By Joe Flynn
Editor Note: Mr. Flynn’s post is in response to How to Tell if the Chargers Negotiations are Real by Liam Dillon which appeared in Voice of San Diego.
All the publicity, all the press conferences by the mayor and the task force, and now when it appears there is a tidbit of real news —— it’s confidential. “You kids don’t need to know this right now, maybe we’ll tell you later.”
Sometimes it’s better to get the information out right away. To hold back just leads people to speculate; what is it that warrants this kind of mystery? We have heard the plume is back in play again; who gets stuck with the tab for cleanup? Maybe they found that the 81.56 acres they planned to sell is owned by the Water Utilities Department and you just can’t give away assets of a cost recovery department.
Just guessing, but it is a possibility that when the original stadium was built the city was short of cash to buy the land necessary and the water department was always a source of ready cash so maybe they bought it? Maybe. But if they did, and still own it, it probably cannot be given away.
And that little zoning matter. If the land is zoned for a Sports Stadium, then you would likely have to rezone it to build housing and retail, and rezoning’s require a public hearing. And with the number of interested citizens they would have to hold the hearing in the Stadium to fit them all in.
Maybe they remembered that the city still owes $55 million on Qualcomm stadium. Perhaps they are wondering who will pay that, and should it be included in the calculations on the cost of a new stadium for the Chargers?
Just a passel of ponderables. Quickest way out; roll that hole card.
Joe Flynn is a retired City of San Diego Planner