Our Opinion: Move on, Calexico

January 12, 2002

With mistakes on both sides, maybe it is time for the Calexico City Council to put the whole "Bravo partners" mess behind it.

There is no doubt that the proposed project is a quality one and will bring good things to Calexico and the rest of the Imperial Valley if the partners follow through with their "Grade A" plans. There is no doubt that the developers didn't do all they could in preparing environmental impact materials. There is no doubt the city Planning Commission can't deny certain project elements and tell the developers what they can build instead on the developers' land.

And there is little doubt the developers will sue the city again if they don't get what they want.

What the Bravo group says it wants to build is a large housing subdivision, a mobile home park and an industrial park. One of their partners is a highly regarded San Diego/Tijuana technology businessman who wants to set up shop in the industrial park.


The project, which would be on the northeastern edge of the city, seems like a first-class development from the promotional materials the partners have passed out all over town.

The whole brouhaha came about — and we don't have time for all the details because that would be a pulp novel — when the Planning Commission shot down the Bravo Partners' development plans because the partners did not pay for an independent environmental report. The City Council backed the Planning Commission and the Bravo group's plans were delayed.

Bravo Partners brought in a San Diego attorney who subsequently sued the city and the councilmen themselves. City leaders, faced with some daunting technicalities regarding city actions, relented. Eventually, the council sent the project back to the Planning Commission and the commission, on the recommendation of their new planning consultant, Brian Mooney, decided it was not going to turn down the project but design a new one for the developers, taking away this element and changing that element.

That, to us, seems far beyond the scope of a city planning commission. If something is out of compliance with zoning or in violation of other standards, the commission can turn down a project. Designing projects is not exactly in its purview.

We, a bit reluctantly, recommend the city just forget past battles and shortcomings and approve the project as the developers have said they will build it. If the developers don't, they will have gone back on their word. If the city doesn't give them the chance to prove their intentions, another lawsuit will surely follow. And we have strong doubts the city would prevail.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles