Jeff Smith 2 p.m., Dec. 18
Not so fast Filner: Valet operators and Prado Restaurant protest Mayor Filner's plan to remove traffic from the Plaza de Panama
In memo from City Attorney's Office, relocating valet might be delayed until appeals are heard by City Council
Mayor Bob Filner is moving full speed ahead on his plan to remove traffic in Balboa Park's Plaza de Panama. In fact, he may be moving a little too fast.
On June 7, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith's Office released a memo stating that the plan might have to be put on hold until an agreement can be reached with several valet operators who currently use the Plaza as their drop-off and pick up point.
In the past week four separate appeals have been filed by valet operators who say that the plan to move operations from the Plaza de Panama to a parking lot behind the Casa de Balboa doesn't work for them.
One of the appeals was filed by representatives from Hard Work Too, Incorporated. They say relocating the valet station violates the terms of their lease.
"The City could not have attracted The Prado Restaurant, or any other high-quality restaurant, to the Park without a suitable location for a valet service to unload and load passengers," reads a letter to Goldsmith from attorney and lobbyist Allen Matkins on behalf of the company.
"The valet station at the restaurant was always intended to be in the Plaza de Panama, at the architecturally significant grand entrance to the historic House of Hospitality...The Cohn Restaurant group and [Hard Work Too] understood that this facade would greet their valet guests coming to dine or attend a catering event at The Prado Restaurant...They never dreamed that the valet station could be unilaterally consigned to a remote, difficult to access, unattractive area in the rear of the building, where the deliveries are unloaded and the trash bins are stored."
In the June 7 memo, Deputy City Attorney Hilda Mendoza stated that the valet stations can not be moved until an agreement is reached or at least until the appeals are heard by the city council.
According to the memo, the City Attorney's Office is looking into the legal issues raised in Matkins' letter.