Midway group opposes Soccer City development plan
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 05/25/18 - 08:57 AM | 4856 views | 0 0 comments | 60 60 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After hearing a consultant’s pitch, Midway Community Planning Group in May unanimously opposed the Soccer City November ballot initiative.

Two competing ballot proposals to redevelop Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley, Soccer City and SDSU West, will face off in the Nov. 6 election.

SDSU West calls for a new 35,000-seat Aztecs football stadium, a river park, campus expansion and research center. 

Soccer City by FS Investors includes a 22,000-seat stadium to draw a Major League Soccer expansion team (32,000 for Aztecs football) plus a river park, retail and SDSU expansion.

Each proposal needs a simple majority to be approved. If both are approved, the one with the highest vote total passes. If neither measure receives a majority, the issue will go back to square one and the City Council.

Consultant Joe LaCava said Soccer City private developers are seizing the opportunity to redevelop the former Chargers stadium site via a citizen’s initiative process, which he characterized as an end around, citing three reasons for opposition.

“It was written behind closed doors,” argued LaCava. “There are numerous loopholes in it that developers don’t have to deliver on. They did not negotiate in good faith with SDSU.”

LaCava contended the citizen’s initiative process qualifying Soccer City on the ballot also bypasses the City Council and local planning review. “We’re asking your plan group to take a stance,” he said.

In the citizens' initiative process, citizens draft a legislative bill or constitutional amendment, which they then propose by petition. If the petition receives sufficient popular support, the measure is then placed on the ballot and can be enacted into law by a direct vote of citizens.

MCPG chair Cathy Kenton concurred that citizen’s initiative process to put controversial matters on an election ballot could serve as a bad example for Midway, given the community is in the midst of a community plan update.

“This is a really critical time for us with the [possible redevelopment] of the sports arena area and SPAWAR,” she said.

Community planner Kurt Sullivan questioned the appropriateness of opposing the citizens’ initiative process “until the plan group knows more about it."

"The Midway Planning Group is opposed to the Citizen’s Initiative process being used to usurp proper land use and planning," she added.

In other action: 

MCPG unanimously turned thumbs down on a proposal made to consolidate the city’s 43 planning groups into a handful of larger, regionally-based groups. “It’s not appropriate for the whole structure of planning groups to be dismantled, and for them to be consolidated,” said MCPG board member Judy Holiday. The group unanimously voted against the planning group consolidation proposal.

City planner Vickie White briefing the group on the Midway Community Plan update noting the final decision to approve the plan update or not will be made by the full City Council on June 26.

City officials briefed the plan group on progress being made on review of an impact fee study for the Midway area. A list with 100 or more projects involved in the study was passed out to the MCPG board.

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