By Cory Briggs
I was thrilled to read in the San Diego Free Press the recent critique of the Citizens’ Plan that former City Councilmember Donna Frye and I have been promoting and that will appear on the November 2016 ballot. The critique’s author (a lobbyist and developer’s lawyer) raises an excellent question about the initiative’s effects on East Village and Barrio Logan, but he provides nothing except wrong answers that rest on a series of false claims. Responding to the critique thus gives me a good opportunity to explain some of the benefits of the initiative that have not yet received a lot of media attention.
Before debunking the specific claims in the critique, it is important to understand what the Citizens’ Plan does and does not do downtown. For starters, the initiative allows convention-center facilities, a sports facility (not necessarily football), or combined facilities within the boundaries of Imperial Avenue to the south, 17th Street to the east, K Street to the north, and Park Boulevard to the west – and nowhere else. Significantly, it includes no mandate that such development be given priority over any other development projects, offers zero guaranty that the development will come to fruition, allows the development to be done “in addition to” all other development already allowed, and requires that the development be done (if it’s done at all) “in accordance with all other applicable legal requirements.” In short, the initiative does nothing more than enhance downtown’s revitalization prospects. [Read more…]