CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - A lawsuit claims the city of Chula Vista unlawfully approved a developer’s plans to add 300 more housing units to an ongoing project near the Otay Ranch Town Center.
In June, the Chula Vista City Council approved Baldwin & Sons’ additions to its current project on the north side of the mall property, just east of state Route 125.
The developer’s initial plan for the 10.4 acres of land included a 578-unit apartment complex, 15,000 square feet of retail space and two parking structures. The addition of 300 housing units takes the residential unit total to nearly 900.
The latest project is all part of the longtime Otay Ranch General Development Plan to develop 36 acres of land near the mall. Already in place are numerous townhomes and condominium units and a Marriott Residence Inn hotel, with a 2-acre park also in the plans.
The nonprofit group Supporters Alliance for Environmental Responsibility (SAFER) filed a lawsuit in July in an attempt stop the continuation of Baldwin & Sons’ project, claiming the city approved the addition of 300 housing units “without preparing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), in violation of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) …”
According to the lawsuit, SAFER said the Chula Vista officials approved the 300 units based on additions made to an environmental impact report created in 2003 that “included no residential uses at all for the area.”
SAFER believes the city should have prepared a new EIR to take into account the new aspect of Baldwin & Sons’ project. The group added that the 2003 report “did not analyze the impacts of 900 residential units at the site and therefore no longer has relevance.”
SAFER went on to say that an environmental consulting firm found that Chula Vista officials have not properly taken into account the project’s overall impact on air quality, human health, wildlife, and public services such as police and fire response.
The development, SAFER said, will also result in a major traffic impact to the area, despite the 2003 EIR’s conclusion.
10News reached out to the city and Baldwin & Sons for comment on the lawsuit, but both parties did not respond as of the publication of this story.