Another Imperial County Project Hits The Skids

By Mario Conde

The Calexico Planning Commission approved to rescind the Mega Park project Monday only five months after its approval.

The Planning Board approved Monday to rescind all entitlements for the Mega Park; amend the General Plan to change the land-use designation for the Mega Park property; and rezone the Mega Park property to be consistent with the General Plan.  The Mega Park developers sent a letter to the City of Calexico on December 1, 2009 requesting rescinding all the project relating approvals arguing that they need to respond to the dramatic changes in Imperial County and the Country’s economy.  The letter also said that they are currently evaluating to develop some parts of the 150 acres of land. With this action, the Mega Park is the third projecton this property that failed to be developed. Other projects have been proposed for this area since 1994 but have not moved forward.

The developers of this project also came to the decision to rescind this project as part of a settlement of a lawsuit by the Citizens for Honesty and Integrity by Calexican Officials against the City of Calexico and the Heffernan Memorial Board District. Part of the settlement between the parties was to eliminate this project since the group argued that the project was going to cause environmental impacts that could not be mitigated.

The Calexico Mega Park LLC obtained approvals and entitlements to develop a mixed commercial project last August and it would be developed in a land which is approximately 155 acres located on the southeast quadrant of Jasper Road and Highway 111 and was zoned IND . General Industrial which is different from the land use designation in the General Plan. The Council took action to rezone the 155 acres from CH to 25 acres as CH and 130 as R-2.

The commission also approved to recommend the City Council adopt an Ordinance Amending Title 17of the Calexico Municipal Code to include a Medium Density Residential zone. This “R-2” zone action is taken in conjunction with the rescission of the land-use entitlement approvals for the Mega Park development project; therefore, this proposed action will have significantly less environmental effects than the formerly proposed development of approximately 155 acres of the Mega Park project.

The Calexico Heffernan Hospital District also had interest in developing a 15 acre medical building at the Mega Park. Heffernan gave $450,000 dollars to Mega Park plus a $50,000 non-refundable deposit. The $450,000 was supposed to be paid back to the Heffernan District later this year.