Environmental Groups Share Concerns Over SoccerCity, Impressed With SDSU West
San Diego, CALIF.- Adjacent to the San Diego River in Mission Valley, several environmental groups and City Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry praised SDSU West Measure G for its efforts to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act, better known as CEQA.
The same group criticized SoccerCity Measure E for their lack of environmental review.
San Diego River
Endangered Habitats League San Diego
For Michael Beck, the Director of the Endangered Habitats League San Diego, the fact that SoccerCity has not begun any CEQA work on its project makes it a non starter. Beck said, "developers use the CEQA process as the interface for the public to engage on the analysis of the project and to make improvements to the project and to ensure that it meets environmental and community objectives, that doesn't exist for SoccerCity, that is absolutely disqualifying, right there, you don't have to go beyond that."
Beck continued, "It's No, No, No we are not going to support a project that is going to be slammed into one of the most significant sites in the City of San Diego. It's a fatal flaw for the project."
San Diego River
San Diego Audubon Society
Lisa Heinz with the San Diego Audubon Society was equally as critical of the SoccerCity Measure E project, Heinz said, "San Diego Audubon works to protect all the natural habitats throughout San Diego County. It's crucial that we include protection of those natural habitats that we have so much of here in San Diego. Development plans must include firm and binding commitments to addressing the environmental impacts of those plans, Measure E as it stands does not include firm and binding commitments to that environmental protection. San Diego Audubon opposes Measure E because of that."
Despite appearing at the news conference, the Audubon Society and Endangered Habitats League have not yet publicly taken a stance of support for Measure G, the Sierra Club has pledged its public support for Measure G.
Council President Pro Tem Supports SDSU West
City Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry also spoke at the event, although she was more effusive in praise for SDSU West than critical of SoccerCity.
Bry said of the CEQA efforts made by SDSU West, "the university is committed to preserving half of their project plans to green and open space. Measure G expands the university through an open and transparent process and SDSU is dedicated to protecting sensitive habitats through the creation of a permanent public riverpark. That's why I am voting Yes on Measure G and No on Measure E in November."
Councilman Scott Sherman Supports SoccerCity
Just as City Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry has been the most outspoken supporter of SDSU West, City Councilman Scott Sherman has been the most outspoken supporter of SoccerCity.
Appearing on KUSI this week, Sherman said, "Yes on E because it's a better deal for the city as a whole. Measure G is strictly tailored to benefit a few, whereas Measure E will bring in significant tax revenues, we're looking at a riverpark, we're looking at bringing MLS soccer, $110 million sale price, all that is going to be done at no taxpayer expense. And Measure E provides for San Diego State development on that site including a new stadium for them to use."
Voters will decide the fate of the two measures November 6th.