Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Memo Shows Options For Balboa Park Plan Revival

The San Diego City Attorney's Office revived a plan to remove vehicles from the center of Balboa Park, but probably not in time for a yearlong celebration of the park's centennial, City Council President Todd Gloria said Thursday.

The San Diego City Attorney's Office revived a plan to remove vehicles from the center of Balboa Park, but probably not in time for a yearlong celebration of the park's centennial, City Council President Todd Gloria said Thursday.

Document

Goldsmith Memo: Plaza de Panama Plan

Goldsmith Memo: Plaza de Panama Plan

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith's memo clarifying future options for the revival of the Balboa Park Plaza de Panama plan.

Download document

To view PDF files, download Acrobat Reader.

A memo from City Attorney Jan Goldsmith on the Plaza de Panama plan, which was shot down in court, said the City Council could exempt the project from certain required findings that proved to be the project's legal Achilles heel.

The plan advanced by Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs was to build a bridge to carry traffic away from the Plaza de Panama and Plaza de California and build a parking garage near the Spreckels Organ Pavilion that would be partly under ground.

Preservationists, led by the Save Our Heritage Organisation, opposed the plan because the bypass bridge would risk the park's standing as a historic site.

The City Council approved the Jacobs plan, but preservationists got it set aside when a judge ruled that council members wrongly found that the project area has no reasonable beneficial use if the plan does not go forward — a finding needed to alter a historic resource.

Goldsmith said the council could waive the requirement for the finding, but that council members were not allowed to bring the plan forward on their own.

"If an applicant comes forward to advocate for the project, I would

docket the request for the City Council's consideration at a future public

hearing,'' Gloria said. "While it is helpful to understand there is a course to pursue, it is unfortunately apparent that the improvements could not be complete in time for the 2015 Centennial Celebration because of the likelihood of additional litigation and the project's complexity and construction timeline.''

Goldsmith said the proposal would have to go through the Planning Commission and two City Council hearings again.

In an interview after the court ruling in early February, Jacobs said the project was "over.''

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.