View of the city's 20th and B Street maintenance yard on May 8, 2023, that could become a safe sleeping site for unhoused people. The city previously used the site as a temporary campground during the Hepatitis A outbreak in 2017.
View of the city's 20th and B Street maintenance yard on May 8, 2023, that could become a safe sleeping site for unhoused people. The city previously used the site as a temporary campground during the Hepatitis A outbreak in 2017. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

If Mayor Todd Gloria gets his way, San Diego’s crown jewel will be home to two safe campsites for unhoused residents by this fall.

Gloria said Monday he wants the city to again use a maintenance yard at the edge of the park as a safe campground and to also use spaces south of the Naval Medical Center collectively known as Lot O to accommodate as many as 400 tents. The campgrounds would include amenities such as bathrooms, meals and connections to services. 

For months the city had eyed Inspiration Point, an underutilized parking lot along Park Boulevard but Gloria and City Councilman Stephen Whitburn said Monday that site was axed after further city analysis.

It didn’t hurt, of course, that leaders of Balboa Park institutions who protested the city’s earlier consideration of Inspiration Point, are backing the mayor’s latest picks. In fact, they joined him at the press conference.

You can read our Lisa Halverstadt’s story on Gloria’s plan here.

Also Happening: Today the City Council is set to review Gloria’s proposed homelessness budget, which calls for increased spending. He proposes allocating $78 million to homelessness services including $24 million to continue funding existing shelters and $5 million to kick off the safe campground initiative. 

The campsite proposal is meant to coincide with a controversial proposed ordinance banning unauthorized encampments on public property when shelter is available – and at all times near shelters, schools and in some other areas. The City Council is for now expected to vote on the ordinance and the final city budget in June.

Environment Report: Budget Doesn’t Fund Position to Lead Building Electrification 

The United States Post Office in downtown on May 4, 2023.
A view of downtown on May 4, 2023. / Photo by Ariana Drehsler

And speaking of the mayor’s budget, MacKenzie Elmer noted a missing line item. 

Gloria’s proposed 2024 budget doesn’t include money to hire a person to lead San Diego’s building decarbonization program – the plan to eliminate almost all natural gas use from buildings in the city by 2035.

The program is the biggest source of emissions reductions identified in San Diego’s Climate Action Plan, which Gloria committed to.

And yet, Gloria failed to fund the program’s leading position.

Read the Environment Report here

Related: Read more about San Diego’s plan to electrify all new and existing buildings by banning gas-powered everything, including stoves.

Listen here: Elmer joined KPBS to discuss her reporting on the border wall project that has environmental agencies on alert. If you remember, she reported on maps published by the Environmental Protection Agency that show flooding conditions that could consume most of Tijuana’s Zona Norte and its downtown area if the gates across the river fail to open. Follow Elmer’s coverage on the Tijuana River here. 

In Other News 

  • Several members of congress are demanding U.S. Border Patrol officials explain why migrants seeking asylum are being held in the space between the border walls, which is technically U.S. soil. The Union-Tribune has followed this story closely. Here’s what some members of congress are worried about. 
  • The San Diego Zoo made an appearance in the New York Times over the weekend. Convicted Theranos founder, Elizabeth Holmes, gave the paper an interview while she strolled around the zoo with her baby. This is the first time she’s spoken to the media since 2016. Holmes was found guilty last year of defrauding investors in her former blood-testing company, Theranos. Her technology didn’t work as advertised and gave inaccurate results to users, endangering the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
  • San Diego’s child care providers are asking the public to consider what life would be like without child care. Providers and parents declared Monday a nationwide Day Without Child Care to highlight the need for affordable child care and better pay for child care staff. (KPBS) Related: Last week, education reporter Jakob McWhinney wrote about a child care center in Normal Heights that’s shutting its doors after more than 50 years of providing child care services. Leaders of Normal Heights Children’s Center said upkeep costs were too high, as was the pressure to keep up with universal transitional kindergarten.
  • Nexstar Media Group, which already owns Fox 5, has agreed to acquire KUSI San Diego for $35 million. KUSI is currently an independent station part of McKinnon Broadcasting Co., but with the new acquisition, it will become an affiliate of The CW. KUSI began broadcasting in 1982 and was the first independent station built in San Diego proper. (Next TV)

The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, Tigist Layne and Andrea Lopez-Villafaña. 

Join the Conversation


  1. I cannot believe of all of the places in San Diego, Gloria wants our crown jewel to be home to hundreds of homeless. I’m sure the tourists will appreciate a first hand look as to what this city has become thanks to his “leadership.”

    1. Sweetie, no tourists are going to Lot O. It’s not open to the public. Try again.

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