Environment

Peninsula Community Planning Board: Cañon Street Pocket Park Controversy Continues

January 30, 2015 by Source
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By Tony de Garate

Controversy continues over Cañon Street Pocket Park

When board member Jon Linney heralded the details of a Jan. 10 community cleanup of a proposed Cañon Street Pocket Park on the OB Rag website, the report generated more than 60 comments. That discussion continued in a passionate but respectful manner at the board’s January meeting.

“Our clean-up Saturday was a huge success thanks to neighbors, activists, students, and other volunteers,” Linney said.

The volunteers removed years of accumulated construction debris, trash, dead foliage and weeds, Linney said. Burtech Pipeline donated heavy equipment and hauled away 12 dump loads at no charge.

“The response was heart-warming. Motorists gave us thumbs-ups and neighbors asked to be added to work party lists,” he said.

Linney and board Secretary Don Sevrens have spearheaded the effort to turn the quarter-acre vacant lot along Cañon Street west of where Avenida de Portugal dead-ends into a park. The land was once planned as a road right-of-way but is now controlled by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

But some neighbors said a park could attract an unwanted element. …

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Midway Community Planning Group Report: Sports Arena Black Angus to be demolished?

January 30, 2015 by Source

Midway Black AngusBy Tony de Garate

The long-vacant Black Angus at 3340 Sports Arena Blvd. could have an appointment with the wrecking ball, a city official has confirmed.

Patti Philips of the city’s Real Estate Assets Department gave a report about businesses that lease city-owned property on Sports Arena Boulevard. Black Angus fronts a five-acre mall called Sports Arena Square. The mall’s best-known tenant is Soma, an all-ages concert venue and one of several businesses tucked behind Black Angus.

The city has hired The Heritage Group to manage the mall, Philips said. Heritage is currently negotiating three-year leases with the businesses, which have been paying month-to-month. It will take about a month to determine how many businesses want to stay for three years and how many want to leave, Heritage officials said.

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Navy Pledges to Restore Point Loma Shoreline After Removing Fuel Pipeline from La Playa Trail

January 30, 2015 by Source
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By Tony de Garate

Trenches and jackhammers could be coming to Rosecrans Street by year’s end to relocate several miles of an aging Navy fuel line, according to the commanding officer of Naval Base Point Loma (NBPL).

It’s a two-year project to replace the first five miles of a 17.3-mile pipeline that carries diesel and jet fuel from Point Loma to Miramar, said Capt. Howard Warner, who assumed command for a three-year term last August.

Warner earlier this month addressed two local groups — the Peninsula Community Planning Board and Midway Community Planning Group — in an attempt to assure citizens that the $26 million project will cause inconvenience but won’t prevent residents and businesses from using the Peninsula’s most congested and well-traveled artery.

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“Record Turn-out” at Ocean Beach Town Council Meeting

January 29, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Council Hosts Councilwoman Zapf, Hands Out Parade Awards and Police Give Update on Local Crimes

To a standing-room only crowd, with pizza being handed out over on the side, with a couple of TV cameras in motion, Ocean Beach Town Council president Gretchen Newsom loudly gaveled the monthly meeting to order. The crowd of over 200 took their seats in the large auditorium of the Masonic Center on Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

Newsom called it a “record turn-out” for a town council meeting and then deftly guided the meeting over the next 2 hours, which included handing out awards for the winners of the 35th Annual OB Holiday Parade, and opening the floor up for non-agenda items during which a number of people aired complaints and issues. The room remained in a near-festive mood throughout the evening and not an uncivil word spoken.

The Friends of the OB Library made a big show, wearing “Cat in the Hat” costumes, and addressed the audience and the Councilwoman about the need to expand the local branch.

Also the organizers of the recent “Community Discussion” gave the audience a brief summary of their gathering and issue ideas.

The main agenda item was the introduction of Councilwoman Lorie Zapf, after which Zapf gave a personal tale of poverty as a child, then switched to some of her legislative priorities, and finally fielded questions from the audience. Her aid for the community, Conrad Wear, was also introduced.

