YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollectionsEir

Our Opinion: No EIR, no go

May 24, 2002

We were among those who predicted that the Calexico City Council's kowtowing to developers on the whole Bravo-Rodiles mess would ultimately prove ugly for the city of Calexico.

It didn't take long for it to get there.

What happened with the Bravo-Rodiles situation — the condensed version, anyway — is property owners and their employees tried to push through a development project with a far-from-adequate environmental impact report. The Calexico Planning Commission denied the development plans, but the City Council, under threat of a lawsuit and with things stacked against it, ultimately approved the plans.

We were among those who said city officials had managed to back themselves into a corner because of various mistakes and would not be able to extricate themselves without a bloody, costly fight. We said at that point the city's best move was just to approve the project. And overall the commercial/residential development should be something good for Calexico, despite the planning shortcomings.


Our main concern was the precedent being set, that people would think they could get around important parts of the planning process in Calexico. Those planning aspects work to make sure projects will do the most good possible while doing the least harm. They, all in all, are good things.

Now, only a few months later, the Schaefer Family Trust, which wants to build hundreds of homes in north Calexico, also doesn't want to do an EIR, saying to city officials, essentially, you did it for Bravo-Rodiles, you have to do it for us.

We are confident the Calexico Planning Commission, which has shown it will stick to its guns, will give a thumbs down to the project without an adequate EIR. The commission no doubt knows that the impacts on the city and its services should be studied, particularly considering the magnitude of the project.

We are not as confident in the City Council, which does have two new members since the Bravo-Rodiles capitulation, but we are hopeful.

We hope this council comes together this time to show a collective fortitude against inadequately planned growth. All cities need growth to stay vibrant. But city leaders should not blindly accept such projects or they will soon find themselves trying to deal with more than they can handle.

Before it gets backed into a corner again and again and again on this matter, the Calexico City Council should say at this early stage, "No EIR, no go."

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles