Woman fears University of San Diego could expand around her home

Posted at 5:05 PM, Dec 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-12 08:31:11-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A woman who has lived for decades on a hill just below the University of San Diego fears her home could someday be surrounded by its expanded campus.

Virginia LaGuardia raised her family in her 6,000 square-foot home on Josephine Street, which she helped design in the early 1980s. On a clear day, she can see all the way to the ocean.

The other sides bordering the property, however, aren't so picturesque. There's largely open space to the east, and an apartment complex on the other side of a narrow alley. 

USD owns all of that, and has a vision to build it up. The university may add thousands of students over the next two decades, and may need a place for them to live and commute. USD's master plan, which the San Diego City Council approved in September, shows a student housing complex and a parking garage, feet from LaGuardia's home. 

"This is my castle, and I'm here to protect it," LaGuardia said. "Now, suddenly my comfort zone is changing."

LaGuardia is suing the university and the city over environmental concerns like traffic, extra noise on her narrow street, and her property's value. 

"Have they come out and said we'd like to buy your house? No," LaGuardia said. 

USD spokeswoman Pamela Gray Peyton declined to say whether the university offered to buy LaGuardia's home. She added however, that the master plan has several concessions for LaGuardia. The plan includes minimum setbacks and no decks facing her home. 

Gray, however, said that the master plan is merely a vision to guide future developments. No projects are currently proposed, and any future ones would need funding and city permits. 

LaGuardia says she likes being near the students, and just wants the master plan reconfigured. 

Craig Sherman, LaGuardia's attorney, said the case could move forward next year.