Stadium Watch: Build it downtown

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Public comment on the stadium Environmental Impact Report ended on Friday. One would expect a flood of comments, but there were only a handful.

Some criticized the city’s strategy, others raised concerns about impacts not addressed in the report.

While the city admits there are significant impacts from this product. It is confident they can be mitigated or reduced to a low level of impact to satisfy environmental laws.

Here are a few of those comments:

Some say the stadium renderings place the stadium in the wrong corner, sited in a flood plain.

The Mission Valley Planning Group wants access ramps from I-8 and I-15 and the housing development north of the stadium was not included in the study. 

There were less than 20 comments from the public, apparently confused and exhausted from all the rumors about when and if anybody is going to L.A.

But there was support from local agencies and feedback from an L.A. law firm.

Since negotiations are at impasse, the city will go forward to update and finalize the report.

In the meantime, Pro-stadium Advocate Dan McLellan who worked with "Save Our Bolts" and the stadium coalition said the city should walk away from Mission Valley and look at downtown because he claims it’s cheaper.

The stadium project in Mission Valley is $1.1 billion.

"We’d still have to spend $550 million for a convention center downtown, and we’re still half a billion over as if we were to combine those two into one project," McLellan said.

He claims combining the two would solve three problems by raising the TOT tax from 10.5 percent to 15 percent.

This could be put to the voters as a general tax increase, paid for by visitors, needing only 50 percent plus one for voter approval.

"Keep the Chargers, expand the Convention Center and ultimately lock Comicon to San Diego so we have a solution there that is cheaper than the solution being presented by the city," McLellan said.

McLellan said the Mission Valley site is too costly to mitigate given the problems with parking, access, environmental cleanup and other impacts.

Speaking for Dean Spanos, Mark Fabiani continues to stress this EIR will not pass legal muster.

Secondly, one approved by council, as is, the EIR will likely be challenged in court.

And the Chargers maintain their best bet for a fully financed stadium, that’s acceptable to them, is still in Carson.

Categories: KUSI