On May 18, San Diego city councilmembers, sans councilwoman Donna Frye who was absent due to illness, approved a proposal to build two 20-story high-rises at Hazard Center in Mission Valley. During the three-hour council hearing, dozens of Mission Valley residents spoke out against the project. Their complaints varied from the project's incompatibility with neighboring architecture to the impact on traffic. Nearly all in opposition felt that the .63-acre park included in the project was insufficient and was further evidence of the City's disregard for adequate park space in Mission Valley.
Although the construction start-date for the Hazard Center high-rises isn't anticipated until 2012, Mission Valley residents are not wasting any time in trying to bring more park space to their community, a goal discussed for years that has yet to be accomplished.
"We recognize that we lack park space, but not anyone has done anything about it," said Jason Broad, chair of the parks subcommittee for the Mission Valley Planning Group, during a July 23 phone interview. "Mission Valley is over 60 acres deficient of park space. It is obvious we lack park space."
At a community meeting on Monday, July 26, Broad and other Mission Valley residents will attempt to convince members of the City Park and Recreation to form the Mission Valley Recreation Council. If successful, the newly formed recreation council will advocate for more park facilities in addition to operating and enhancing existing parks like Sefton Field.
The newly formed recreation council would meet and confer with developers such as Sudberry Properties and Oliver McMillan to assist in design of the parks included with large-scale development projects such as Quarry Falls and Hazard Center.
"We need an organized group that can mobilize the residents and present recommendations on those projects from the broader community."
Broad, however, admits that there is a possibility that the City's Park and Recreation Department will deny their request.
"One of the things I hear is that you can't be a recognized Park and Recreation council if there aren't any park and rec elements to oversee. But why should we wait and wind up behind the eight-ball."
The July 26 meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at 7577 Mission Valley Road.