Liz Swain 4:24 p.m., May 24
Residents oppose moving large scale events like Earth Day to Balboa Park's West Mesa
Groups say doing so will impact quality of life for residents and park goers.
The political climate over the annual Earth Day Fair is more heated than ever before.
Now residents of Park West and Bankers Hill are criticizing the City for not granting permits to Earth Day Fair organizers.
Instead of holding the event on Balboa Park's Central Mesa, the City is asking organizers to cram 60,000 attendees on to the narrow strip of grass on the west edge of the park along Sixth Avenue.
And it's not just Earth Day. The City hopes to entice other event organizers to do the same in order to appease park businesses and vendors that will have to endure years of construction on the controversial Plaza de Panama project.
Community groups in Bankers Hill and Park West, however, don't like that plan. They claim that moving events would bring more traffic, less parking, and more noise to their community.
Today, former Uptown Planners chair Leo Wilson sent a letter requesting that the Mayor and city staff include them on any plans to relocate large events to Balboa Park's West Mesa.
"On January 14th, the Charter Committee of the San Diego Metro Community Development Corporation, which represents business, property owners, and residents in Bankers Hill/Park West and other Uptown communities, voted 18-0 to oppose moving Earth Fair to the West Mesa of Balboa Park along Sixth Avenue," reads Wilson's email to residents.
Three days later, a subcommittee on the Balboa Park Committee also voted against any plan to move “large/over-capacity events” to their neck of the woods.
The committee, reads the email, feels doing so will deplete already scarce parking, bring "excessive noise to neighborhoods, limit public use of the park, and cause the deterioration of "the grass and vegetation on the West Mesa, which is already damaged and in poor condition because of the large amount of park users who utilize the West Mesa for recreational purposes."
More community groups in opposition to the plan may be jumping on board as well.
Wilson says the the Bankers Hill/Park West Community Association will be discussing the item at an upcoming meeting.