Hotel tax initiative change

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Environmental Attorney Cory Briggs has revised his planned initiative that prevents any taxpayer money from going to a downtown football stadium.

The revision would also exempt the Mission Valley stadium from review by the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA.

Briggs said after getting feedback from various stakeholders, his revisions offer a better way to organize the city’s waterfront resources by expanding the Convention Center, off site, and putting expansion in the hands of the voters who have been excluded from downtown decisions for some 15 years.

"What we want to do is give the voters a chance to break the log jam because they’ve been excluded for so long, its time for us to take back the city," Briggs said.

No money for a downtown stadium and questions about whether the city can use taxpayer dollars for Mission Valley under the governor’s certification of the environmental report.

"The downtown option would not allow the city to provide any taxpayer funding. The way that the city has already structured the expedited review raises some questions about whether there can be public funding. we don’t say one way or the other," Briggs said.

What the initiative does is exempt both sites from litigation over the environmental process, but it’s not without controversy.

Steve Cushman, the mayor’s point man on Convention Center expansion, said the hoteliers are dead set against Convention Center expansion as an annex.

"Do they want an annex Convention Center or do they want a Convention Center that is contiguous. Our customers overwhelming said they want contiguous," Cushman said.

Briggs will file his initiative with the city clerk sometime next week, followed by a signature drive to get it on the ballot.

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