San Diego Will Reopen Locked Restrooms In East Village It Paid Developer $1.6M To Maintain
The public restrooms attached to a restaurant at Fault Line Park — closed for almost a year because the restaurant staff voiced safety concerns related to the area’s growing homeless population — will reopen to the public in the coming weeks, a city of San Diego spokeswoman said.
Just two months after the East Village park opened in August 2015, Stella Public House employees said their concerns outweighed the benefits of having the restrooms open. They have remained locked despite a $1.6 million credit given to Pinnacle Bayside Development by the city to maintain the park and restrooms at Island Avenue and 14th Street.
A day after inewsource’s recent story about the closed restrooms and park maintenance, signs were posted on streets surrounding the park about a property sweep and cleaning in the area. A row of homeless people, who residents said had been camped on sidewalks outside of the park since January, were also told to relocate.
City spokeswoman Katie Keach said the developer recently notified the city that the public will be able to use the restrooms, but will have to get a key in the restaurant.
Keach said Pinnacle is responsible for maintenance of the park and restrooms, and for providing security in accordance with standards set forth in an agreement negotiated by Civic San Diego, a nonprofit that oversees redevelopment in parts of the city. Pinnacle also has constructed a high-rise apartment complex next to the park and restaurant.
“Certain elements have proven to be more challenging than anticipated,” Keach said in an email. “The City has found that in certain areas, the Developer’s performance has not been to the required standards.”
Tim Graham, a spokesman for the Park and Recreation Department, said the city became aware of the breach in contract in December during a routine check of the park. He said that in July the city began monthly meetings with the developer to “work on the maintenance issues.”
inewsource asked what other maintenance issues were discussed at the meetings, but got no response.
It is not clear whether the developer was providing adequate security, which many residents said was the biggest issue.
In response to an inewsource question about how the city will ensure equal access, Keach said Civic San Diego, the city and Pinnacle are still determining “the best action plan to have them open full time during park hours while remaining safe for all users.”