Appeals Court Ruling and the Next Step – The California Supreme Court
In December 2021, The California Court of Appeals ruled against the Franklin Ridge Road connection lawsuit filed by the grassroots group, Save Civita. The Franklin Ridge Road connection will link Civita in Mission Valley with Phyllis Place in Serra Mesa, located close to the I-805/Murray Ridge ramps.
At the start of the lawsuit process, Save Civita discovered that our former city council member, Scott Sherman, promoted the road connection. His office offered letter of support templates to Mission Valley HOAs and offered to help with public testimony. All of this was done without transparency and before the public hearings were held in 2017. These actions affected due process – tainting a fair hearing.
Save Civita will file an appeal request with the Supreme Court of California before February 2022.
History of the Freeway Connector
|10-30-2017||City Council approved freeway connection|
|11-27-2017||Environmental lawsuit filed by non-profit group, Save Civita, composed of representatives from Serra Mesa & Civita.|
|01-28-2020||San Diego County Superior Court ruled against the environmental lawsuit.|
|12-16-2021||4th District Court of Appeals ruled against the appeal|
|1-2022||Save Civita files request to CA Supreme Court.|
On October 30th, 2017, San Diego City Council approved a 4-lane, 55-mph freeway connector that will direct traffic through Serra Mesa and half-mile stretches of Via Alta and Franklin Ridge roads in Civita, a dense residential community.
Based on the City’s final environmental impact report, on the connector’s opening day the average daily vehicle trips will be 23,217 (16 cars every minute) and by 2035 they will be 34,117 (24 cars every minute).
These roads are permanently flawed because the steep slope and the curves of the roads prevent crosswalks or traffic calming from ever being installed.
If the speedway connector is completed, lives will be at risk. Because of the permanent flaws, these roadway segments are “unsafe at any speed”.
Nipaquay Elementary School at the corner of Via Alta and Civita Blvd is scheduled to open in Fall 2022. Many families have moved into Civita with the expectation their children can walk to and from school. The freeway connector will make this walk dangerous.
A May 2018 report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) validates Save Civita’s concerns. Available at iihs.org, the report describes a scenario strikingly similar to: half-mile stretches of roads in a dense residential area with no crosswalks or traffic calming, where the City plans to use the roads to funnel traffic to and from freeways.
The city, politicians, and large developers in Mission Valley argue this sacrifice needs to be made for the “Greater Good,” stating the rest of the City will benefit from the connector by allowing more homes to be built in Mission Valley, a flow of regional traffic between I-805 and Mission Valley’s Friars Road, and a GPS short-cut for commuters.
Why we are going to court
“Save Civita Because Sudberry Won’t” filed a lawsuit on Nov. 17, 2017, in San Diego County Superior Court.
The lawsuit was filed based on the belief that the connector project does not comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the City of San Diego General Plan, and all applicable laws, for example, the Planning and Zoning Laws (“PZL”).
Also, the roadway segments were not designed in accordance with walkable, mixed-use, industry-standard practices for the accommodation of pedestrians and regional freeway traffic and is not compliant with the City’s Council Policy 200-07 and the City’s Street Design manual.
The goal of the lawsuit is to stop the construction of the 4-lane freeway connector and in doing so prevent pedestrian fatalities. For more information on the lawsuit and issues with The City of San Diego and Sudberry Properties, go to the background page.