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Convention Center Expansion Legal Hurdle Cleared

by Jeff Powers, published

San Diego, CALIF.- In a ruling that is not yet final, Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfeil, stated the Coastal Commission’s approval of a Convention Center expansion along the waterfront was IN compliance with the California Coastal Act and state environmental laws.

Wohlfeil rejected a legal challenge that sought to block such a development on the waterfront.

At issue, whether the California Coastal Commission violated state law when it approved a $520 million bayfront expansion several years ago.

The case was brought by Attorney Cory Briggs. Briggs, along with lawyers for the commission, San Diego Unified Port District and the city, had argued their case in a court hearing last month.

Wohlfeil addressed the legal issues raised by Briggs, including coastal access.

Wohlfeil wrote, “exhaustively addressed the issue of coastal access, and in particular working to make the (bayfront) promenade more inviting. Throughout the process, the commission addressed the need to increase the public recreational experience along the waterfront.”

Briggs is representing the San Diego Navy Broadway Complex Coalition.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer praised the decision. Faulconer released a statement that read in part, "Today’s strong ruling is tremendous news for San Diego’s economy and removes one of the biggest hurdles to expanding the convention center. This expansion is all about creating jobs and growing tourism as well as keeping and attracting large conventions like Comic-Con.”

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