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Who Decides Plans for Public Tidelands

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

 

The San Diego Port District is suing to prevent an initiative to redevelop the 10 th Avenue Marine Terminal from getting on the November ballot. The developers who want the measure to go to the voters have hired an attorney with a history in San Diego. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

 

The attorney for the developers fighting the Port District is Fred Woocher, who represented San Diego city councilwoman Donna Frye in her 2004 bid for mayor. Woocher lost that battle to count five thousand votes for Frye, disqualified because the bubble on the ballot wasn’t filled in correctly.

Woocher says he took this case because it is also about letting voters have their say. 

 

Woocher: Because the very act that set up the Port district states that the voters

of the Port District have the right of initiative and referendum

 

But Michael Shanafelt, representing the Port Commissioners, says the State Legislature set up the Port District to manage the public tidelands around San Diego Bay

 

Shanfelt : The legislature made clear that the Board of Port commissioners alone could amend the master plan.

 

The Port Commissioners say the plan to build hotels or even a football stadium on top of the Marine Terminal will threaten shrinking cargo space around San Diego  Bay.

 

Alison St John,  KPBS news.

 

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