The plan to get cars out of Balboa Park can now join several other San Diego controversies that simply seem immune to compromise or resolution.
The seals at La Jolla Children’s Pool Beach. Should they stay or should they go?
The Mt. Soledad Cross. Should it stay or should it go?
The San Diego Chargers stadium. Should it be built or not?
Just recently, a San Diego superior court judge’s ruled in favor of a local preservation organization, Save Our Heritage Organisation, which had filed suit against the San Diego City Council-approved Plaza de Panama project. The plan called for the construction of a bypass bridge and parking garage to rid cars from the park’s signature plaza.
In Our City San Diego’s September/October 2012 issue, we profiled Bruce Coons, SOHO’s executive director and one of the project’s most vocal critics, http://bit.ly/VFTFLt.
He was facing some pretty big firepower. It was Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs, who was a driving force behind the plan and was pledging up to $30 million for the $45 million project. In the wake of the judge’s ruling he has since pulled his support.
Mayor Bob Filner, who was against the project, is calling for all the parties to work together to reach a solution And Council President Todd Gloria is asking the City Attorney to investigate what options the City has to move the project forward.
But, unlike most of the other controversies mentioned above, time is a factor. The hope was for the project to remove cars for the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.
Given San Diego’s history in settling controversial issues, that might be a tough deadline to meet.