SoccerCity to begin collecting signatures Wednesday, 72,000 needed for ballot vote

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — SoccerCity will begin its campaign Wednesday to sell its stadium and development plan to the voters. There will be a kick-off event to start its signature drive to get its initiative before city council by mid-June.

Tuesday, FS Investors of La Jolla presented its plan to an Urban Land Institute meeting that included a second stadium for an NFL team. 

The Urban Land Institute, or ULI, is an international organization whose main interest is the responsible use of land. 

This is the first time the plan included a rendering of an NFL stadium along with a soccer stadium, a not so subtle indication that the possibility of the city getting another NFL team will be part of selling this to voters.

Overall, here’s how the presentation was received by more than 175 people who attended the meeting. 

"I think the feedback that I got was the majority of the room was very concerned about the project and feels that there’s some issues that simply aren’t being addressed," said Greg Shannon, who chairs the San Diego chapter of ULI. He mentioned a few of those concerns. 

" … traffic mitigation and just the shear scale of the project, I think the price that their billing but I think overwhelmingly the sentiment that I’ve heard for a couple weeks now and for today was the lack of a public process," Shannon said.

Shannon cited the Liberty Station Project and Petco Park as examples. 

" … both of them had literally years of public involvement and public meetings and this project has zero," he added.

Shannon has been involved in development projects in San Diego for 37 years. He wrote the master plan for Petco Park. 

"I think this project’s being rushed because of the made up MLS deadline," he said.

SoccerCity is facing a growing opposition over its plan that not only bypasses the environmental process, but by passes the voters.

It requires the city council to adopt and immediately implement the plan by mid-June.

If that doesn’t happen, San Diego is out of the running to get an MLS franchise this fall and a stadium built by 2020. There’s also a coalition of developers and others being formed to reach out to SDSU and neighborhood groups to oppose this fast-tracked plan.

The signature drive kicks off at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at a site overlooking the Mission Valley stadium. Just under 72,000 valid signatures are needed from registered city voters.

To meet SoccerCity’s deadline, the signatures have to be turned into the city clerks office by the end of April. 

Categories: Local San Diego News, SoccerCity Proposal