Last week, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer chose a vacant lot tucked between dense apartment buildings in City Heights’ Little Mogadishu district to announce his newest plans for the 2015 budget. Many East African refugees live, worship and own shops near the lot and Faulconer plans to spend $1 million to make it into a park next year.
Just five days earlier, city leaders held a similar scene a mile away at a future park site on Home Avenue.
Councilwoman Marti Emerald said that the attention on City Heights parks should show residents that the city is not just talking about neighborhoods, it is delivering on promises.
“It’s a long time coming,” Emerald said at Faulconer’s press conference.
The city first added the Wightman Street Neighborhood Park to its capital improvement program – the system whereby parks and other projects are prioritized, funded and built – in 2007. In this case, a lawsuit held up the park’s construction. But, as for other parks, a lack of money caused the delay, too.
In the city, fees paid by developers build most parks. When the economy keeps developers from building generally or, in the case of City Heights, developers are paying lower fees and have less room to build, it can take a decade or more to break ground.
Here are the 10 parks that have been planned for eight years or more, but not yet built.