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International Center public hearing set Oct. 8

September 25, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The city Planning Commission here set an Oct. 8 public hearing regarding the Calexico International Center, an ambitious development planned for the corner of Jasper Road and Highway 111.

The commission will hear from representatives of Wen-I Chang, the Burlingame-based developer who wants to build a $10.5 million hotel and adjoining gas station at the corner and begin laying out the streets and infrastructure for a 2,000-acre complex of industrial spaces, an RV park, senior housing and possibly by 2004 a golf resort.

The commissioners will hear from city Planning Director Ricardo Hinojosa, who will present staff findings on the environmental impact report prepared for the project.

The plans for the international center have been in the works for more than two years, Hinojosa told the commission at Monday's meeting.

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At the upcoming hearing, the commission will be asked to sign off on the environmental report and the new maps and rezoning requirements that accompany a project of this size.

Recently, the Planning Commission didn't approve the plans for a development on the east side of town, the Bravo-Rodiles Partners Development Project.

After initially supporting the commission's decision, the City Council this month overruled the commission and approved the project.

The Bravo-Rodiles project is to include houses, an RV park and industrial space on farmland near Cole Road and Highway 98.

The landowners did not do an environmental impact review for the project. That lack of a report was one of the reasons the Planning Commission rejected the project.

At Monday's meeting, Commissioner Arturo Selwick asked Hinojosa of the Bravo-Rodiles proposal, "The project is beyond our capability to overturn the council's decision?"

Hinojosa said the next step in the process is a county review of the project, although he said the county has given the city the responsibility of being the lead agency.

Basically, the county Local Agency Formation Commission will check the paperwork for the project and determine "did (the city) properly prepare the initial study?" Hinojosa said.

He mentioned two cases when the county rejected the documentation provided by the city but he said San Diego-based consultant Brian Mooney would be working with the city and the Bravo-Rodiles landowners to make sure it doesn't happen this time.

"Mr. Brian Mooney will try to create some mitigation measures," Hinojosa said.

"Mitigation measures" are conditions placed on the development that help the project blend with other homes and businesses in the area.

Concerns such as traffic and construction noise are all addressed in the project's planning documents, although the landowners will not have to pay more than $200,000 for an environmental review.

When Mooney finishes the paperwork the city will present the document to the county, which will allow a 30-day public review.

During that time the county, the Imperial Irrigation District and the California Department of Transportation will all weigh in with their concerns.

LAFCO then will decide whether to allow the project to be annexed into the city.

The Calexico International Center will have to go through the same process. The public hearing on Oct. 8 will be one of the first steps in the process.

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com

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