Scott Sherman Makes Request of City Attorney's Office
On Wednesday, May 16th City Council Member Scott Sherman held a small press event alongside former city Council Member Carl DeMaio, to ask that city officials to direct City Attorney Mara Elliott to draft detailed agreements with the two developers competing for rights to the Mission Valley stadium site.
This action by Sherman comes in the wake of the notice that Elliott's office put out the previous Friday in which it announced that it had filed petitions with the Superior Court seeking pre-election legal review of two competing citizens’ initiatives that seek control over City property in Mission Valley.
The two initiatives are the San Diego River Park and Soccer City Initiative (commonly known as the Soccer City Initiative) and the SDSU West Campus Research Center, Stadium and River Park Initiative (commonly known as the SDSU West Initiative). Both initiatives have qualified for the ballot and can be placed before voters in November 2018.
The SDSU West Initiative proposes the sale of approximately 132 acres of City-owned real property, which includes the site of SDCCU Stadium, formerly Qualcomm Stadium, to San Diego State University or an SDSU auxiliary organization for development purposes.
The Soccer City Initiative proposes the 99-year lease of approximately 233 acres of City-owned real property, which includes the stadium site as well as noncontiguous property in Murphy Canyon, to a “qualified lessee” for development purposes. (The Initiative defines a “qualified lessee” so narrowly that only one entity currently meets the definition -- the same entity that is a major supporter of the Initiative.)
There has been widespread confusion borne out of contradictory information coming out of both the SoccerCity and the self-titled Friends of SDSU camps regarding what is guaranteed by either proposal.
Specifically, the opposition to SoccerCity has repeatedly claimed that there are promises made by the SoccerCity proponent that are not legally binding in their initiative, while FS Investors, the group behind the SoccerCity plan have repeatedly said that the lease they sign with the city, that is due to be drafted by the City Attorney regardless, is in fact legally binding. Sherman's ask of the City Attorney seeks to further clarify what exactly voters will be making a decision on come November.
Sherman is effectively asking the City Attorney to draft the agreement between the city and both SDSU West and SoccerCity now, ahead of the election. Presumably, the release of detailed agreements would allow voters to make educated decisions in November when the SoccerCity and SDSU West Initiatives are decided on by the public.
“Who can oppose a public process?” Sherman said. “Transparency always results in a better deal for the taxpayer and voters deserve to know all the details before voting.”
Sherman and DeMaio requested that agreements be drafted in time for a council presentation by July 1. They also said citizen input on the initiatives should be collected during a series of public hearings held before the election.