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Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2006 | In Kelly Bennett‘s excellent article on Grantville redevelopment, “Finding Blight in Grantville,” she mentions flooding as one of the pretenses Councilman Jim Madaffer and other proponents used to push the project forward. Fortunately for us, the Vision Plan for Grantville sub-area A gives us further details.

Historically, during the heaviest rains, there has been flooding of Alvarado Creek affecting the industrial businesses near Mission Gorge Place. “Years ago” the creek was “channelized,” presumably at the behest of the nearby businesses, to contain what has been considered a “nuisance.” The flooding, however, has continued.

And how does the Grantville Vision Plan propose to resolve the flooding? Remove the businesses.

The plan calls for rehabilitating Alvarado Creek as an “amenity.” The new creek is to be the new focal point of the new “Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)” that will be located near the Grantville transit station and will be straddling the creek. (For those not in the know, a TOD is a high-density, mixed-use development situated at a mass transit hub.) The plan envisions crowds of young folks, who love to live near bus stops, trolley stops, and freeways, enjoying the potentially flooding creek as they enjoy their high-density life style.

As we see, the Grantville plan’s counterintuitive approach to remedy flooding is to build more in the flood plane, encourage more people to live near the flooding body of water, and get rid of the current businesses. The moral of this story: If you have a business near a creek that occasionally floods, don’t complain about the flooding.

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