After the Zapf presentation, Community Relations officer David Surwilo got up before the meeting, introduced the other commanders present, and then launched into sharing a practical perspective on policing, giving an update on the current “crime wave” in OB, …

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A Call for Ocean Beach to Turn Out for Town Council Meeting – Tonight, Wed. Jan. 28th

January 28, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Tonight, Wednesday, January 28, the Ocean Beach Town Council is hosting their monthly public meeting, and besides dishing out the awards to December’s Holiday Parade winners, the Council will be welcoming new District 2 Councilwoman Lorie Zapf to the community. Representatives of the San Diego Police Department will also be on hand, as usual.

The meeting will be gaveled to order by president Gretchen Newsom very close tot 7 pm and is held at the Masonic Center, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. See the meeting agenda.

The OB Rag urges all OBceans to attend this meeting and let Councilwoman Zapf know your issues and priorities. We especially believe there are serious infrastructure problems in Ocean Beach – such as the needed expansion of the OB Library, as well as a new lifeguard station, street lights, etc.

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Dreaming Big For the Q After the San Diego Chargers Leave

January 28, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The following post is from SD YIMBY, a local San Diego blog devoted to development issues. We don’t agree with all of it but found some of it of interest, and decided to repost it in the spirit of the discussion about Mission Valley that the OB Rag has helped to initiate.

From SD YIMBY / January 25, 2015

It’s all but certain that the Chargers leave San Diego after next season. (I discussed this in my last post,). Without the NFL in San Diego, there is a huge opportunity to redevelop the Qualcomm site.

In discussions about the site if the Chargers were to leave for downtown, most people have assumed that the site would simply be sold to developers for a mixed-use development. Although that would be an improvement, I don’t think it is thinking big enough.

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Water Main Breaks Cause Major Problems in San Diego and Nationwide

January 28, 2015 by John Lawrence

water main break cop carBy John Lawrence

In the best of all possible worlds water main breaks would not happen. Local government would replace old water mains with new ones on a regular basis. That means that money for this and other infrastructure needs would be allocated systematically and appropriately.

If we had our priorities straight, money for infrastructure would take precedence over money for football stadiums and convention centers. But in San Diego and in fact throughout the US this rational approach is to be seen rarely if at all.

The Romans gave their citizens bread and circuses to keep them in line. Here in fact only circuses seem to be necessary.

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Offshore Winds + Solid West Swell = Golden State

January 27, 2015 by Source
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From Black’s to Bolsa Chica, Ocean Beach to Ocean Beach, this past weekend saw all-day offshores fanning the NW swell

From Surfline

Millions of waves are breaking all over the planet right now. Spin the globe, and where sea meets land, there’s a good chance there is some kind of breaking wave.

But the number of ingredients that have to come together to create great surf is shockingly high. Storm strength, distance and movement. Offshore bathymetry. Swell direction. Beach orientation. There needs to be some kind of reef, point or curvy beachbreak. Local winds. Tides. Etc. The list is nuanced and many.

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Reader Rant: Have Progressives Given Up on Ocean Beach ?

January 27, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The OB Rag received this interesting anonymous rant about OB progressives via an unapproved comment at the OB Rag in a fake email address. We’re posting it as a “Reader Rant” as our readers may find it of interest.

The email by “anon” does end by asking OBcean lefties to attend the upcoming Ocean Beach Town Council monthly meeting on Jan 28; It’s at 7pm at the Masonic Center on Sunset Cliffs. We couldn’t agree more with this part of the rant.

Have Progressives Given Up on OB ?

Psst! Don’t tell the government. Don’t tell the right-wing. But progressives, radicals, socialists, anarchists, leftists … whatever you want to call them – they’ve given up on Ocean Beach.

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Change the World, Change Yourself

January 27, 2015 by Source

Unist’ot’en Camp scene

By Will Falk / San Diego Free Press
(Photo credit: Zoe Blunt)

Friends and family tell me I too often focus on the negative. My doctors and therapists have told me me this, too. Diagnosed as I am with severe depression and surviving two suicide attempts, I used to believe them.

