- Ann Gardner | Via Latina
|Driving south on I-5 at Carmel Valley Road. Top: now with exit to Carmel Valley road. Bottom: after construction of link to 56,
no exit to Carmel Valley Road. Nearby residents are
located on hil at the right behind the green treesl.
Caltrans Final Environmental Impact Report.
Click to enlarge.
Two lawsuits filed by Del Mar Heights residents and State Assemblyman Todd Gloria are questioning Caltrans’ plans to “green light” the construction of two new 100 foot plus flyover connectors between I-5 and SR-56 at Carmel Valley Rd. The lawsuits are asking the court to vacate approval of the project, to halt any work toward the flyover project and to compel a full environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act.
In his November 16 letter to Caltrans, Assemblyman Gloria, who represents the Torrey Pines community, asked for collaboration with the community and transparency from the project team to deal with his concerns including:
Why was the… final EIR not presented to be approved until five years after the draft EIR was proposed?
What is the reasoning for the changes of the proximity to the Del Mar Hills Academy …from the draft EIR to the final EIR?
Since the project cuts into the Del Mar Villas community what is being done to help the community in the loss of open space and the cutting of resident’s property?
Out of all the alternatives that were presented in the draft EIR, #2 has been proposed as the best… (even though) the community expressed support for alternative #4. What is the reasoning behind picking alternative #2 over alternative #4?”
In a press release issued by the litigating parties, residents claim that “Caltrans chose the loudest, tallest, most noxious and visually damaging plan it considered for this interchange very near the Torrey Pines Preserve and admits that the impacts to the public are significant.” Caltrans, according to the lawsuits, first stated that the project was subject to environmental review by the Coastal Commission but now claims “erroneously” that the project is exempt because it can be considered part of the I-5 North Coast Corridor widening project currently under construction.