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San Diego City Attorney to Appeal Ruling on SDSU West

SDSU Aztec Stadium rendering

With the backing of the city council, San Diego city attorney Mara Elliott will appeal a court ruling regarding SDSU West‘s place on the November ballot. 

Backed by Friends of SDSU, SDSU West calls for the redevelopment of the SDCCU Stadium site in San Diego’s Mission Valley, which would be converted into a development that includes a new San Diego State University football stadium and surrounding amenities. Both it and the competing SoccerCity, an initiative that calls for an MLS stadium and surrounding development on the same site, recently fell under a legal challenge from Elliott.

Elliott asked the courts to review both SDSU West and SoccerCity over concerns about their legality. In its argument against the two measures, the city had claimed that if either is approved by voters it would illegally interfere with administrative matters. The two cases were considered separately this month, and both were ultimately rejected by San Diego Superior Court judges, who determined that the initiatives could appear on the November ballot.

Appeals in both cases will be pursued by Elliott, however, following approval from the San Diego City Council through a 5-3 vote on Tuesday. The city is seeking to have decisions in both cases by August 30. More from the San Diego Union-Tribune:

“The Soccer City and SDSU West initiatives essentially force the lease or sale of City assets on terms set by the proponents,” Elliott said in a statement. “By filing writs with the Fourth District Court of Appeal, the City seeks clarity on whether this unprecedented use of the initiative process is legal.”…

The timing, however, requires the Fourth District Court of Appeal to hear the cases on an expedited basis if a decision is to be made ahead of the August deadline for printing the ballots. The state appeals court already denied an emergency petition from the backers of the SoccerCity plan, which was suing to get the rival measure removed from the ballot.

Despite the city attorney’s renewed challenge, both campaigns said they expect to appear on the ballot.

“We are confident the appellate court will uphold the trial court ruling in support of SDSU West,” Friends of SDSU, the booster group backing the ballot measure, said in a statement. “The initiative is consistent with California state law and the San Diego City Charter. The SDSU West initiative was expressly written to give the Mayor and City Council the power to determine terms of an agreement to sell the stadium site.”

SDSU West proposes the sale of 132 acres for the development, which includes a stadium that would be constructed with an initial capacity of 35,000 with the ability to host college football and professional soccer matches. It could also be expanded by 20,000 seats to house an NFL team. Should it and SoccerCity proceed to the November ballot, the one with the greatest share of the majority will move forward.

Rendering courtesy Populous and San Diego State University. 

RELATED STORIES: SDSU West Initiative Gets Legal Victory From Appellate CourtJudge Sides With SDSU West Proposal in Tentative RulingCity Official: SDSU West, SoccerCity Proposals Could Result in Missed Revenue for San DiegoJudge Rejects Lawsuit to Block SDSU West From BallotSDSU Working to Secure SDCCU Stadium Lease ExtensionSDSU Details Stadium Expansion for San Diego NFL FranchiseSoccerCity Backers Sue to Boot SDSU Stadium Plan From BallotSDSU Stadium Plan Heading for November BallotSDSU’s Future at SDCCU Stadium Still UnclearSDSU Stadium Boosters Gather 100,000 SignaturesBest of 2017, #4: SDSU Launches its New Stadium PitchSDSU Unveils Aztec Stadium PlanSDSU Announces Plans for SDCCU Stadium SiteSDSU Stadium Boosters Set to Begin Ballot InitiativeSDSU Taps Populous for Football Stadium DesignSDSU Boosters Launching Citizens’ Initiative

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August Publications