City rejects key changes to SDSU West language

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jul 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-30 23:08:54-04

(KGTV) - The group leading the campaign to transform the San Diego County Credit Union Stadium site into a west campus for San Diego State University has major concerns over the question that will be posed to voters on the November ballot. 

Friends of SDSU is dismayed to the point that the issue could wind up in court. 

"Our position is we've correctly portrayed the initiative measure in our corrected version. If that isn't acceptable for whatever reason, we'll have to determine whatever remedies are available," Attorney Ken Lounsbery, speaking on behalf of the campaign, said to the City Council on Monday. 

RELATED: San Diego State's Mission Valley stadium plan includes NFL possibility

SDSU West is competing with SoccerCity, a private development, over the future of the 166-acre site. Both are promising a smaller stadium with a river park. 

The City Attorney's office, which is suing to get both thrown off the ballot, developed the language for both initiatives to go before voters. 

The SDSU West question, of 75 words, doesn't say the university would buy the land for fair market value. It also says the California State University Board of Trustees would determine development, which "may" include a new stadium, academic building, residential, and retail. 

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Lounsbery said that sells the initiative incredibly short.

"There are certain improvements that are listed and they are mandated," Lounsbery said. "As the ballot questions says, they - may - be built or completed."

Lounsbery submitted changes to the City Council, but Assistant City Attorney Leslie Fitzgerald rebutted his seven key points. 

RELATED: Councilman Scott Sherman compares SoccerCity, Friends of SDSU plans

For instance, she said the initiative does not say the land must be sold at fair market value. 

"The language must be accurate, cannot be misleading or advocate," she said. "We would not recommend the changes proposed in the motion."

Still, three council members - Lori Zapf, Barbara Bry, and Chris Ward - voted to change the language to Friends of SDSU's request. 

But the full council overruled them.

Ultimately, the council, with Chris Cate absent, unanimously voted to send SoccerCity and the SDSU West initiative to the Registrar of Voters, both with the City Attorney's language.