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Chargers Spike City, County Plan For December Stadium Vote

Team spokesman says state environmental rules leave stadium plan open to litigation

Photo caption:

Photo by Matthew Bowler

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer is joined by City Attorney Jan Goldsmith (left), County Supervisor Ron Roberts (right) and members of the city-county negotiating team to provide an update on stadium negotiations with the Chargers, June 16, 2015.

San Diego county and city representatives presented the team with several options on how the project could comply with the California Environmental Quality Act, but a Chargers spokesman signaled the team's doubts.

After another meeting Tuesday with the San Diego Chargers, Mayor Kevin Faulconer seemed confident a stadium deal would be reached in time for a Dec. 15 special election, but the Chargers are signaling an end-of-the-year vote will not be possible.

The city presented the team with several options on how the project could comply with the state’s environmental laws and were expecting to hear back from the team by the beginning of next week.

At a post-meeting news conference at noon with city and county officials, Mayor Kevin Faulconer called the discussion a “productive exchange."

"We focused on issues of timing and — from our standpoint — issues of our ability to bring together the resources from the city and the county that we strongly believe will allow us to achieve success and achieve success by the end of this year," Faulconer said outside City Hall in downtown San Diego.

But a few hours later, the team’s stadium spokesman, Mark Fabiani, spiked the optimism touted by the mayor.

"Based on all of this work and discussion, the Chargers have concluded that it is not possible to place a ballot measure before voters in December 2015 in a legally defensible manner given the requirements of the State’s election law and the California Environmental Quality Act," Fabiani said in an emailed statement. "The various options that we have explored with the City’s experts all lead to the same result: Significant time-consuming litigation founded on multiple legal challenges, followed by a high risk of eventual defeat in the courts."

Fabiani said the team will continue to communicate with the city but mentioned an August meeting of NFL owners could "provide important information about what is likely to occur during the remainder of 2015."


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