Poway Unified School District votes to start taking bids on 10-acre lot in Rancho Bernardo

Land located on Avenida Venusto

POWAY, Calif. - The Poway Unified School District unanimously voted Tuesday to start taking bids on a 10-acre piece of land in Rancho Bernardo.

The issue has been plaguing Poway for eight years.

"This has been going on for a very long time and there's no give from either side and the city of San Diego is not cooperating," said board member Andy Patapow.

Poway Unified gave the San Diego City Council 60 days in November to present a timeline of when it could buy the 10.8 acre lot on Avenida Venusto. San Diego City Councilman Mark Kersey said it could take the city two to three years.

"But for us to do nothing but to wait and hope and dream and hope and dream some more, that seems imprudent on our part," said Marc Davis, the president of the Poway Unified board.

The board then voted unanimously to start taking bids from developers, even though the land was donated to the district for them to build a new school. When the district's money dried up, residents of Rancho Bernardo asked them to turn it into a park.

However, Superintendent John Collins told the crowd of more than 100 people that the district is running an annual deficit of nearly $14 million.

"It is the responsibility of this board and this administration to provide for the 35,000 students who attend this school district," he said. "It is not our responsibility to provide parks for the community."

After the vote, Kersey told 10News the school board rushed to a decision.

"Because if anything, the real estate market is only going to get better and the property would just be worth more money," he said.

The land is worth an estimated $6 million and is zoned for a school. For a developer to build homes or condos, the land will first have to go through a rezoning process. 

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