Sweetwater Union High School District's (SUHSD) Proposal


        On December 13, 2007 the Chula Vista Redevelopment Corporation (CVRC) discussed the current and past proposals by SUHSD to use development of some of their property in western Chula Vista in order to fund a new Administration Building, Corporate Yard, 7-12 school, and adult school. Apparently 20 years ago they came to the city with a proposal to build a new Administration building on a lot at the corner of Alvarado Street and Third Avenue (where Kentucky Fried Chicken is now.) At that time the district owned the land where the Veteran's Home now is. The city traded this Third Avenue land for the land the Veteran's Home is now on. The city also paid the District a certain amount of money to finish this transaction. The idea was that having 300-400 District employees on Third Avenue would revitalize the downtown area. This has been a major city goal for 20 years but SUHSD has not moved on making it happen. For many years they hesitated because of financing and concerns about parking. Parking is a nightmare at their current site on Fifth Avenue and Moss. Their spokesperson stated parking is no longer a concern. They would need to build some kind of structured parking for employees and clients.

        For the last 10 to 15 years the city has had the goal of moving the SUHSD corporate yard off of Fifth Avenue. This is a residential neighborhood and the bus traffic is not appropriate for this location. The site is probably contaminated so the District is seeking Redevelopment Agency help in its clean up if they were to move it.

Text Box: Industrial Blvd.

L St.

        The District has brought several development proposals to the city over the years. They all sought significant tax increment money from the redevelopment agency. All the proposals have been vague and essentially were predicated upon the SUHSD finding a developer who would buy the land from them and build residential which would produce tax increment, which the SUHSD expected the Redevelopment Agency to hand over to them. Staff and the members of the CVRC felt that the District did not understand the finances involved, or the process. There is a subcommittee of three CVRC members that has been negotiating with the District and will continue to negotiate with them, but they feel at this point they need to start dealing with the school board, since there is a basic lack of understanding of the process and the financial situation.

        The latest proposal would have the Administration building and the adult school move to L Street. (The district bought 23 acres on Industrial and L in 2004 for 28 million dollars.) SUHSD wants to build 1,000 homes on this property. To his credit Eric Crockett rejected this. He said the city would not consider it without involving the community. 1,000 homes would require at least 6 acres of parking. They would also increase traffic significantly, need more library and park space and other municipal services. Eric did not mention this concern, but a real concern is that because this is a redevelopment area there would be absolutely no increase in property tax going to the city. This would mean no income for police, fire, libraries, street repairs, and all other General Fund expenses, which by law cannot be paid for with tax increment money. SUHSD is saying 183 million in tax increment would be produced for the Redevelopment Agency. They want 100 million of that. Some good comments by the CVRC were that in this housing market no one would build or buy land for 1,000 homes. It was also mentioned that the 23 acres were not worth the 28 million the District paid for them, and the financial projections were probably inaccurate.




Third Avenue



L Street

Administration, 1,000 residential, commercial, Adult School


Fifth Ave.

Corporate Yard


Moss Street



Fourth Ave.

7-12 School


        Another problem is that the SUHSD bought the L-Street property with a loan that deferred all interest payments until 2011 (or 2032?) when a huge balloon payment is due. The city still wants the Administration building on Third Avenue, which will require many improvements on Third Avenue and there will not be any redevelopment tax increment to pay for them after 2017 when the Town Center 1 Redevelopment Area sunsets. School land such as Adult School, corporate Yard, 7-12 school, and Administration Building pay no taxes. The District currently wants to keep their corporate yard on Fifth Avenue, which the city does not want.

        These five YOUTUBE videos have the 45 minutes of discussion about Sweetwater's plans at the CVRC meeting:

1. A Power Point overview by Eric Crockett.

2. Discussion with City Manager's comments.

3. Further discussion.

4. More discussion, including comments by SUHSD representative.

5. Summary