and a small hotel.

While it sounds good to some residents like Dutta, it concerns his neighbor, Tom.

"Traffic congestion and installation of a light is a little bit of a drawback, for me anyway," said Tom.

"Traffic is always the issue," said Bob Ilko, president of the Scripps Ranch Civic Association.

Ilko said plans are one thing, but how the finished project would affect traffic and noise won't be clear until the environmental impact report comes out in the next few days.

"That's where the devil's in the details, so if they can really mitigate the traffic well, then there would be support for the project," said Ilko.

One of the biggest concerns is how the complex, which would include a movie theater and one-acre park, would affect traffic on Scripps Poway Parkway and Scripps Highlands Drive.

 The 35-acre site already has office space that was approved years ago, but this new use would require new approval.

"The question is, is there enough of a benefit to put up with the detriments," said Ilko.

On Tuesday, the public will have an opportunity to comment at a 7 p.m. meeting with city planners and the developer at the Scripps Ranch Community Center.

Ultimately, the San Diego City Council will make the call, and the developer said if the plan is approved, the complex would still be about 3 to 4 years away from completion.

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