Letters to the Editor – May 12, 2017

Posted: May 12th, 2017 | Featured, Letters to the editor, Opinion | No Comments

SoccerCity’s devilish details

Re: “Public will decide SoccerCity” [Volume 11, Issue 4 or]

I read your piece concerning the SoccerCity proposal for the Qualcomm Stadium site and wish to comment. The proposal, as it stands now, should indeed generate controversy and as one member of the planning commission noted, “the devil is in the details” — details FS Investors apparently would like to keep hidden from the public.

The initiative presented to the public by the investment group is disingenuous in that it says no public subsidy would be involved in paying for the project when this is not true. This should be an immediate red flag to all concerned. FS Investors also muddies the water by attempting to skip a review process by the San Diego Planning Commission and the City Council. This appears to me to be an attempt to eliminate questioning by these bodies as well as the public. A citizens initiative sounds wonderful except when the information given to the voters is misleading or even false. FS Investors wants the public to concentrate on getting an MLS team here in San Diego and not the massive development they plan at the Qualcomm site.

Mr. Stone, the representative from FS Investors, appeared to be dodging questions about the proposed $40 million park by suggesting that there will be a park and $40 million would be spent, but said there’s no “lock” on actually how the $40 million will be used. Seems that would be left up to the developer and from experience observing the San Diego business model when it comes to developments, what is promised and what is actually delivered can be worlds apart.

That the developer also appears to be willing to circumvent the local planning group, as well as ignoring any updates to the community plan, is certainly troubling. Too often we have seen developers attempt to go around local planning groups, get parcels rezoned, change proposals once approved, etc. This has got to stop.

I really enjoyed planning group member Marco Sessa’s objections to the SoccerCity proposal. Isn’t Mr. Sessa employed by Sudberry Properties, the developer of Civita, about a mile down the road from Qualcomm? Seems to me that Mr. Sessa’s objections should be taken into context, considering any new housing development in Mission Valley would be a direct competitor to housing at Civita. That Mr. Sessa brings up affordable housing in regards to SoccerCity when the cost of homes at Civita aren’t exactly “affordable” is hypocritical at best. I believe Mr. Sessa’s objections are more about his employer’s bottom line than traffic mitigation or affordable housing issues with the SoccerCity proposal.

Last, but certainly not least, where are the developers going to get the water for their project? Didn’t we just go through drought conditions in the area? Where’s the water coming from that will fill and maintain the lake(s) and greenbelts that FS Investors have proposed? Let alone the water needed for the 5,000 homes and commercial development at the site.

—Stuart Rachmuth, Mission Valley

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