After earlier contending that his redevelopment plans for the Navy Broadway Complex didn’t require the California Coastal Commission’s review, developer Doug Manchester has asked for a development permit from the state panel, which shot him back a list of demands that need to be meant before the project can move forward.

In a five-page letter sent to Manchester last week, the commission’s staff expressed concerns that its 1991 study of the project’s environmental impacts might not hold up today because of changes that have occurred to state law, the rapidly developing downtown community, and the project itself.

However, sixteen years have passed since the [study] was written, and significant changes in the project itself and the project environment have occurred since then. Before staff can rely on the description and analyses provided in the EIS, clarification is required on exactly how the proposed project differs from the one analyzed in the [study].

The commission asked Manchester for more information about the seismic study the developer conducted in July, the effects of the project on water quality, the definition of Manchester’s proposed “office-condos” use of some of the properties, and the traffic generated by the Midway museum across the street from the Navy Broadway Complex.

The agency’s concerns echo those of local activists who have tried to halt the project by claiming that the city of San Diego and U.S. Navy failed to properly update their studies of the project’s impacts.

Manchester has said he expects to break ground on the development later this year, although the letter states that he must first answer their questions before the panel will consider his building application.


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