POWAY, Calif. - Poway community members are looking to the city of San Diego Wednesday to possibly buy a piece of land owned by the Poway Unified School District.
A group of angry parents gathered Tuesday after learning the school board was considering selling some surplus land to the highest bidder, a process that was supposed to start that night. The bidding was postponed for another 60 days.
The 10.8 acres of vacant land on Avenida Venusto was donated to the district decades ago and zoned for educational or recreational purposes. The district initially planned to build a school, but it never happened.
Sally Grigoriev has two children in the district and is the president of the San Diego Soccer Club. She and other sports enthusiasts say the property should be used as a park, with plenty of fields to accommodate the growing number of teams in the area.
"There's a shortage of fields in Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, Poway, and I'd say San Diego in general," said Grigoriev. "There are sports leagues in San Diego that are actually turning away kids because they don't have any fields to play on."
Grigoriev and other residents signed up to speak to the Poway school board to try to convince them to delay the sale while residents try to come up with a way to buy the property, which is zoned for educational or recreational purposes only.
The board gave the group of parents the task of convincing the city of San Diego to invest $6 million into the land before the bidding process could begin again.
The board will sell the land before 2014 and use the money in the General Fund. The city of San Diego has shown interest in the past, but nothing concrete.
Community member Robyn Kaufman thinks she can convince them to make an offer.
“It’s a lot of money”, said Kaufman. “But (the board) is giving us first rights. They’re not opening it up to developers. The first bid is for the city.”
If the board does not see serious interest from the city by the first meeting of 2013, the property will be open to developers.