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Citizens Group: Vote “No” on Both Stadium Measures

Carrie Rossenfeld Government & Public Policy

The Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C-3) board is not endorsing Measure E or Measure G, which propose different uses for the SDCCU Stadium site in San Diego’s Mission Valley submarket. Rather, the group is recommending that San Diego city voters vote “no” on both measures on the Nov. 6 ballot, according to a release from a representative of the group.

The release says C-3, which was founded in 1961, has a mission “to advocate, educate and develop solutions for maintaining high standards of environmental quality, physical design, economic benefit and social progress. C-3 gathers and disseminates information, facilitates civic dialogue and encourages well-thought-out opinions. Its founders said the overall goal is to make San Diego a ‘handsome community.’”

Local businesspeople, local leaders, cultural organizations, and sports figures have declared support for either measure over the past several months. The City of San Diego had brought lawsuits against both sides, claiming that the initiatives illegally infringe on the mayor and City Council’s authority, but the cases were rejected by separate San Diego Superior County judges in July, and appeals were not successful in keeping the measures off the ballot.

The statement says to pass, either measure needs more than 50 percent of votes, and if both measures achieve that threshold, the one with more votes wins. If neither passes, the future of the SDCCU Stadium site will be up to the City Council.

Roger Lewis, C3’s 2017 president and current Advocacy Committee chairman, says in the release, “While there may be merits to each proposal, C3 is advocating that the city lead a public process to set a vision for the site and select one or more developers to carry it out.”

Lewis adds that C3’s mission and history “are firmly planted in public-planning efforts that involve the community. Asking voters to decide the fate of one of the largest city-owned properties is contrary to good governance.”

As the release explains, Measure E would result in SoccerCity and Measure G in SDSU West. Both would produce new stadiums, one primarily for soccer, the other for football, as well as other residential and commercial development and parkland.

The statement also explains that the SoccerCity initiative lays out a detailed master plan in more than 2,400 pages, and SDSU West’s 13-page initiative authorizes the city to sell the property to the California State University system. San Diego State University has issued a conceptual plan for the property.

SoccerCity does not require public hearings or an environmental impact report, while SDSU West envisions a public review process by the university once the city and CSU arrive at terms and conditions, according to the release, which adds that in both cases, the city’s oversight would be limited if either initiative is adopted.

According to Lewis, “This represents the most significant and largest site the city has had the opportunity to redevelop since the Naval Training Center. Neither measure considers certain critical city needs for the site. Neither addresses how redevelopment of the site fits into the overall future of Mission Valley. Neither provides sufficient detail on whether the project will be consistent with the San Diego River Park Foundation’s vision for the proposed river park.”

However, as SoCal Real Estate previously reported, Gordon Carrier, principal of Carrier Johnson + Culture, architect for the Mission Valley Community Plan Update, and designer of SDSU West, noted in last a recent NAIOP breakfast event, Measure G is the only initiative of the two that is consistent with the plan. The release says the plan is a critical protection to safeguard the existing Mission Valley community and that Measure G requires any plan developed by San Diego State University to comply with strict environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act, which includes multiple opportunities for public input.

Lewis says in the statement that while each proposal has its merits, “C3 believes the city should lead a public process that sets priorities, conditions for development, and outlines time, funding, design, oversight, and other details.”