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Straining Our Open Space
Ann Gardner | Via Latina

San Diego Surf Cup 3-Day Thanksgiving Youth Tournament
. The tournament generated a huge amount of traffic and cars on a lot that was granted to the city in 1982 with the provision that large assemblages of people and automobiles were not allowed!
Drone images used with permission.  Click to enlarge.

Last month a judge was unwilling to issue a restraining order filed by the Friends of the San Dieguito River Valley against the City of San Diego and Surf Cup Sports until the parties had an opportunity to fully understand the merits of the order. A second hearing is scheduled for December 16. The restraining order would have stopped the City from issuing permits and allowing construction/demolition/grading at the former “Polo Fields” on Via de la Valle. It would also have required Surf Cup Sports to provide off-site parking only and host tournaments/events drawing more than 100 cars, only 25 days a year.

The Friends filed a lawsuit in July against both parties for failure to conduct an Environmental Review before the City approved a new 28-year contract with Surf Cup Sports. The intent of the restraining order is to prevent irreparable damage to the River Valley environment before the lawsuit can be resolved. The site in question was deeded as open space to the City of San Diego in 1982 as mitigation for channeling the San Dieguito River in order to build more housing than allowed and a private country club. The site was deeded with the requirement that it be left in as natural a state as possible and not attract large assemblages of people and automobiles. Reportedly, Surf Cup’s three largest events have attracted over 35,000 people who, according to Surf Cup, have a positive impact on San Diego’s economy. Nearby residents have claimed that they bought homes with the promise of open space, not a commercial sports complex, next door.



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