Local Reaction to City Council Vote for Jacobs’ Plan for Balboa Park

by on July 10, 2012 · 3 comments

in California, Culture, Environment, History, San Diego

Seven-and-a-half hour City Council marathon ends in 6-1 vote in favor of Balboa Park overhaul.

 by Andy Cohen

The most controversial decision in the San Diego City Council since the Chargers ticket guarantee finally came to a head last night at around 9:30 pm, and when the council had completed its vote, the Irwin Jacobs plan to transform Balboa Park had its official go ahead. The $45 million plan to eliminate vehicle traffic from the Plaza de Panama, build the “Centennial Bridge” that will circumvent the centerpiece of the park itself, and lead into a brand spanking new $16 million parking structure that will introduce paid parking into Balboa Park for the first time in the park’s history now has the formal approval of the City Council.

For the remainder of this article, please go to San Diego Free Press.

Point Loman Incensed by Vote

By John P. Falchi

It was good to have spent Monday downtown on one of the hottest issues of our time, the preservation of the historic integrity of Balboa Park. For some time now the behind the scenes machinations of our local power elite have been working their way toward this day of decision on the part of our S.D. City Council Members.

Many members of fine organizations like Dan Soderberg’s Neighborhood Coalition to saveBalboaPark, Bruce Coon’s organization,SOHO, and Jeanne Brown’s League of Women Voters, have been fighting the good fight, and were there with members of their groups, yesterday. I was also impressed by the turnout of young people, many from the Occupy Together Movement, locally, who came to lend their support to those who chose to speak against the Jacobs-Sanders Campaign to fundamentally change Balboa Park.

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Todd Gloria sells his soul

No surprise Todd Gloria voted in favor of the developer-backed Jacobs Balboa Park plan. Especially after he blocked me and other concerned D three constituents from posting anything at all on his Council Facebook page because we had expressed concerns about the Jacob’s plan and the loss of Balboa Park’s National Landmark status. I knew the fix was in. He pretended to listen and take notes during the 8 HOURS of public testimony, but let’s be honest Todd has known since day one how he would vote. Todd can’t seem to understand that he was elected to represent the PEOPLE of District three not just ACE parking and the developers that want to make money off District three.

It was encouraging to see the hundreds of citizens that showed up. People came from all over San Diego to save the historic park. We packed the chambers and three overflow rooms and people were turned away due to occupancy problems. (You would have thought the City would have anticipated that and planned a bigger venue). So some citizens did not have a chance to be heard.

Those in opposition to this plan FAR outnumbered those in favor at least 10 to 1. And all those FOR the plan were coincidentally developers or members of a special “committee” that had private meetings with Jacobs. It was downright disturbing to see how many developer CEOs were so interested in seeing this plan passed. Actually interested is an understatement. They were adamant it be passed and insisted anyone against it was a spoiled brat and should be ashamed of themselves for treating billionaire benefactor Jacobs this way.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar allthink July 10, 2012 at 8:32 am

cars are bad, pedestrian walkways & open space = good. 3/4 of the money was raised privately, $5 a day to park in a lot – wow! Ride a bike if you don’t want to pay.

Now, if ACE receives a no bid contract – OK, thats shady politics. But shady politics usually don’t work towards community betterment projects.

Up in arms about the Centennial Bridge? Why?


avatar Mister O'Cooney July 10, 2012 at 8:44 am

Let’s put a huge multi-story cement parking structure that does not hold that many cars right in the middle of Balboa park, gouge out the landscape and then tear off part of the bridge – all this when there is a better plan that creates FAR more parking, more accessibility by disabled, and doesn’t shred the historic integrity of the park.

Billionaire giveaways are more important I guess.


avatar allthink July 11, 2012 at 9:27 am

Yes, let’s put a huge multi-story cement parking garage UNDERGROUND (creating open park space above ground where a cement parking area is now).

I hope plans haven’t changed, and my source is correct.



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