I came to therapy feeling like I was the problem.

Part of my recovery involved completing a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program.

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Memo Shows Expansion of Ocean Beach Library Budget Priority for Councilwoman Zapf

January 26, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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A City of San Diego memo from the office of Councilwoman Lorie Zapf that the OB Rag has obtained shows that the expansion of the Ocean Beach Library is one of Zapf’s top 7 budget concerns.

In a memo from Zapf to Andrea Tevlin, the Independent Budget Analyst, dated January 16, 2015, it states:

“It is important that we fully fund the expansion of the Ocean Beach library.”

Even though the OB Library is listed as number 7 on the list, the memo begins:

“Below is a list of Council District 2 priorities that I would like to see included in the upcoming budget discussions. This list is not in a ranked order.” (Our emphasis)

The memo then goes on to list 7 priorities, with number 7 being “Ocean Beach Library Expansion”.

The other six funding priorities include Police officer retention, De Anza Cove Plan update, street repairs, and the Ocean Beach Lifeguard Station.

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Ed Harris: Proposition G and the Belmont Park Lease

January 26, 2015 by Source
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by Ed Harris

Last year during my State of the District Address I called upon District Two residents to monitor and weigh in on development projects that came forward but were not resolved while I was in office. One such project is the Belmont Park lease extension. For a primer on the issue you can read an article I wrote about it in September of 2014.

While I was the Councilmember for District Two, it was my duty to protect the taxpayer’s money. When it came to the Belmont Park lease extension, I asked City staff two simple questions: How does the lease extension benefit the taxpayer and how much more will the City make if it extends a lease from 25 years to 55 years? I never received satisfactory answers to either question.

I also had real concerns about whether the City had the legal right to expand the square footage of commercial space at Belmont Park because of Proposition G that was approved by the voters in 1987.

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Calling All OB Library Lovers – Come to OB Town Council on Wed., Jan 28

January 23, 2015 by Source
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CLICK ON FLIER FOR A LARGER IMAGE OR COME INSIDE.

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What’s the Fix for San Diego’s Crumbling Infrastructure?

January 23, 2015 by Doug Porter

infrastructure sdBy Doug Porter

Pssst! Got a spare two billion dollars? That’s a number being talked about in the search for a comprehensive approach to fixing San Diego’s deteriorating streets, pipes and public spaces.

The City of San Diego has issued a report outlining what it says are our infrastructure needs over the next five years, and it isn’t pretty.

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History of the Ocean Beach Library

January 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Editor: The following is primarily based on a short paper by the Friends of the OB Library.

The original Ocean Beach branch library opened on Abbott Street at Santa Monica Avenue in 1916. It was in a one-room storefront location. Margaret Rankin became the librarian in 1921, and immediately began campaigning for funds for a new and larger branch.

Seven years later, she was successful, and in October of 1928 a new library did indeed open – and it’s been there ever since, at the corner of Santa Monica and Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Smaller than the current branch, the original building had classic proportions and more windows than what we have today.

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Community Discussion: Common Sense, Communication Are Keys to Staying Safe

January 22, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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Ocean Beach Residents Discuss Recent Burglaries and Other Issues

By Matthew Wood

By Matthew Wood

‘Lock your doors. Secure your windows.’

That was the underlying theme from Wednesday night’s Ocean Beach community discussion, which mostly surrounded the spate of break-ins in the neighborhood. About 60 people gathered at Teeter on Niagara Avenue to talk about littering, vandalism and other topics. But the conversation invariably came back to the eight reported burglaries in the neighborhood …

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Extreme Weather Watch: 2014 Hottest Year on Record

January 21, 2015 by John Lawrence

Extreme Weather WatchBy John Lawrence

It’s official: NOAA and NASA have confirmed that 2014 was the hottest year on record. Despite the fact of Arctic cold winters on the US east coast, the average earth surface temperature was the hottest on record. Those cold temperatures were more than made up for elsewhere.

