Overlooking downtown and canopy of trees on State Route 163 from Balboa Park on Nov. 11, 2022.
Overlooking downtown and canopy of trees on State Route 163 from Balboa Park on Nov. 11, 2022. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

This post originally appeared in the Dec. 7 Morning Report. Get the daily newsletter in your inbox by subscribing today.

A new report concludes that Balboa Park needs an oversight overhaul and major influxes of cash to address longstanding challenges including a repair backlog projected to total about $444 million by 2036.

The analysis by the Burnham Center for Community Advancement is the latest review of the state of the park over the last two decades to highlight its various woes and what might be done to address them. 

The authors offer options such as a tax increase and policies that would dedicate existing city revenue streams to Balboa Park. The report also suggests a new joint powers authority or cabinet-level city department could help address longtime debates over who is in charge of the park.

“The recent history of managing Balboa Park makes clear that no single solution exists that will solve institutional governance and finance issues,” the report states. “Rather, city and county governments, organizations that operate within Balboa Park, the communities surrounding the park, and the larger San Diego community need to consider a variety of options in combination with one another to reimagine, restore, and maintain the park in perpetuity.”

The Burnham Center plans to host an event to gather feedback on potential Balboa Park solutions early next year.

Lisa Halverstadt

Lisa is a senior investigative reporter who digs into some of San Diego's biggest challenges including homelessness, city real estate debacles, the region's...

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1 Comment

  1. Why not turn the job of conserving Balboa Park over to the Committee of 100. That is the primary group that has demonstrated a strong track record of raising money needed to restore and preserve key buildings and structures throughout the park over multiple decades. I agree that we need a tax increase and policies that would dedicate existing city revenue streams to Balboa Park, but those revenue streams should go to the Committee of 100 instead of the Forever Balboa Park “conservancy” which is controlled by the big almost free rent museums and other tenants of the park.

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