Tentative ruling clears ballot spot for SDSU West initiative


David Santillan

Director of Athletics John David Wicker unveils the renderings for SDSU's proposed Campus West stadium in November 2017.

by Bella Ross, News Editor

The initiative to redevelop the Mission Valley stadium site for use by San Diego State has been approved for the November ballot following legal challenges.

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott requested the legal review of the competing SDSU West and SoccerCity initiatives in May due to questions surrounding the legality of taking on these kinds of projects through a citizens’ initiative.

Superior Court Judge Randa Trapp tentatively ruled against the city on Tuesday in the case of the SDSU West initiative to redevelop the Mission Valley site for use by the university. This project calls for the development of research facilities, a stadium, a river park and room for campus expansion, according to their website.

Representatives from both the SDSU West and SoccerCity initiatives declined to comment on this tentative ruling.

According to a press release issued by the city attorney in May, the two initiatives are unique in that they did not seek to pursue a legislative action, the kinds of actions that are normally pursued through a citizens’ initiative. This presented the question of whether a citizens’ initiative had the power to take on the kinds of projects put forth by the SDSU West and SoccerCity initiatives.

“By seeking pre-election guidance from the courts, the City hopes to avoid a situation where voters act on measures that are later found to be legally invalid,” Elliott said in a press release. “Even if the court finds no problems with the measures, it may narrow post-election issues, which will save taxpayer money and potentially expedite City actions to implement a successful measure.”

Trapp wrote in the tentative ruling that certain aspects of the SDSU West initiative make it legislative in nature, therefore validating its presence on the November ballot.

“This initiative is a legislative act as it declares a public purpose and makes provisions for the ways and means of accomplishment by adding a code section to the San Diego Municipal Code,” Elliott said.

However, Trapp said in the tentative ruling that this decision does not prevent the city from pursuing a post-election review in the instance that the initiative passes in November.

The competing SoccerCity initiative will face the court next week, where it will be facing concerns from the city that are similar to those surrounding the SDSU West initiative. This competing initiative seeks to redevelop the Mission Valley stadium site for use by a Major League Soccer team, including a new stadium, retail and housing facilities, an entertainment district and a river park, according to their website.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email