City to consider negative declaration on Bravo/Rodiles

November 21, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — City staffers here looked frustrated, a development consultant shook his head in resignation and one of the councilmen said he was "more confused than he had been before" after 30 minutes of discussion.

During Tuesday's meeting, the five Calexico city councilmen, staffers and consultant Tom DuBose of El Centro discussed what had been called the Bravo Partners/Rodiles development project.

After the discussion, the council voted 3-2 to consider certifying a mitigated negative declaration for the project at next week's meeting.

Some background — for about a year, a group of landowners has sought to build houses, an RV park and an industrial park on farmland at the northeast edge of town off Cole Road near Highway 98.


Recently, the group has splintered. Dr. Horacio Rodiles and Sandra Rodiles separated their project from the F.S. Bravo partners, according to city officials.

Before they split, the partners had hired El Centro consultant Tom DuBose to guide the two separate but connected projects through the city's approval process.

The Rodiles' project is a housing development while F.S. Bravo is looking to build an RV park, homes and an industrial park.

After the city Planning Commission told the landowners they needed to pay for an environmental review for their 300-plus-acre project, the landowners sued the city because they claimed DuBose would fully address in his project plans any impacts the development would have on the city.

That lawsuit was settled after the City Council overturned the Planning Commission's decision and allowed the landowners to move forward with their project without paying for a $200,000 environmental review.

That action by the city is called a mitigated negative declaration. It means the city has declared the concerns with a project have been, or will be, mitigated.

During Tuesday's meeting, the crux of the conversation centered on whether the council should certify its earlier decision to grant a mitigated negative declaration.

Mayor Victor Carrillo and councilman Gilbert Grijalva voted against considering certification at Tuesday's meeting.

Grijalva said the threat of another lawsuit by the landowners wouldn't sway him from voting his conscience.

They both said the projects — especially now because there are two separate projects — should be sent back to the Planning Commission level.

The other three councilmen voted to consider the issue at Tuesday's meeting.

If the council certifies the mitigated negative declaration for the projects at that meeting, the rest of the approval process for the projects could move along.

If the council doesn't certify the mitigated declaration, the approval process could be delayed.

DuBose said a number of times that he is working with the city to address their concerns.

City Planning Director Ricardo Hinojosa said the city still has concerns with the projects that have not been addressed.

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

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