Public hearing on environmental impacts of Calexico center slated

November 15, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The Planning Commission here set a public hearing for Nov. 26 to review the environmental impacts of the Calexico International Center, a proposed 217-acre mixed-use development proposed for the southwest corner of Jasper Road and Highway 111.

Potential developments at the site include a hotel, gas station, senior housing, fast food restaurants and an RV/mobile home park.

At the upcoming hearing, the commission will review the impacts and the general plan of the project but not its tentative map, according to Planning Director Ricardo Hinojosa.

He explained to the commission at Wednesday's meeting that the developer, Burlingame-based businessman Wen-I Chang and his partners have yet to submit a tentative map because they plan to ask the City Council for funding to build streets and improvements.

Before the finished map is drawn, the developers will require the passage of an "enabling city ordinance" specifying exactly how much of the proposed improvements will be paid with city funds, Hinojosa said.


Commissioner Richard Romero said the whole project is beginning to sound like the city's previous negotiations with Wal-Mart.

"It's the same mistake they made with Wal-Mart. That's still being paid for," he said.

In the past, the city has paid for infrastructure costs or waived fees for major developments and used the future property tax money generated by the development to pay off the improvements.

Hinojosa said the Wal-Mart example was a unique case. He said the International Center developers might ask for a relatively small amount of money.

Chang has said he was advised by his partners to seek a developer's agreement before he invests more money in the ambitious 217-acre project, which will be built in phases over a number of years. He stressed the development will be a reality and it will be high-quality.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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