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Business owners call for fix to flooding problem in Grantville

Rain causes Alvarado Creek to overflow
mts grantville trolley station
Posted at 7:16 AM, Jan 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-03 10:16:26-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Another round of rain brought flooding to the Grantville area along Alvarado Creek. Now, business owners in the area want the city and MTS to figure out who's responsible for fixing the problem.

The debate comes because the city owns part of that land, while MTS owns the rest. And there are several plans in place to redevelop the neighborhood.

One city plan calls for the creek to be turned into open space and parks to mitigate flooding. MTS has aplan to redevelop some of their land south of the creek and turn it into housing.

"It's hard to sleep at night," says David Smith, who manages an office complex north of the creek. He shared pictures of several floods over the last few years. "Any threat of rain, and it's like a fire drill down here."

Smith says the parts of the creek owned by MTS haven't been maintained as well as the rest of it. Smith wants MTS to widen the creek bed in their land and dredge it to help with water flow.

City Councilman Scott Sherman agrees.

"It's their property," he says. "They're a public agency. They should be looking out for the public good."

Sherman says the area is a 100-year flood plain that has turned into a two-year flood plain because of how poorly MTS has managed their section of the creek.

MTS says they're willing to work with the city on the creek project as a whole.

"We're willing to donate dollars," says MTS Spokesperson Rob Schupp. "We're willing to build pedestrian bridges to neighboring properties to encourage development there and increase ridership."

MTS says they hope to start their housing project in 2020 and open it in 2021. As for the rest of the land, they say it's a city project, and MTS isn't equipped as an organization to handle stream maintenance or open space development.

"We're cooperating with the city," says Schupp. "We're trying to come up with a plan where MTS pays for its equitable share in the project."

Sherman says they need to do more to solve the flooding while that project works its way through the system.

"Any other private owner, we'd be looking at them and trying to tell them, 'Look, you've gotta do something about the flooding on your property,'" says Sherman.

Smith is just hopeful the two sides can come to a solution that keeps his business above water.

"We've done everything in our power for the last decade that we can to prevent this from happening," he says. "But, we've gotten nowhere."