Bipartisan local leaders call on City of San Diego to oppose SoccerCityAround the City, Online Only, Top Highlights Sunday, June 18th, 2017
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Local elected officials, business and civic leaders from both sides of the aisle and Public Land, Public Vote Coalition members gathered Friday to express opposition to the SoccerCity initiative.
“Determining the future of the Qualcomm Stadium site is a once-in-a-lifetime gift for San Diegans,” said Councilmember Barbara Bry. “I want to ensure that this valuable piece of land in the heart of San Diego is utilized to the maximum benefit of our city and region.”
Councilmember Bry and others in attendance signed a position statement, expressing their concerns with the initiative, which seeks to redevelop the Qualcomm Stadium site. Throughout the planning process, the initiative’s developers have sought to minimize public input on a proposal which will forever change one of the City’s most valuable pieces of public property.
“San Diegans sent a strong message last November with the overwhelming passage of Measure L,” said Assemblymember Todd Gloria. “I thank my former City Council colleagues for listening to this message and hope they continue and place SoccerCity on a November 2018 ballot. San Diego has many needs that demand urgent action, and approving new private development on valuable public property is not one of them. This measure can wait until 2018.”
Public Land, Public Vote has worked to educate the San Diego community on the potential impacts of SoccerCity, including setting the precedent for costly special elections for non-emergency measures.
“Placing this measure on the November 2018 General Election ballot is the only option,” said Lincoln Club Board member Mike Turk. “Not rushing this will afford our City crucial time to make an informed decision about the best path forward. The extra time will allow for competing proposals to come forward, and potentially bring forth a solution that is better for San Diego, San Diego State University and the future of professional sports in our City.”
Concerns voiced by the group touch on a variety of issues, leading to the declaration that another solution would be better for San Diego – beginning with an open, transparent and competitive process.
“Any project of this magnitude should undergo a rigorous public screening process,” said land use attorney Cary Lowe, Ph.D., AICP. “This measure sets a dangerous precedent that public land can be simply commandeered by private developers who avoid any sort of public input or true environmental review.”
The group noted San Diego State University’s opposition to the measure as yet another reason San Diego should head back to the drawing board for the Qualcomm site. The Past Presidents Council of
SDSU Alumni publicly stated their opposition to the initiative shortly after the university ended negotiations with SoccerCity developers.
“This is about much more than soccer,” said Frederick W. Pierce, spokesperson for the Past Presidents Council. “This dangerous initiative has been met with concerns from City Councilmembers, SDSU and thousands of concerned citizens. We have one chance to get it right for the Q. It is critical that we take the time as a City to think about the best path forward.”
The next milestone in the fight against SoccerCity will be Monday, June 19 as the City Council has the option to adopt the measure outright or to send it to voters. Public Land, Public Vote will host a rally prior to the hearing to show their opposition and prepare to give SoccerCity a “Red Card.”
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