San Diego’s seal is shown at the downtown City Administration Building. Megan Wood/inewsource

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Monday to amend an agreement between former Mayor Bob Filner and the developer Carmel Partners over the development of an apartment complex that drew criticism.

The development’s current owner, Trea Blvd63, LLC, sought to nullify the agreement, which required the development’s owner to rent apartments to tenants by the room rather than by the bed. When it was being built in 2013, opponents of the apartment complex argued that it more closely resembled a dormitory rather than the luxury units it was billed as.

“I applaud my council colleagues for correcting these corrupt mistakes of the past, and moving forward from Filner’s blatant misuse of power,” Councilman Scott Sherman said. “This is a good reminder that big problems happen when elected officials abuse the power of their office.”

Carmel Partners began work on the CentrePoint apartment complex, located in Rolando, in 2013. The city ordered the stoppage of construction of the complex, citing the need for additional construction permits.

According to Sherman’s office, Filner also ordered San Diego’s Development Services Department to not conduct inspections on the development’s completed phases, keeping construction workers from continuing with the project.

At the same time, the Rolando Community Council demanded that the CentrePoint project, and the developers of any other new projects in the area, pay for improvements to the neighborhood. The CentrePoint development offered to pay $150,000 for improvements.

Then-City Councilwoman Marti Emerald, representing the area, suggested that the project needed additional changes regardless of the funding.

CentrePoint subsequently sued the city in U.S. federal court, arguing that Filner, Emerald and the rest of the city government had illegally stanched the development. The city and CentrePoint eventually reached a settlement.

Sherman framed the dispute as an overreach by Filner and called it a victory for property rights. Sherman was in his first year on the council at the time.

The council voted 8-0 to amend the agreement, with City Councilwoman Dr. Jen Campbell absent.

— City News Service

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