New Housing Development Under Fire in Brawley

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BrawleyBRAWLEY – Brawley citizens voiced their objections of the approved low-income, Section 8 housing project at Malan and South 1st Street behind Witter School to city council Thursday at their 2:00 p.m. meeting. The group called itself the Homeowners and Supporters of Malan & Victoria Park Developments.

Spokesperson for the group, Ashley Mendibles, stated their many concerns: the zoning notification process, the date of the site plan approval, the deferral of impact fees to the developer, the density study from Cattle Call Drive to Malan Street, the ten year old traffic study, and uncompleted roads in the area.

“The original traffic study took into consideration that all roads surrounding Malan and Victoria Park would be completed,” said Mendibles. “These roads are not completed and the traffic on Malan will be over capacity when the housing project is completed. We feel there could be a safety issue with public safety services because of excess traffic. The city should also require roads be completed prior to the building of new projects. Homeowners in the area were told when they purchased homes in these developments that the property for the new project was going to be a park,”  Mendibles said.

Mendibles produced a petition that had 250 signatures opposing the new low-income housing project.

 

“Besides the safety issues, homeowners in the area feel that property values will suffer and quality of life will be diminished because of this development,” said Mendibles.

 

Mayor George Nava assured the group that the council will note all of their concerns.

 

“The council thanks the citizens for their attendance and we as a council hear what your concerns are,” said Nava.

 

City Manager Rosanna Bayon Moore stated that the Planning Commission meeting is November 4. At that time the commission will hear and rule on the projects’ request for their parcel map.

 

“Those that oppose or support that decision may appeal to the city council on the Planning Commission decision,” said Moore.

 

The zoning for the housing project allows for housing. There is no zoning change.

 

“This parcel was zoned before it was annexed by the City of Brawley,” said Smerdon. “It is use by right. It is zoned for housing. The only thing in front of the Planning Commission is whether they can split the parcel in two. There is very little the commission can do to deny the parcel map.”

 

City staff pointed out that not allowing low-income housing could be construed as discrimination, and that the parcel is zoned for housing.