The Montgomery Annexation, When it Rains


Queen Anne near Fourth Avenue two days after it rained on 1/29/08. The water is still there. Obviously a lot of dirt washed into Fourth Avenue and was carried into the storm drain during the rain. People park in the mud.Click to see Frank who lives on Queen Anne explaining the problem to the city council again.


     North side of the street                               South side of the street.
















Typical road condition. Pot holes are patched, but patch does not survive a heavy rain. The water does not drain but fills potholes and soaks into the dirt along the side of the road. Cars track the mud throughout the streets, and it eventually ends up in the storm drains, which is clearly a violation of the city's storm water permit.

These are pictures of a few of the unpaved alleys in the middle of the blocks between Banner and Del Monte in the Otay neighborhood of southwest Chula Vista.

Here it is clear that trash, mud and even small rocks wash from the alley into the street

















The cars track the mud on to the street.













1/26/08 The Union Tribune:

Castle Park area to get sidewalk, curb work


Installation cost is $1 million per block

By Tanya Mannes


January 26, 2008

Chula Vista is making slow but steady progress in bringing the old Castle Park neighborhood up to code by installing sidewalks, curbs and gutters.

The prefabricated homes were installed in the 1930s and '40s without the usual street improvements as a no-frills way to keep costs down.

Joseph Kish, who has lived 56 years in his First Avenue home, said residents are tired of what he calls substandard conditions.

“You drive through here and the mud is atrocious, the streets are dirty

, you can't hang your laundry outside,” Kish said. “I wash the car one day and I wash it again two days later.”

Castle Park was annexed into Chula Vista in 1986 as part of the Montgomery area. Many homeowners, including Kish, say that city officials promised to install sidewalks as part of the annexation. However, the Montgomery incorporation documents don't promise any specific improvements, said Jack Griffin, the city's general services director.

In 2005, the city installed sidewalks in three areas – Naples Street from Alpine Avenue to Tobias Drive, Tobias from Naples to Oxford Street and Dixon from Naples to Oxford – after homeowners formed assessment districts to pay a portion of the cost.

A dozen blocks, however, still have walking paths that are no more than dirt shoulders. The current cost to install sidewalks, curbs and gutters is more than $1 million per block.

Griffin said the city has lined up money for most of the needed improvements.

“We're leaps and bounds from where we were 10 years ago,” he said.

In November 2006, the city received approval of a $9.5 million loan from U.S. Housing and Urban Development, which will be used in Castle Park, Griffin said. The HUD loan is backed by the city's annual share of federal Community Development Block Grants.

In another important development, the city this year finished a $3 million project to install 3,000 feet of badly needed storm drains to handle runoff on Emerson Street, Griffin said. The storm drain installation was funded by several sources including federal Community Development Block Grant money and development-related taxes and fees.

“We wanted to get the drainage project out of the way before we did any street improvements,” Griffin said.

Kish lives on one of two blocks that are expected to get sidewalks when the HUD loan comes through, probably this summer.

He and the other homeowners formed an assessment district in which they will pay for their driveway aprons – typically, about $4,000 each – and the city will pay for the sidewalks, curbs and gutters.

“It's about time,” he said.

Tanya Mannes: (619) 498-6639;

This is my response to the spin the city is trying to put on the street situation in this article:

RE: Castle Park area to get sidewalk, curb work

        It is great that some work is to be done in the Castle Park area on streets and sidewalks. However, there is no way that the city "has lined up money for most of the needed improvements," as Jack Griffin indicated in the article. The April 5, 2007 Infrastructure report indicated it would take $369-$396 million to bring the Drainage and Pavement Infrastructure in the city up to standards. $9.5 million dollars at one million dollars per block will do around 10 blocks. It is great that the city is doing something and a few streets will get fixed, but there is a tremendous amount more to do.

        I realize the city wants to put a positive spin on the situation after Turko included the broken promises in the Southwest in one of his reports, but just to make the needed improvements in a half mile around Castle Park Elementary will take over $25 million dollars. The map included with the article shows the area where the sidewalk and curb work is to be done, but this is less than a third of the Castle Park area and other areas of the Southwest also need extensive work to bring the streets up to city standards- not to mention all the drainage and pavement problems in the rest of the city.

        In the 9/24/85 Position Paper on Annexation the city promised that if citizens voted for annexation: "Revenues generated in Montgomery will be spent ... to provide for an extensive capital improvement program to upgrade public facilities in the area such as curbs, gutters, sidewalks, roads, drainage systems, and parks." The city also promised to have the Montgomery Planning Committee "help develop a multi-year capital improvement program to upgrade public facilities in the area." Twenty-two years after annexation the condition of all the streets in the entire city has continued to deteriorate due to deferred maintenance. Saying that the "Incorporation documents don't promise any specific improvements" is kind of like welching on a debt because you never said whether you were going to pay in cash, check or coins.

        Thursday February 7 at 6PM in the council chambers the council intends to discuss the citywide infrastructure situation again. This time they will analyze funding alternatives. Clearly in 1985 the city did not have the money or an accurate idea of what it would cost to bring the streets in just the Montgomery area up to standard. When the Montgomery Planning Committee started asking too many financial questions it was easier to dissolve them than to deal with the situation. Hopefully, now that staff has extensively studied all the streets, curbs, drainage and sidewalks throughout the city and produced an estimate in 2006 dollars this council will actually deal with the situation at hand before it gets even worse.


Theresa Acerro