Midway planners hear about Sports Arena redevelopment
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 07/04/19 - 09:48 AM | 1395 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
District 2 Councilmember Dr. Jennifer Campbell visited Midway-Pacific Highway Community Planning Group in June to discuss the latest with possible future Sports Arena redevelopment, electric scooter regulation and homelessness.

Midway planners also picked mphcpg.com and .org as the name for their website being updated, as well as endorsing a train horn “quiet zone” between Old Town and Little Italy/County Center trolley stations.

After thanking the plan group for their hard work on Midway’s recently updated community plan, Campbell noted a Request For Proposals has been put out by the City to address short- and long-term leases at Pechanga, formerly the Sports Arena.

“The RFP is for short-term, three-year leases coming up on the Sports Arena and properties adjacent to it,” she said. “We have to get a plan for the near future. Then we need to do a long-term RFP. We just want to open it up for ideas for what’s best for the space.”

Asked Campbell: “Should we still have the sports arena there? Build a new one? Should the old one remain? Do we still need that big parking lot?” 

Added Campbell, “It’s really good the City is starting this ahead of time so that we’ll have a couple of years to look at the proposals and decide what’s best.”

Noting homelessness remains a problem “practically everywhere,” Campbell said, “I can remember when we had no homelessness, and we can do it again. We just need to have the proper social safety nets. We need to keep moving forward and making progress.”

Referencing that “homeless can be housed for one-third the cost of leaving people on the street,” Campbell said a fourth shelter has been added downtown and that women and children are now being housed in Golden Hall on the 2nd floor administered by Father Joe’s. She added that another safe parking lot operated by Jewish Family Services was recently opened to accommodate people living out of their vehicles.

Pointing out JFS has an “excellent” track record with the homeless, Campbell said, “Within six months, they have a 57 percent success rate of permanently housing people and getting them back on their feet.”

Campbell deferred to SDPD community liaison David Surwilo to address enforcement of electric scooter laws taking effect in July. Surwilo answered enforcement will be challenging.

“Ticketing them is an option, but there are a lot of different dynamics to it,” he said. “It’s a safety hazard.”

Added Surwilo, “It’s not just the tourists. It’s citizens, plain and simple.”

The officer said it’s a serious problem. “People are getting seriously injured and killed on them,” he said. “They’re getting intoxicated and riding them in the middle of the night and crashing them in potholes. There’s only so much education and enforcement that you can do. Common sense needs to rule the day.”

Kenton said a representative from Port of San Diego will be the group’s guest  in July to discuss the Port of San Diego Master Plan.

MPHCPG meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 3 p.m. at Bay City Brewery, 3760 Hancock St.

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