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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.

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laplayaheritage June 10, 2013 @ 5:03 p.m.


The East Esplanade can still be used for vehicle passenger loading by anyone and everyone. Including Valet, buses, limos, etc.. The location is 30 feet south and moves the Passenger loading zone from the southeast corner of the Plaza de Panama, to the northeast corner of the East Esplanade. Problem solved.


DavidnPB June 10, 2013 @ 5:55 p.m.

If these commercial tenants want to depart, and terminate their leases based on this asserted "breach", farewell to you. But you will not escape your lease obligations.

I doubt any court would find this change of location of valet parking to be a material breach of contract by the City sufficient to terminate the obligations of the tenants under their leases.

If it is found to be a minor breach, the tenants may be entitled to a small measure of damages, or a small adjustment of their rent under the leases.

A small price to restoring the Plaza de Panama to its owners, the people of San Diego.


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