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3/12/12 Meeting With City Officials

On March 12, 2012, Keighan Christenson and Scott Irwin were invited to meet with representatives from the city of San Diego regarding the construction of a community bicycle park. Our notes from the meeting are below.

Attendees

  • Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer
  • Victoria Joes - Policy advisor for the mayor of San Diego
  • Stacey LoMedico - Director of the San Diego Park and Recreation Department
  • Michael Patton - from Kevin Faulconer’s office - representative for the Midway/North Bay/OB/Point Loma area
  • Debbie Rhuan - Senior Vice President of Real Estate for the San Diego Housing Commission (owner of Site 22)
  • Keighan Christenson
  • Scott Irwin

Notes

  • The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) purchased Site 22 (the area at the corner of Famosa and Nimitz Blvd.) from the city of San Diego years ago. The land was purchased with the intent of developing low income housing on the location. Development has not occurred due to lack of funds and community support.
  • In 1981 the community plan for the city of San Diego was editing to include wording that specified Site 22 was to be used for the development of low income housing. Development of a community bicycle park at this location would require working with the City Planner to modify the community plan to include wording stating the land should be used for the development of a park. The City Planner would make this change based upon input from community groups such as the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB).
  • Christenson and Irwin shared our community park proposal with the group.
  • Faulconer and LoMedico expressed their support for the proposal. Faulconer supported the idea of incorporating a community garden into the park design. Faulconer mentioned his office has received letters from community members in support of the community bicycle park proposal.
  • LoMedico said the Park and & Recreation Department (Park & Rec.) has a process for identifying the purpose/focus for new parks in San Diego. This includes collecting input from the community regarding the types of activities to be included (riding bikes, frisbee golf, walking dogs, etc...)
  • Rhuan said the SDHC is not interested in using the land for the development of a community bicycle park. They do not want to be responsible for the liability.
  • LoMedico said Park & Rec. wants to expand the number of parks available to our community but they are not interested in entering into a temporary agreement with the SDHC for the purpose of developing a community bicycle park. Park & Rec.wants to own the land before they invest in the development of a park.
  • SDHC offered to sell the land to the city for the current market value rate. The current market value rate is unknown. Rhuan shared the steps necessary to transfer ownership of the land from the SDHC to the city.
  • SDHC is willing to trade Site 22 to the city for another piece of land for equal value. The group was interested in exploring this idea and discussed a couple of potential options.
  • Rhuan stated the SDHC does not support bicycle riding on their land, that they will be posting additional “no tresspassing” signs, and requested we do not ride our bicycles at the location.
  • Christenson and Irwin proposed a “grass roots approach” to the design, construction, and maintenance of the proposed community park. See p.2 of our proposal for details. They shared our efforts in making contact with various community groups including the PCPB for the purpose of sharing the proposal and collecting feedback.
  • Faulconer reaffirmed his support for the development of a community bicycle park at Site 22 and asked the group to continue working towards this goal.

Action Items

  • Faulconer asked the SDHC to appraise Site 22 for the purpose of identifying market value. Rhuan said this will take one to two months but they will fast-track the process.
  • Faulconer asked the group to identify other city real estate holdings that could potentially be used in a trade with the SDHC.
  • Christenson and Irwin will contact the Peninsula Community Planning Board regarding being added to the April meeting agenda. Christenson and Irwin will contact LoMedico once the item has been added to ensure city staff is present. Share Faulconer’s support for a bicycle component to the community park when meeting with community groups.
  • Once PCPB support is obtained, work with City Planner to change community plan from affordable housing to community bicycle park.
  • The group will meet again once the appraisal process is complete to discuss the status of the project. Aprox. two months.