Conceptual art for SDSU West’s river park plan. / Courtesy SDSU
Conceptual art for SDSU West’s river park plan. / Courtesy SDSU

When San Diego voters approved Measure G in 2018, they gave officials the authority to sell the Mission Valley stadium site to San Diego State University. But until now, very little was known about the private negotiations and why the two sides couldn’t agree on a sales price and terms.

A major source of the dispute was revealed Tuesday with the release of a new appraisal of the value of the land.

As Scott Lewis and Jesse Marx report, the city wants the university to purchase the land and pay for the cost of both demolishing the old stadium and building a river park. Last year’s initiative said the cost of the park could not fall on the city’s general fund — and by extension on the taxpayers.

In an email also made public Tuesday, the appraiser appears to take the city’s side. 

But SDSU argues that the land cannot be developed to its full potential without building the park, so the sales price should reflect that. If the cost of demolition and the river park are not deducted from the total, the university is arguing that it’ll effectively get hit twice for the same thing.

Essentially, the dispute rests on $18 million, as officials debate the definition of “fair and equitable.” 

Encinitas Complies With State Housing Law for the First Time in Years

After years of defying state law, Encinitas has finally come into compliance with a requirement that all cities create a blueprint for how they will accommodate new housing, the California Department of Housing and Community Development announced Tuesday.

A 2013 voter initiative required the city to seek voter approval for increasing density in the city. It put housing plans before voters twice in 2016 and 2018, and both times Encinitas residents voted them down.  

Groups like the Building Industry Association of San Diego and housing advocacy group San Diego Tenants United sued the city over its lack of a plan. In December, a Superior Court judge ordered the city comply with state law within 120 days and directed the city to temporarily exempt itself from the requirements of the city’s growth-control regulations that require voter approval.

In addition to finally having a state-approved housing plan, the city also asked a judge to remove its requirement for voter approval in order to implement strategies that will provide more housing for different economic segments. 

More Money Coming for ‘Stop the Poop’ Efforts

Sen. Dianne Feinstein secured nearly $20 million to help deal with Tijuana sewage flows into the U.S,, the Union-Tribune reported.

Feinstein secured language in three Senate appropriations bills that would direct $19.5 million to the EPA to increase its efforts to address cross-border sewage flows, direct the secretary of state to create an interagency plan to address the impacts of flows in U.S. communities and direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection to submit a report on the efforts to protect agents from the toxic flows, which has been making them sick.

For decades, the sewage flows have routinely inundated and closed San Diego County beaches. Imperial Beach, the city of San Diego, Chula Vista, the Port of San Diego and the state of California have all sued the federal government for failing to stop the flows.

The cross-border sewage flows have taken on a new life lately. A “Stop the Poop” rally on Saturday in Imperial Beach will feature Carl Demaio, who is running for the 50th Congressional District, and Graham Ledger, a conservative TV host of the One America News Network who is running for the 49th Congressional District.

The Best of Photography’s Past and Future

In this week’s Culture Report, Julia Dixon Evans takes a closer look at the local student work on display at the Museum of Photographic Arts, which will be held adjacent to a decades-spanning exhibition by some of the biggest names in its archives. 

Combined, these two exhibits will help audiences understand what it means to take, share and consume a picture, and point to the medium’s future. 

“Though we live in a digital world where you can upload a constant stream of images, it doesn’t mean we’re literate in understanding our visual culture,” said the museum’s executive director and chief curator. 

Also on Tuesday, the classical music critic for the Los Angeles Times gave the San Diego Symphony high marks for its attempts to revive the modern concert experience for a new generation. In last week’s Culture Report, Dixon Evans spotlighted conductor Rafael Payare and his take on Gustav Mahler’s 5th Symphony. 

In Other News

The Morning Report was written by Maya Srikrishnan and Jesse Marx, and edited by Sara Libby.

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