The fact that the three hottest years on record are 2014, 2010 and 2005 points in the direction that climate change is indeed a reality, a reality that is only getting worse as time goes on. The 10 warmest years have all occurred since 1997, …

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Humans Have Brought World’s Oceans to Brink of ‘Major Extinction Event’

January 21, 2015 by Source

But ‘proactive intervention’ could still avert marine disaster, researchers find

By Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams

fish circleMarine wildlife at all levels of the food chain has been badly damaged by human activity, says a new report that urges immediate and “meaningful rehabilitation” if we are to avert mass extinction in the world’s oceans.

“We may be sitting on a precipice of a major extinction event,” Douglas J. McCauley, an ecologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara and an author of the study, told the New York Times.

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The War on Hen-Pecking

January 20, 2015 by Source

All states should follow California’s example and make egg producers treat laying hens better.

laying-hensBy Jill Richardson / OtherWords

Chickens had plenty to celebrate on New Year’s Day. Supposedly.

After a long wait, California’s 2008 ballot measure to improve conditions for laying hens finally went into effect. Instead of living in cramped cages that give each bird less room than a sheet of paper, the birds are going to get enough space to lie down, stand up, stretch their wings, or turn around.

That’s still not very much space. And it’s certainly not “Chicken Disneyland,” as egg producer Frank Hilliker told UT-San Diego.

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350.Org’s High Water Line in Mission Beach

January 20, 2015 by Source
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Excerpt from Doug Porter’s column at San Diego Free Press:

Volunteers with the local chapter of 350.org fanned out in Mission Beach yesterday, using chalk to mark off where predictions of sea level rise fueled by climate change will cause flooding in the coming decades.

They sought public input by getting petition signatures for a strong, enforceable City of San Diego Climate Action Plan.

From KPBS:

After New York’s HighWaterLine art project, San Diego’s Mission Beach was one of several communities across the country holding similar events. San Francisco, New York and Miami also used art to address climate change.

Researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography predict a combination of high tides …

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“PopUp Picnic” Planned for Ocean Beach Seawall – Sat. Jan. 17th

January 16, 2015 by Staff
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Some folks associated with the OB Town Council have planned a “PopUp Picnic” to be held down at the end of Newport Avenue, near and around OB’s famous SeaWall, the Veterans’ Plaza and grassy area, this Saturday, January 17.

They see it as a “way of taking back the SeaWall for families, community members, and people that Respect OB.”

There’s a facebook page on this …

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Ocean Beach Business and Development Update

January 16, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Here’s one of our irregular updates on Ocean Beach construction and development.

CJ Catering Moving Into Former Voltaire Street Bakery – Some good news for those with a sweet tooth,

CVS Opens in Former Apple Tree

In the Meantime New Apple Tree on Newport Makes Progress

Saratoga Condos to Open February 1

New Poles at Site of Future Sunset Plaza

Fourth 3-Story Behemoth on West Pt Loma Makes a Fine Blocked View

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In Deep: Sea-Level Rise and San Diego

January 16, 2015 by Source
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OBceans Take Note: Group Will Mark Off New High Water Level Mark in Chalk in Mission Beach on Monday, Jan. 19th

By Bill Avrin / San Diego 350.org

As we burn more fossil fuels, and thus pump more heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, we are changing every aspect of earth’s climate system. One of the many consequences is that the sea is rising.

On January 19, San Diego 350 will stage a simple action to help make people more aware of what rising seas mean to San Diego right now, as well as in the future. We’re going to Mission Bay, which is pretty much ground-zero for sea-level rise in our county, to mark out where the high-water line is likely to be in about thirty years.

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The Ocean Beach Library Was on the Original Expansion List

January 15, 2015 by Anna Daniels
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Veteran Librarian Advises OB on How to Proceed to Get OB Back on the List

By Anna Daniels

Here’s some historical info that may be helpful in presenting your case to Councilwoman Zapf, Mayor Faulconer AND new library director Misty Jones:

“In 2002, the City Council approved a program to build or improve 24 libraries throughout San Diego, including a New Central library.”

Ocean Beach was on that original expansion list.

As recently as 2008, Ocean Beach appeared on a list of City of San Diego & CCDC Projects. The construction costs were $10,186,500 for an expansion to 15,000 square feet.

In 2010, over $2M in capital improvement funds were (I vaguely remember) used to fix the roof and other maintenance.

Thirteen years have passed and why is Ocean Beach (and so many other branches) on hold?

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Reader Rant: ‘OB public restrooms are a disgrace.’

January 15, 2015 by Source
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By Matthew Smith

I was wondering if the OB Rag had ever done any investigation into the horrible state of the public bathrooms at the OB beaches?

I regularly visit the beaches and each day Parks and Rec staff clean the bathrooms at 7 o’clock or 8 o’clock in the morning – every morning. There are two toilets in the main lifeguard tower bathroom and two more in the bathrooms on the beach near Brighton Ave. I’ve only seen the men’s bathrooms so these are the ones I’m asking about.

Every single day by noon all four toilets are clogged and unusable. This happens every day.

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Where is the Infrastructure Planning for San Diego’s Vulnerable Coastline?

January 15, 2015 by Source

King Tides Expected to Return to Coast Jan. 19-21

By Jeffrey Meyer / San Diego 350.org

human waveA few weeks ago, San Diego coastal cities were given a stark reminder of the threat to public safety and our $15 billion a year tourism industry by increasing tides and coastal flooding. With this problem becoming more severe, year after year, the lack of substantive coastal infrastructure planning can become a countdown to disaster.

The latest combination of high astronomical tides and elevated surf caused strong rip currents and some flooding at low-lying areas along beaches. Known as king tides, they are expected to return to our coastline on January 19-21 and February 17-19. They have become a harbinger of damage to our coastline as we confront increasing sea levels during this century.

The warnings have been clear and consistent. …

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Reader Rave: Residents, Students and Point Loma Planners Clean-Up Future Park

January 14, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By Jon Linney

On Saturday January 10 we cleaned up the future walk-in park site at Avenida de Portugal and Scott Street. Gone are the dead acacia trees and tumbleweeds that represented a fire hazard. Gone are the cans, bottles and other urban trash. Now absent are the years of construction debris: steel girders, cinder blocks, blocks of concrete, dumploads of gravel and once-molten asphalt.

A dangerous blind curve along Canon Street is now much more visible thanks to our tree pruning. Water has been taking its toll on the park site. The cleanup also involved smoothing the surface to slow or stop the erosion while money is raised and planning done to develop the park.

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Ocean Beach Planning Board Annual Election Set: Candidate and Voter Requirements

January 13, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Ocean Beach Planning Board will hold elections for the 2015-2017 term on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Polls will be open 4-7 p.m. at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.

Mail-in ballots are available upon request (see Voter Information below).

Seven of the Board’s 14 seats will be up for election, one from each of the seven districts in the OB Community Plan Area (map). Board members are elected to 2-year terms, and seats open are staggered every other election.

In addition, there is second seat open in District 4 – but because that seat’s term doesn’t expire until March 2016, it is not being filled this election. In the past, however, the Board would simply add a vacant seat to the ballot but with an explicit expiration date for one year.

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OB Community Plan Likely to Go to Coastal Commission in March

January 13, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The much anticipated final review of the Ocean Beach Community Plan by the California Coastal Commission has been on the minds of OB planners and OBceans for months now.

Now it is known that the Commission is scheduled to meet in San Diego on March 11 to 13. It is speculation, but it is likely that is when the last stop for the OB Plan will be. Their agenda for that meeting has not be made public. …

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“Civita” Is the Largest Project in the Continued Destruction of Mission Valley

January 12, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Part 2

By Frank Gormlie

In mid-October I wrote about how four large residential and commercial development projects and a handful of smaller ones slated for Mission Valley will complete the destruction of San Diego’s once lush green valley. Here, I begin to focus on the individual projects.

“Civita” roughly translated is Latin for citizenship, and it’s the name of the largest, most massive Mission Valley development going in right now – with perhaps a third already completed or being currently built. Once you step back and realize it’s scope, Civita is at once a horrifying and amazing place for all its audaciousness.

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