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Colony gets council approval Robert Moreno | Sat, Nov 23 2013 12:00 PM

The Chula Vista City Council agreed to rezone two parcels owned by the Sweetwater Union High School District at Tuesday's public hearing.

The rezoning  of 0.38 acres of the two parcels calls for a mixed-use zone for The Colony project to include commercial property in what is to be a 162-residential housing project on a vacated lot at 435 Third Ave., adjacent to St. Rose of Lima Church.

The design for the project is a five-story podium building with one level of  3,000 square-feet of commercial space and four residential floors above it.

Charles Diamond, principal of HTI Property Group, said at a June community forum that the only commercial site on the property will be at the first floor where the Heritage Museum is going to be housed.

Diamond previously said the museum will rent the new space for $1 a year for 99 years.

Councilman Rudy Ramirez said a project like this follows the Urban Core Specific Plan and the fact that it is more urbanized and dense is a reason he supports the project.

“I’ve been along for the ride in support of this kind of development, I think this is the type of development we should see now and in the future,” he said.

Community member Jerry Thomas asked city council to not support a project that is tied in with the Sweetwater Union High School District.

“The Sweetwater Union High School District has a way of doing stuff about getting public participation, they love using the public good for their own private gain,” Thomas said. “Everything they’ve touched turns to dust, I want to say another word but I’ll say dust.”

Thomas also said the city council should question why the district is focusing on real estate and not focusing on educating its students.

City council also approved a design review permit subject to the conditions contained for the colony mixed-use project. And approved a tentative map.

it Diamond said at the June meeting that the district’s intent for the project is to sell it.

“The plan of the district is to sell the property; it’s not going to be a developer,” Diamond said in June.

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