A planned overhaul of Balboa Park’s central mesa that was set to kick off this fall will now begin in March, according to city officials.
And those officials insist the Plaza de Panama project will proceed despite two lawsuits threatening to keep shovels out of the ground.
City staffers are working with outside consultants on construction documents even as lawyers prepare to defend the city and the project itself in court.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer and proponents of the Plaza de Panama say the controversial and long-delayed project that aims to clear cars from the park’s center can survive the latest round of legal challenges. They also say they’re confident the Plaza de Panama Committee, led by philanthropist Irwin Jacobs, can raise the millions of dollars necessary to help make the roughly $80 million project happen once the lawsuits are off the table.
Yet Bruce Coons of preservationist group Save Our Heritage Organisation and Cory Briggs of San Diegans for Open Government are also confident – they believe the cases they filed after the City Council approved a financing plan for the project last year will thwart the project.
Superior Court Judge Gregory Pollack is for now set to preside over separate trials beginning next month and late September, respectively.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
If this project goes forward, history is not going to be kind to it or those pushing it. The general public isn't involved now (and that is intentional on the part of our government). But what is going to happen when this enormous, destructive and lengthy project drags on for years? Tell the truth about it and put it to a vote.
@Janet Shelton Why do we have elected officials if we are going to have everyone vote on these projects? I believe that we elect officials, and expect them and their staff to become more educated than we are, and then make decisions for the greater good.
A lot of voters who are unschooled on the details do not automatically make a better decisions. General elections create political battles, not thoughtful decisions.
@Glenn Younger @Janet Shelton If city officials were behaving in a responsible manner, I'd 100% agree with you. They are not. Lots of information out there on why not. Unfortunately, San Diego has never left behind the reasons it was called Enron by the Sea. The interests of the rich and well-connected served; all else take a number that will never be called.
I still don't understand why a project of this size to a very public place in San Diego is not put out for approval by the voters. It is as if the "powers that be" think that they know best and the public voice is unneeded and uninformed.
So much in the park needs attention NOW. Deal with the trash all along 6th Ave / Balboa Drive / Canyon. And the lawns need attention as well. It's not being watered evenly, and there are dry patches....basically the park is MAINTAINED.
Instead of building a parking garage, it would be far cheaper put up electronic signs showing where the empty spaces are.