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staplesla Aug 10, 2009 4:51 PM

Lawsuit Filed Against San Diego Unified Port District Over Waterfront Plan
People who say San Diego's downtown waterfront plan lost too much public space along the way toward receiving construction permits have sued.

Public Rights to Bay Access and Parks, a new nonprofit group,filed a lawsuit Friday against the San Diego Unified Port District.

At issue is the long-debated North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, a $200 million proposal to turn the downtown waterfront along San Diego Bay into a showpiece of promenades and plantings. The city and the Port share responsibility for the plan, which has been in the works since the late 1990s. Detailed drawings were inked in 2005.

In July, the Port issued permits for the $28.6 million first phase, which covers Harbor Drive and West Broadway from Navy Pier to B Street.

Activists and two California Coastal Commissioners appealed. The state commission is expected to address the issue at a meeting Friday. Commission staff have said the Port needs to revise its master plan because changes to the waterfront blueprint are significant.

The lawsuit also says the revisions to the plan are too great, such as the downsizing of a 10-acre park at Broadway and the placement of new cruise ship terminals at the Broadway and B Street piers.

If either the court or coastal officials demand further environmental analysis, the waterfront project would likely be delayed.

sandiegodweller Aug 13, 2009 4:21 AM

Another waterfront project gets fucked up
Manchester's wife files for divorce after 43-year marriage
By Jeanette Steele
Union-Tribune Staff Writer
8:54 p.m. August 12, 2009

SAN DIEGO – The wife of San Diego developer Doug Manchester, who helped finance the 2008 fight against same-sex marriage in California, has filed for divorce after 43 years of marriage.
The case could complicate Manchester's finances as he tries to move forward with a major project on San Diego's waterfront and operate two luxury hotels amid the prolonged recession and a boycott from gay-rights groups.
Manchester built and owns the Manchester Grand Hyatt in downtown San Diego and the Grand Del Mar in Carmel Valley. He also has been tapped to remake the Navy Broadway Complex and the land around it, one of the last undeveloped swaths of the San Diego bayfront.
A divorce that cuts Doug Manchester's assets in half could force him to sell some properties. It also could make it harder for him to finance the Broadway development, said real estate economist Gary London.
These days, banks demand a large down payment before approving a loan.
“A bank would say, 'You have to have more skin in the game right now.' So where a divorce comes in, it typically takes skin out of your game,” London said.
But he and another economist said they don't expect the Broadway project to get going for several years anyway due to lack of demand for new hotels and office space.
According to court papers, the Manchesters separated in October and Elizabeth Manchester sued for dissolution of marriage in June, citing irreconcilable differences.
Doug Manchester responded last month to his wife's lawsuit by filing court papers asking only for a legal separation.
The next hearing is scheduled for Sept. 17 in Superior Court.
Doug Manchester's attorney, Robert Wood, declined to comment Wednesday. Elizabeth Manchester's lawyer didn't return a phone call.
A battle over money is brewing between the Manchesters, who own an oceanfront home in La Jolla Shores and four other houses in Indian Wells, Idaho and North Carolina.
In court papers, Elizabeth Manchester said her husband has $56.9 million in bank accounts but has “secretly transferred” at least $9.3 million from their joint accounts into his own. She also alleged that he kept her half of an $8.2 million tax refund, potentially cashing it without her signature.
And she said that after the couple's separation last fall, he stole her mail while she was away from the La Jolla home.
Last week, Superior Court family law Judge Lisa Foster ordered Doug Manchester to restore $100,000 that he had transferred out of the joint bank account his wife uses to pay bills.
Foster also gave Elizabeth Manchester, known as Betsy, exclusive use of the couple's 9,300-square-foot La Jolla home and directed that her mail be returned.
Last year, Doug Manchester jumped into the middle of California's same-sex marriage debate by donating $125,000 to support Proposition 8, the successful November ballot initiative that canceled the rights of gays to marry.
Gay-rights groups organized a boycott of Manchester properties. Manchester, a Catholic, later offered $125,000 in cash and hotel credit to same-sex rights groups, saying he's against gay marriage, not gays and lesbians. The boycott continues.

Jeanette Steele: (619) 293-1030;

Fusey Aug 13, 2009 3:09 PM

Wow, first John Moores gets divorced after a long marriage, now Manchester.

tdavis Aug 13, 2009 8:13 PM


Originally Posted by sandiegodweller (Post 4403522)
Manchester's wife files for divorce after 43-year marriage

It's pretty sad the fool couldn't have focused his time and money on saving his marriage, instead he chose to promote intolerance and destroy the chance for others. A true hypocrite! He gets what he deserves.

BrandonJXN Aug 14, 2009 12:14 AM

Pictures plz....

voice of reason Aug 14, 2009 4:02 AM

My friend (who is gay) took me to lunch the other day and I told him that I did not want to have marriage redefined and I was surprised when he told me that he thought it should stay the way it is and he was tired of the 'queens' who are pushing this agenda for political reasons and have no intention of getting married.

You are on a non political, skyscraper forum, leave your bigotry for discussion over cheeseburgers at The Hole this weekend.

staplesla Aug 14, 2009 4:58 AM

I'm a married heterosexual, but I agree with TDavis. It is sad that people want to stop a couple that is committed to each other from marrying. It is un-American, and un-Christian. These very people need to start focusing on their own relationships and the high divorce rate of heterosexuals.

That being said, I hope the Broadway development can move forward sooner rather than later.

IconRPCV Aug 14, 2009 3:00 PM


Originally Posted by voice of reason (Post 4405371)
My friend (who is gay) took me to lunch the other day and I told him that I did not want to have marriage redefined and I was surprised when he told me that he thought it should stay the way it is and he was tired of the 'queens' who are pushing this agenda for political reasons and have no intention of getting married.

You are on a non political, skyscraper forum, leave your bigotry for discussion over cheeseburgers at The Hole this weekend.

Not every gay man in SD goes to The Hole on Sunday, thank you very much.

Fusey Aug 14, 2009 7:12 PM

If you guys really want to talk about politics please take it to the Current Events section on this forum.

Fusey Aug 15, 2009 7:34 PM


Chargers keeping local options on table
Aide says stadium plan is unlikely this season

By Matthew T. Hall
Union-Tribune Staff Writer

2:00 a.m. August 15, 2009

Oceanside: The 90-acre site of a former drive-in theater north of stateRoute 76

Escondido: An unspecified spot near state Route 78 and Interstate 15

San Diego: Downtown, near Petco Park

Elsewhere: Las Vegas and San Antonio have shown interest, and there's a move afoot to build an NFL stadium in City of Industry.

The San Diego Chargers will play at Qualcomm Stadium this season, starting with tonight's first exhibition game. Beyond that, the team won't make any guarantees about where it will tangle with opponents.

More than three years into a stadium search, the Chargers' toughest foe remains a bad economy that has stifled lending.

Mark Fabiani, the Chargers' point man on the search, said the effort will continue despite the economy and the team's persistent failure to find a suitable spot in San Diego County.

So far, the team has studied and dismissed potential sites in National City, Oceanside and Chula Vista. In recent weeks, Fabiani has been considering a new site in Oceanside, exploring potential options in Escondido and discussing the viability of a stadium in downtown San Diego near Petco Park.

Despite the interest, Fabiani said he doesn't expect a proposal for months.

“Given where we sit, it's unlikely that a plan surfaces before the end of the season,” he said. “We certainly hope to be doing what we're doing next year, which is working on San Diego County. That's our hope. That's our goal.”

Andrew Zimbalist, an economist at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., who examines the sports business, said the duration of the search poses problems for the team to relocate within San Diego County.

“If it was going to happen, you'd think it would have happened already, so I think there's good reason to suspect this is an insuperable challenge for them,” Zimbalist said.

Officials and developers in other cities, including San Antonio, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, have shown interest in landing the Chargers, but Fabiani said the search remains locally focused.

