Coalition awaits word on condo project appeal

The Torrey Hills Community Coalition is still waiting to hear the results of its appeal on a lawsuit against the developer of a condo project slated for the Torrey Hills neighborhood.

Last year, the group sued the city of San Diego and Coast Income Properties over the environmental issues surrounding plans for a 484-unit condominium project on 13 acres on West Ocean Air Drive.

Dismissed on what coalition Chairwoman Diana Padgett called a technicality, the case is now at a “stalemate” as the group’s lawyer, Julie Hamilton, waits to hear word the appeal.

And the coalition isn’t about to give up.

While the allowance of a “Mission Valley-type” development in Torrey Hills was a focus of the lawsuit, another aspect revolves around water use.

Hamilton said the problem is that the city looks at each project individually and doesn’t take into consideration the cumulative impact of all these new developments on the water supply.

“We’re taking all these drastic measures to reduce our water usage and in the meantime we’re allowing projects to be built left and right,” Hamilton said.

Padgett said the water aspect of the lawsuit is important for the whole city and hopes they can get back on track.

“We’re not sure whether we’ll be able to move forward with it, but it’s an issue that really needs to be pushed in the city,” Padgett said.

The housing development was approved by San Diego City Council on in September 2008 despite 400 neighbors signing a petition that alleged the project was too dense and did not fit the character of the community’s other rental developments.

The Torrey Hills Community Planning Board had requested that the developer trim the project to a maximum of 380 units and limit the height to three stories.

Coast Income Properties would not meet that compromise but is giving $1 million to the community toward a recreation facility such as a YMCA in Torrey Hills Park.

Coast Income Properties refuses to answer reporters’ questions.