San Diego Housing Commission Ordered Destruction of Point Loma Bike Track – Neighborhood Rallies to Save It

by on March 20, 2018 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

Rally at Famosa Pump Track, 3/19/18. Photos by Dearing English.

It was confirmed to the OB Rag this morning that it was the San Diego Housing Commission that had ordered the plowing under of the Point Loma bike track system known as the Famosa Pump Track. The property – or much of it – is owned by the Housing Commission.

John Demoss of Benchmark Landscape – the company whose bobcat and workers began to destroy the track Monday morning – confirmed to this reporter that it was indeed the San Diego Housing Commission who had hired the company to do the work. Demoss told me his company is commonly hired by the Commission.

A few local residents had physically blocked the bobcat Monday morning and persuaded a company supervisor to back off – which they did.

Meanwhile, a support rally was held at the track Monday afternoon. Darren Miller, one of the organizers, told me that they had coverage from 3 TV stations, and that there were 75 people there – “two-thirds of them kids”, he said. “The kids rode till dark,” he added.

(Here is some of the coverage: abc10News , CBS8 .)

Talk about getting some immediate action, Miller was told by Councilwoman Zapf’s office that there is a meeting today on the issue with Mayor Faulconer, Zapf and the Housing Commission.

In response to media inquiries, the San Diego Housing Commission made the following statement:

“An unauthorized and unpermitted makeshift bike park was set up by unknown individuals on the undeveloped property that is owned by the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) at the corner of Famosa and Nimitz Boulevard.

Some of the no trespassing signs placed on the property by SDHC have been removed. Without sufficient insurance, SDHC, a public agency, cannot allow the property to be used as a bike park.

The property is being planned to be developed as affordable housing.  We are pleased to be working with the Community Planning Group on the future development of affordable housing at this site.”

One immediate response to this statement came from Geoff Page, a local Point Loma activist, in a comment to an article who said:

Interesting statement about working with the [Peninsula] Community Planning Group. I’ve been involved with the planning group for years and attend all their meetings and I have never heard of the Housing Commission working with the group to develop affordable housing at that site.

Darren Miller also told this reporter that he believes the City of San Diego owns part of the land, plus the parcel map shows numerous easements, he said, for utilities. The land where the pump track is, he said, may not even be owned by the San Diego Housing Commission.

The Housing Commission is concerned about liability, Miller said – “and I understand that issue.”

“We looked into getting insurance back in 2012,” he continued, and “we were told by one insurance company that they could insure us for $6000 a year without waivers [of liability], and $3000 with waivers.”

“We could also set up or partner with a 501c3 company,” he said.

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