Adobe Falls cleanup
The San Diego State University Police Department's efforts to keep trespassers out of Adobe Falls has resulted in "many fewer calls for service," corporal Mark Peterson told the Del Cerro Council on October 23. However, the issue of SDSU's "No Trespassing" sign on City of San Diego property has not been resolved.
The university owns 42 acres of the land located south of Adobe Falls Road in Del Cerro and north of westbound Interstate 8. The city owns a 4-acre parcel north of SDSU’s land.
Campus police activities last summer included "a month and a half of very strong enforcement,” Peterson said. "Everyone got a ticket. It's not open for the public" and won't be until the university decides otherwise.
Peterson was joined by police staffer Briana Drost. She spoke at the July 24 council meeting about illegal activities that included drug use and vandalism.
Drost also coordinated an August 23 clean-up of Adobe Falls, where graffiti covers everything from boulders to a ten-foot tree trunk. Council president Jay Wilson said the 35 bags of trash hauled out included a 50-gallon bag filled with empty spraypaint cans. Also removed were carts, wheels, and cigarette butts left on trails. The 32 clean-up volunteers included District 7 city councilman Scott Sherman, police, residents, and a large contingent from the Allied Gardens Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Wilson said.
At the October meeting, Drost acknowledged that a "No Trespassing" sign posted on Adobe Falls Road was on city property. She said if the sign was moved back it would "not be as effective" and police chief Lamine Secka wasn't inclined to take it down. Wilson suggested that the police work with Sherman's office on the issue.
"We have been in discussions with them about relocating the sign," Sherman staffer Ryley Webb said in an October 31 interview. "Technically, we cannot prevent access to public open space [such as the city parcel] which is why the sign needs to be moved."
He provided a map that showed
property lines for homes on Adobe Falls Road and Adobe Falls. Webb said the city property is south of the homes, and the parcel includes the smaller piece adjacent to the cul-de-sac. To the left of the city parcel is land owned by Smoke Tree condos.
The university owns the land south of those parcels, but the "No Trespassing" sign at the trailhead is on city property. Webb said the sign would only need to be moved about ten feet to the left because Smoke Tree gave permission to install it on their property. Webb said he planned to follow up with SDSU "in regards to where they are in the process of moving it."
In addition to signs, SDSU police used social media to inform people that Adobe Falls is not open to the public. Campus police started an educational campaign about Adobe Falls in June. They conveyed warnings about trespassing in forms ranging from helicopter announcements to flyers placed on cars parked near entrances, according to an August 28 article in the Daily Aztec, the campus newspaper. In the piece by David Hernandez, captain Josh Mays said police had issued 44 trespassing citations to date.
The Reader contacted the SDSU Police Department several times for more information about the citations and details about illegal activities since August; however, no response was received by press time.
Peterson was contacted after the meeting and did not have specifics about the citations. He did say that enforcement started with a warning and the question about where trespassers learned about Adobe Falls. "Most everyone found out from some website or from friends," he said.
Peterson has been with the department for six years and was named community resource officer on September 23. In an October 14 Daily Aztec video interview, Peterson said Adobe Falls trespassers included SDSU students, high-school hikers, and "parolees with various intentions."