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VOSD Podcast: The Stadium Study's Magically Shortened Timeline

Land use consultant Marcela Escobar-Eck schools us on the technical details of stepping on the gas to get the Chargers stadium’s environmental impact report done.

Not too long ago, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith warned the city would need about a year for a sufficient environmental impact study of a new stadium.

Now, San Diego’s hustling to get one done in mere days. The study’s findings are supposed to be available for public review by Aug. 10, when city and county officials meet with an NFL owners committee in Chicago. From there, we’ll have 45 days of public comment, and a final report to be finished before a January vote.

How did the city manage to speed things up so significantly?

Marcela Escobar-Eck, a longtime land-use consultant who’s overseen some of San Diego’s most controversial projects, joined us on the podcast this week to school us on the specifics. “This is an extremely aggressive timeline,” Escobar-Eck said, “but it can be done.”

She said despite the city’s claim, it’s likely some projects and services will be pushed aside as city staff scramble to get the environmental study done. And she said that yes, there will be some value in completing this $2.1 million review, even if San Diego doesn’t end up getting a new stadium on the Mission Valley site.

Also on the show this week: a special gem of an email pulled from Liam Dillon’s public records haul while reporting on Carson’s stadium backstory; San Diego’s glut of landfill space and San Diego Unified’s solar aims and struggles; fact-checking the city attorney’s role; why Kevin Faulconer circa January 2014 is our Hero of the Week; and Marne Foster is our Goat.

This episodes’s cool jams: “10,000 Emerald Pools” by BORNS, and “No Diggity” as covered by Chet Faker.

Listen to the podcast here, on Stitcher or on iTunes.

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Correction: An earlier version of this post noted that City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said in February that “the city would need about a year for a sufficient environmental impact study of a new stadium in Mission Valley.” Goldsmith was referring to a hypothetical “typical project” and did not mention Mission Valley.

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