I’ve been researching the concept of “green” development today (see below post for links to some national stories). I’m working on a story about homes in San Diego that fit into this category, and found this story published a year ago in the Union-Tribune about a condo development called “Bankers Hill Green” that was due to be built soon after the article’s publication.

The development would have green features like photovoltaic cells to generate electricity, landscaping with edible plants like fruit trees, thick and well-insulated walls and floors, and it would be constructed from recycled and chemical-free building materials.

Sounds a lot like those developments in the New York Times story, doesn’t it?

I talked today with Gayle Stech, a downtown real estate agent who was on the sales team for the Bankers Hill Green project, and she said the development was never finished.

In fact, she said, the project didn’t even get off the ground.

“They dug a hole in the ground, and that was it,” she said.

Stech said that the project’s developer, Craig Brod, fired the contractor before he could do much more than start work on the underground parking lot. Brod’s development company, Clear Skies Condos, is based out of a town called Windsor, near Santa Rosa in Northern California.

I didn’t find out why Brod cancelled his project, but he did express some concerns over dealing with San Diego red tape in the U-T story.

[Blod] is not certain he will ever do more projects in San Diego because of the cumbersome permit-review process he has encountered.

“The city of San Diego has been very rough,” he said, citing several instances of plan checkers rejecting his plans on faulty grounds. He suggested the city do as San Francisco has done and establish a green-building team that helps builders find suitable construction sites.

I’ll be sure to post an update when I find out why Brod cancelled his project, but in the meantime, I am still looking for “green” home dwellers/builders in San Diego for my story. If you or someone you know fits this category, I’d love to hear from you.

KELLY BENNETT

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