Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Economy

City Attorney Reviews SDSU West's Mission Valley Proposal

A rendering of the SDSU West plan to redevelop SDCCU Stadium is shown in this undated image.
San Diego State University
A rendering of the SDSU West plan to redevelop SDCCU Stadium is shown in this undated image.

San Diego’s city attorney has reviewed the SDSU West proposal to redevelop the Mission Valley SDCCU Stadium site and she sees a lot of uncertainty in the initiative.

The city’s mayor and several city council members asked Mara Elliott to review the initiative now that it has enough valid signature to qualify for the ballot. She said the SDSU West proposal comes without a lot of guarantees.

The measure calls for the development of a 35,000-seat Joint Use Stadium, a River Park and open space, facilities for education, research and entrepreneurial programs, commercial space and housing.

Report To The Honorable Mayor And Members Of The City Council SDSU West Campus Research Center, Stadium And River Park Initiative
The San Diego City Attorney reviews the SDSU West proposal for the development of the Mission Valley stadium site.
To view PDF files, download Acrobat Reader.

The 15-page analysis of the SDSU West Campus Research Center, Stadium and River Park Initiative is an effort to give the proposal the same review the city attorney gave to the SoccerCity plan being offered by FS Investors.

Elliott called the measure difficult to analyze because there are a lot of uncertainties, including whether SDSU or another government entity ends up buying the site, what the purchase agreement with the city involves, and what happens after the sale.

In a statement, SDSU West supporters said their proposal provides a "framework":

“We appreciate the City Attorney’s thorough review of the SDSU West Initiative. SDSU West creates a framework for San Diego State University and the City of San Diego to reach a sales agreement that is in the public’s best interest and begin a public and transparent planning process for the future of the existing stadium site. Ultimately, SDSU West provides the strongest protection to the City and taxpayers that this critical land is preserved for public benefit,” the statement read.

RELATED: San Diego State Might Tap Taxpayer Funds To Expand Into Mission Valley

Board of trustees

Once the sale is complete, the land will be developed by San Diego State University but final approval over that development will fall to the California State University System board of trustees.

The report said there is no guarantee any of SDSU’s proposed plans for the site would be built as currently being proposed.

Elliott’s report also found there are no guarantees a stadium, River Park or affordable housing would be built. The document said development control of the site will belong to state officials, meaning it is unlikely city development guidelines would apply.

City Attorney Reviews SDSU West's Mission Valley Proposal

In the report, the city attorney asked and answered specific questions:

Q: Will adoption of the initiative require that the development outlined in the initiative be built?

A: No.

Q:Does the initiative require a stadium to be built?

A: No.

Q: What happens if a stadium is not built?

A: There is no remedy for the city if a stadium is not built within seven years of the sale, or at all.

Q: Does the Initiative require the purchaser to build a River Park?

A: No. There is no remedy in the initiative if the River Park is not constructed within seven years or at all.

Q: Will the Development include affordable housing?

A: That is unclear. The city could not enforce those (affordable housing) requirements against the state.

Q: Would the initiative require city taxpayer funds?

A: That is unclear. The initiative doesn’t state who will pay for River Park improvements on city land.

Q: Can the purchaser transfer its interest in the site?

A: Yes. The State Board of Trustees will make the ultimate use and development determination for the Existing Stadium Site including whether the site will be sold to a third party.

City Attorney Reviews SDSU West's Mission Valley Proposal
San Diego’s city attorney reviews the SDSU West proposal and she sees a lot of uncertainty in the initiative.
City Attorney Reviews SDSU West’s Mission Valley Proposal
San Diego’s city attorney reviews the SDSU West proposal and she sees a lot of uncertainty in the initiative.

This is KPBS Midday Edition, I am Maureen Cavanaugh. SDSU West backers are defending their position after an analysis by the San Diego attorney raise questions. Eric Anderson has details. >> Reporter: The city attorney's 15 page review concludes the SDSU West initiative short and guarantees, sending a state wants to build a stadium, housing, classrooms and commercial space on 132 acres of Mission Valley Stadium property, it calls for the construction of a River Park on nearby city-owned land, Tamara Elliott's report was put together at the request of the mayor, the language that will be on the ballot in November doesn't guarantee what is being promised in the initiative, it clears the way for the sale of the land, but the sale price would be determined after voters cast their ballots, if a cell is completed, it will be developed by San Diego State University, but final approval will fall to the California State University system Board of Trustees. The analysis says that there is no recourse in the initiative for the city, if the joint you Stadium, Riverpark, or additional land does not get built, Kim Kilkenny says that a lot of those details will be worked out after the initiative passes. >> The city of San -- San Diego, cannot compel the state of California to anything by regulation, but the city can require San Diego State, through a sales contract, to comply with the provision of that sales contract, and that is the way it was structured, it authorizes the city to sell to San Diego stay, the existing stadium site, subject to a whole variety of conditions, and any other conditions that the city wants to impose. >> That includes affordable housing, the review question whether the city could compel the state to meet the affordable housing requirements, he says people should consider the future of San Diego. >> This initiative gives San Diego State land upon which they can grow, when that occurs, that will educate the population, and increase our economy, because it is going to produce better jobs, higher incomes, more businesses. It does all of that through an open and transparent process consistent with California environmental law. >> Sucker city members offered this critique, the analysis exposes the empty promises that the developer and promoters are making to San Diego, it is clear -- soccer city members. While hiding behind the university's name, it's about protecting the interests of mission Valley land barons on the back of San Diego taxpayers. A goes on to say that soccer city will transform what is now a drain on the city's finances into something for all San Diego members, major league soccer, sports and entertainment, a large Riverpark, and room for SDSU to grow, all without a dime of taxpayer money. Ultimately, the decision of what happens with the site will rest in the hands of voters, they will have a voice -- a choice between SDSU West, and the one that gets 50%, will be adopted by the city. In Mission Valley, Eric Anderson.

City Attorney Reviews SDSU West’s Mission Valley Proposal
San Diego’s city attorney has reviewed the SDSU West proposal to redevelop the Mission Valley SDCCU Stadium site and she sees a lot of uncertainty in the initiative.

Corrected: November 30, 2022 at 1:42 AM PST
KPBS is a service of San Diego State University.
Explore all national, state and local returns now.