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Save Our Heritage Organisation Announces Lawsuit Over Balboa Park Plan

The Save Our Heritage Organisation announced Tuesday it will legally challenge the San Diego City Council’s approval of the Plaza de Panama proposal for Balboa Park.

— The Save Our Heritage Organisation announced Tuesday it will legally challenge the San Diego City Council’s approval of the Plaza de Panama proposal for Balboa Park.

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SOHO's Statement

SOHO's Statement

SOHO's announcement of its decision to legally challenge the City Council over the Plaza de Panama plan.

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The organization released a statement saying the council's decision "could jeopardize (the park's) status as a National Historic Landmark District."

"The lawsuit will be based on the city’s violations of the San Diego Municipal Code, the 1870 Trust Dedication of the park as 'free' in perpetuity, and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in approving the plan," the statement said.

SOHO said it successfully challenged the City Council’s 2011 approval of a Memorandum of Understanding between the city and the Plaza de Panama Committee.

"It is now spearheading this litigation on behalf of the thousands of San Diegans that objected to this flawed proposal for nearly two years, and whose concerns and suggestions were ignored by Mr. Jacobs and the City Council," the organization's statement said.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders said it’s a flimsy claim. He celebrated the council's approval of the project at a news conference in the park this afternoon.

"The park is free and public. And as you notice around here, nobody’s paid to be in the park today," he said. "Nobody will pay in the future. There will be options, just like there is to go to museums and other things... It will be the same with parking."

Sanders said San Diego has a good legal team assembled and he’s not worried about the potential impact to the project timeline. The city wants to break ground by this October and hold a grand opening on New Year’s 2015.

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