Lawsuit filed over affordable housing complex in Scripps Ranch

Posted at 6:57 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 13:39:51-05

SAN DIEGO, CA (KGTV) - A group of local neighbors is trying to stop an apartment complex from being built in Scripps Ranch.

Right now, the property is home to a charter school, but San Diego Unified School district reached an agreement with a local developer to take over the lease for 66 years.

Elisa Johnston's three children go to Innovations Academy in Scripps Ranch, but next month the charter school students will move to a new location.

"The fact that we finally found one that is one that we really like and now they're moving it, it's frustrating and annoying, especially when you're like for shopping?" said Johnston.

Shopping is just part of what will become the Scripps Mesa Apartments on Spring Canyon Road off of Scripps Poway Parkway.

The Monarch Group says of the 264 units; twenty percent will be set aside for low- income workers with rents starting around $713 a month. The development also includes an education facility, a five-story parking garage, fitness center and a pool.

The project is years in the making, but a group calling itself Voice of Scripps Ranch filed a lawsuit last week to try to stop it.

The group claims, among other things, that Monarch forced its way in without the proper procedures or approvals. The group's president sent 10News a statement saying, "Voice of Scripps Ranch is a group of neighborhood volunteers that seeks RUMBY- Reasonable Use in my Backyard. We simply ask the city of San Diego to compel the developer to implement discretionary review of the design of the apartment complex and with Miramar Ranch North Community Plan. "

In response, the developer fired back, issuing the following statement: "Amid San Diego's housing crisis, Scripps Mesa's 211 market rate and 53 affordable rental units are a much-needed community investment in a neighborhood with zero apartments. After a years-long approval process and numerous community meetings, this meritless lawsuit is just the latest tactic by a handful of individuals determined to stop much-needed housing stock from being built," said Sarah Kruer-Jager, Partner, Monarch Group.

The apartments are scheduled to open in mid-2022.

Craig A. Sherman, the attorney representing the group, sent 10News a statement regarding the lawsuit. "My office and client feel strongly that the project does not fit with the vision, objective standards, and required site design and planning for the subject marquis and special Scripps Village site. The lawsuit clearly spells this out and the City of San Diego has yet to review, consider, and decide these important North Miramar Ranch Community Plan compliance matters. The effort of San Diego Unified and a private developer, ousting a school for a money-making private housing development, creates a horrible precedence, has wasted significant public school money, and plainly just "stinks." The land use directives and controls for the site, once properly reviewed and implemented by the City, will prove the community's vision and goals are being overlooked for purposes of profit, under the auspices and cover of the housing crisis. "