Friday, Oct. 12, 2007 | Thank you for the article regarding The Battle of Mount Soledad.

We agree with Pat Abbott, that landsliding on Mount Soledad is a natural geologic process. The USGS Geology Map of the San Diego Quadrangle

and the accompanying legend show pre-existing landslides all over Mount Soledad, Tierrasanta, and Allied Gardens in the landslide-prone Ardath Shale (Ta) and Friars Formation (Tf).

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Mayor Jerry Sanders stated the city will be getting expertise on the whole of Mount Soledad from the USGS. Instead of looking at projects one at a time, the whole mountainside needs to be evaluated and residents informed on how to counter the force of gravity by using less water, preventing erosion, and fixing leaks. Also in landslide prone areas, flexible connections to underground utilities should be used. The city of San Diego recently sold public property at the base of massive landslides on Hidden Valley Road and Ardath Road. Hopefully before any project is approved on this site, a full evaluation of the hillside will be completed.

Have we learned any civic lessons? Will Mayor Sanders require developer Doug Manchester to turn in a valid geologic fault investigation before construction starts of the Naval Broadway Complex in order to comply with the Municipal Code, DSD’s Project Submittal Manual, and Information Bulletin 515?

Since Manchester and the Navy refuse to get building permits or a Coastal Development Permit for Federal Land, the city can still condition approval the Master Plan until a valid fault investigation is turned in. Will the City Council approve a Master Plan that does not take active faulting or surface rupture below high-rise structures founded on liquefiable soils into consideration before they put the public at risk for loss of life and property? The public meeting of the lack of an Environmental Determination has been postponed until November 6, 2007.

Will Mayor Sanders take building on Environmentally Sensitive Lands such as coastal bluffs and steep hillside off the table as an incentive to the Density Bonus ordinance? See proposed changes to Municipal Code Sections 143.0750 and 126.0708, pages 10 through 12.

We can only hope.

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