By Ken Williams | Editor
City officials have called a scoping meeting July 15 at Qualcomm Stadium to launch an environmental impact report (EIR) for the possibility of building a new sports facility.
The public is invited to attend the meeting at 6 p.m. in Club No. 37 on the Club Level of Qualcomm Stadium, located at 9449 Friars Road in Mission Valley.
Public comments regarding environmental issues can be made at the meeting or within 30 days of the notice, which was posted on June 22. Written comments can be mailed to: Martha Blake, Senior Planner, City of San Diego Development Services Center, 1222 First Avenue, MS 501, San Diego, CA 92101. Email comments to DSDEAS@sandiego.gov and reference the Mission Valley Stadium Reconstruction project in the subject line.
Officials of the San Diego Chargers, the primary tenant at Qualcomm Stadium, have criticized efforts by the city to build a new facility and appear intent on moving to Carson to share with the Oakland Raiders a new stadium proposed in the L.A. suburb. Teams that hope to move to a new city traditionally must petition the National Football League in January if they wish to relocate the following year. City officials are rushing ahead with stadium plans at an accelerated rate because of the January deadline.
Kevin Faulconer, San Diego’s mayor, is pushing for a special citywide election by mail-in ballot by Jan. 12 to determine if voters would approve a $1.1 billion stadium that would be built at the Qualcomm Stadium site.
The EIR must be completed ahead of any public vote, and the Chargers have told local media that the study can’t be done in time. The city disputes that argument.
To complete the EIR in time, the City Council on Tuesday will be asked to approve $1.2 million to hire the AECOM consulting firm to help city staff compile the document. The City Council has a deadline of Oct. 15 to review and approve the EIR due to a state law that mandates an 88-day waiting period between a city calling for an election and the actual vote.
If the consulting firm is approved to work on the EIR, it will add 60 consultants to the 30 city staff members assigned to the project, according to a local media report.
Officials estimate that it will cost $380,000 to pay city staff to work on the EIR and seek another $520,000 on contingency. That puts the total budget at $2.1 million.
AECOM is globally known, having worked on stadium projects in Indianapolis and Seattle and for the 2012 London Olympics.
The proposed Mission Valley stadium would accommodate 68,000 people for football and could be expanded to 72,000 seats for the Super Bowl.
San Diego State University and two major bowl games also use Qualcomm Stadium.
—Ken Williams is editor of Mission Valley News and San Diego Uptown News and can be reached at email@example.com or at 619-961-1952.