YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollections

Landowner: More housing is just what E.C. needs

November 22, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

A single-family housing development with 465 homes proposed for south El Centro is just what the city needs, at the right time and in the right location, according to the landowner, former Holtville resident Brent Grizzle.

"We want to create a project that will be an amenity to the city," he said Wednesday. "We want to be good neighbors and create a quality project. We know the need is there. We think the project location and timing are right for the area."

The 120-acre proposal — Buena Vista Park — is near an electrical substation and the city's water treatment plant, making extensions to those facilities easy. It also falls squarely within the city's plans for new housing subdivisions.

The project would be shaped like an upside-down L, with the main east/west portion on 80 acres and a 40-acre parcel attached at the eastern-most side. The northern boundary would be the city's water treatment plant, the Police Department weapons range, an Imperial Irrigation District electrical substation and the El Centro Equestrian Center. The eastern boundary would be Clark Road. The southern boundary is described as Palmview Avenue, an existing ditch, rural residences and farmland. The western boundary is defined as Imperial Avenue to the north and Cypress Drive west to the south.


Grizzle said he has been planning the project for about two years and that it is going to be a first-rate project of quality homes with modern amenities and city water and sewer.

The home prices will be in the mid-$100,000, he said.

"It's going to be a pleasant community with one of the largest parks in the community," Grizzle said.

The park will be 8 acres and double as a retention basin. Grizzle said the basin will actually be shallow to allow for grass, and will be big enough to support soccer and baseball fields.

Despite concerns expressed by some local residents on Clark and Horne roads that the project will change the rural lifestyle, Grizzle said the project takes nothing away from the area.

He said the project will not affect the lot sizes of homes on Horne Road or take away residents' ability to keep livestock.

Regarding concerns that the project will result in too much traffic, Grizzle said there will be local road improvements that will result that would not occur but for the development. In addition, he said traffic congestion will be eased when Wake Avenue is widened to four lanes and built through the area and when Imperial Avenue crosses Interstate 8 and reaches McCabe Road.

Grizzle stressed the project has an expected build-out of 10 years and by then all the traffic improvements will be in place.

Another concern by local residents is that the lot sizes — estimated at between 6,200 and 6,700 square feet — are too small and not in keeping with the half-acre to 1 acre lots in the area.

Grizzle said people seeking larger lots will find them available on Horne Road.

"We are trying to create a product that fits the demographics of the area," he said. "It's not our goal to create $250,000 estates."

Buena Vista Park is being proposed as a continuation of the nearby Desert Village subdivision to the north.

Grizzle said he does not expect there to be a conflict between the subdivision and the El Centro Equestrian Center because of the county's right-to-farm ordinance.

The right-to-farm ordinance says that all property owners within a quarter mile of agricultural land are advised that their property's proximity to farm operation might subject them to discomfort or inconveniences associated with noise, odors, light, fumes, dust, smoke, insects, chemicals and operation of machinery, among others.

Grizzle said the big picture is people want economic growth and people need homes in which to live. He said housing projects are never fiscally positive but they support local retail and commerce, that, in turn, generate local tax dollars.

Finally, on the impacts to the McCabe Union School District, Grizzle said he has offered adjacent land to the subdivision for the district to build a second campus.

>>Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles