Discussion continues on the future of the Qualcomm Stadium site

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — There is a struggle for power going on between republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer and his four City Council allies against the democrat majority.

The two sides are arguing over whether the Qualcomm site can be considered a surplus property.

If council declares it surplus property, the Soccer City initiative would become subject to state law and government agencies and non-profits would get first crack at use of the land ahead of SoccerCity.  

Central to this issue is the question: Who has the power to determine what is surplus land?

The Surplus Land Act doesn’t specify, however council policy states the Mayor would determine the appropriate use of the property.

Two months after the Chargers’ stadium proposal was defeated, FS Investors announced its initiative for a soccer stadium and development at the Qualcomm site with the Mayor’s backing.

Then we learned the Mayor had been negotiating with FS and reached an agreement before the Chargers’ stadium vote.

Councilmember David Alvarez called this a back-room deal, not a transparent and open process. Alvarez claims the land will be surplus once the stadium is torn down next year.

The Mayor then had said the stadium may be excess, but that the property is still not surplus.

“I do want to remind the council that you’re very limited in your discussion today to what item 330 has been called consideration of a request to declare the city-owned properties of the Qualcomm Stadium site,” City Attorney Mara Elliott said during a City Council meeting Tuesday.

The council was trying to find a way to get other proposals for the Qualcomm site but they had trouble trying to get City Attorney Elliott to prepare a resolution that stayed within the bounds of what was before them. Elliott had said there were no facts to back up a declaration for surplus land.

“On the issue of surplus land never says that the council is prohibited from passing a resolution to declare this property surplus,” Alvarez argued.

Since the council couldn’t address that issues, the discussion turned a Plan B of the SoccerCity initiative fails next year.

“We have a role to play in determining this site,” Councilmember Georgette Gomez said.

Councilmember Scott Sherman saw the entire discussion as political theatre.

“ Kind of hard to determine there’s something surplus when we have a citizen’s initiative out there ready to go,” Sherman said.

The council struggled to understand what it could do and couldn’t do with what was before them. So they ended up referring this to a council committee for further discussion.

 The only other action taken Tuesday was a request for a report from the Mayor on the potential use of the Qualcomm property if the SoccerCity initiative fails.  

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