The San Diego City Council on Tuesday postponed for the second time in four months a decision on the Southcrest Redevelopment Project, which would affect about 5,000 people living in the Southeast neighborhood.
The council decided to put off a decision until April 1 so that Southcrest residents and the Southeast Economic Development Corp. (SEDC) can smooth out differences over the redevelopment plan.
Verna Quinn, head of the Southeast San Diego Development Committee, said residents of Southcrest want the SEDC to change its stance on development along a mile-long corridor once designated as the site for proposed California 252.
According to Quinn, the SEDC is proposing a maximum of 28 housing units per acre on the site. Many area residents believe that would be too many people on too little land, she said. Local residents want a limit of 19 units per acre.
Quinn said she believes an agreement is near.
The state Department of Transportation had planned to build a highway along the corridor to connect Interstates 5 and 805. The project was abandoned in 1982, after land for the highway had been cleared.
Sister Marina Hernandez of the San Diego Organizing Project said the SEDC's proposal also fails to take into account that Southcrest lacks many essential public services, namely schools and shopping centers.
The City Council's first postponement on the issue came Oct. 22 when 400 angry Southeast residents turned out. The council delayed action after the residents complained that they had not been consulted.
Southcrest is made up of about 259 acres of largely residential land. Officials say about 1,200 homes are in the area.
"What we are trying to do is create a plan that would create some economic revitalization in the area," said Reese A. Jarrett, executive vice president of SEDC.
Jarrett said that most grievances expressed by those living in Southcrest have been worked out. He did say, however, that there are concerns that the city may exercise the right of eminent domain in acquiring private property.
Because of this, Hernandez said residents want the SEDC to identify, before any council decision, any areas targeted for takeover by eminent domain.