Kimberly Blough 6:28 p.m., March 9
Lawsuit delays start date for Plaza de Panama project
Construction crews waiting to get to work on building a bypass road from the Cabrillo Bridge to a new parking garage behind the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park will have to wait until mid- February 2013 to break ground.
According to the Plaza de Panama project's flashy website construction has officially been called off due to a lawsuit filed by Save Our Heritage Organisation.
Work is now expected to begin immediately after a February 1, 2013 court hearing.
Despite the delay, the committee, bankrolled by Irwin Jacobs and supported by lame-duck Mayor Jerry Sanders and majority of councilmembers, is sticking to a October 2014 completion deadline, in time for the 2015 Centennial Celebration.
But as we reported last week, SOHO isn't the only group trying to block the project. Advocacy group San Diegans for Open Government has also questioned the funding for a four-story parking garage behind the Organ Pavilion.
Two weeks ago, city councilmembers approved the issuance of $17.4 million in Public Facilities Financing bonds to pay for the parking garage. There's one small problem with that joint agreement between the City and the Redevelopment Agency: only one-half of the joint powers authority even exists.
Due to a new state law doing away with the City's redevelopment agency, the City will need to find a successor agency to take it's place.
The City Attorney's office agrees that the Public Facilities Financing Authority needs to be rearranged. But no one from the City Attorney's office has said which entity will take the place of the former redevelopment agency.
Lawyer for San Diegans for Open Government, Cory Briggs, fears that the City will name the city council the sucessor agency. If that's the case then the City will be responsible to pay off the $17.4 million worth of bonds issued to build the massive parking garage.
More like this:
- Plaza de Panama Committee continues to send lobbyists to City Hall — Jan. 31, 2013
- People vs. Parking Garage — Dec. 7, 2012
- Bond, Public Facilities Financing Bonds — Nov. 29, 2012
- City to change payment structure for a new parking garage in Balboa Park — Oct. 8, 2012
- Attorney calls council's decision to issue $17.4 million in bonds for Balboa Park Parking Garage a "total scam" — Oct. 3, 2012