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New fault zones could impact Seaport Village redevelopment plans

New Fault Zones
Posted at 4:30 PM, Feb 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 20:35:26-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A new proposed geological map could spell trouble for San Diego developers.

A new map released by the California Geological Survey fills in the gaps for the Rose Canyon Fault, which runs from La Jolla and splinters downtown through the airport and Seaport Village. The colored zones indicate where an earthquake could happen.

"Mother Nature got there first and now we have to accommodate for her," Geologist Dr. Pat Abbott said.

He said the fault last moved about 300 years ago, which makes it active by geological standards.

"The Rose Canyon fault is capable of, what we're planning for now, is a magnitude 6.9," he said.

California is no stranger to earthquakes.

Abbott recalled the Northridge earthquake: "in 1994 ... buildings and freeway towers collapsed and dozens and dozens of people were killed."

Abbott said this destruction is why it's important to know where faults lie and develop communities accordingly.

Seaport Village is in the crosshairs of one of these red zones, which means developer Protea Properties could have to spend a lot more money than they were planning. Their redesign includes a 500-foot tall observation tower, three hotels, an Olympic swimming pool, and a beach.

Abbott hopes the new map doesn't ruin their plans, saying, "almost anything can be built if you spend enough money on it."

Adjusting designs to account for more fortified buildings could stall funding or the plan altogether.

ABC 10News reached out to Protea Properties for comment and we have not heard back.