The team began asking for a new stadium in 2002, saying Qualcomm Stadium, now 42 years old, created too little revenue for the team to stay competitive. The team initially considered building a new stadium on the current 166-acre site in Mission Valley, but contends the bad economy and building bust made that impossible. It started searching for a new site in 2006.

In May, developer Perry Dealy and a group of local business leaders suggested keeping the Chargers at the site by building a hotel, condominiums and commercial space alongside a new stadium. Lacking support from the Chargers or Mayor Jerry Sanders' office, the idea quickly faded.

More recently, the team has willingly been excluded from early discussions between the Mayor's Office and San Diego State University to use some of the Qualcomm Stadium site for student and faculty housing, research facilities and a park.

The Chargers' lease expires in 2020 and gives the team from Feb. 1 to May 1 every year to notify the city of an intent to move. The team's cost to break its lease is $54.6 million next year but the amount falls to $25.8 million in 2011, which has led to speculation that if the team departs, it would do so in two years.

Suitors outside San Diego County have stepped forward.

In years past, the mayors of Las Vegas and San Antonio — smaller markets without NFL teams — have expressed interest in the Chargers, and Los Angeles developer Ed Roski is pushing to build a stadium in nearby City of Industry.

There is talk of luring one or even two NFL teams — from Jacksonville, Buffalo, Minnesota, St. Louis, Oakland, San Francisco or San Diego — to that stadium.

Locally, the Chargers don't have a lot of options at the moment.

•In Oceanside, the team is considering, at a private developer's request, the 90-acre site of a former drive-in movie theater on the city's northern border. In June, Fabiani said the site's proximity to the Oceanside Municipal Airport would make it difficult to build a 200-foot-tall stadium. On Thursday, he went further, saying the airport would have to be shut down for a stadium to be built. Such a scenario seems unlikely after the Oceanside City Council's unanimous vote Wednesday to finalize a 50-year lease with the airport's private operator.

•In Escondido, civic leaders and city officials, including the city manager and the mayor, have met to discuss building a stadium near state Route 78 and Interstate 15, so transportation to games would be easy. Escondido land-use attorney Dave Ferguson said the business leaders expect in the next 30 to 45 days to take a hard look at potential costs for buying and improving the land and building a stadium there and, if found to be feasible, ask the city to consider the idea officially.

•In San Diego, Fabiani continues to meet with the Mayor's Office and the City Attorney's Office to give updates on the Chargers' search and toss around ideas. Fabiani said whenever he discusses possible sites with anyone, a downtown stadium comes up. “It's the first thing people talk about,” he said. “You tell them what you're working on, and everyone asks about downtown.”

Fabiani said he remains optimistic that the team will stay in San Diego County and takes heart that Chargers President Dean Spanos hasn't thrown in the towel.

“Hopefully,” Fabiani said, “once the economy turns around, we will have secured a publicly acceptable site, have a financing plan that people are comfortable with and we'll be able to go into the credit markets.”

OneMetropolis Aug 18, 2009 7:28 PM

^^^ well adios a new stadium will most likely not be built in the next 2 to 3 years and LA is getting more aggressive about having a NFL team.

tdavis Aug 18, 2009 8:20 PM

In the end the team will do what makes most sense to their pocketbooks. And being in L.A. or other markets could draw more people. Given the lack of leadership by the city of San Diego on this matter I predict we will lose the Chargers.

eburress Aug 18, 2009 8:32 PM

I've already been feeling beaten down about certain aspects of living in a city that at best, is not living up to its potential, but man, if we lose the Chargers, this "city" is going to become a downright depressing place to live.

Derek Aug 19, 2009 1:19 AM

If we lose the Chargers, I'm seriously moving to Chicago. That would be my breaking point.

HurricaneHugo Aug 19, 2009 6:10 AM

Chargers won't move for another two years as they would have to pay about 50 million dollars to the city to move. If there's no moment at all then yes they might move. Even then, Spanos won't sell the team and won't be a leaser in an LA stadium.

Also, Gaylord Site.

eburress Aug 19, 2009 2:33 PM


Originally Posted by Derek (Post 4412818)
If we lose the Chargers, I'm seriously moving to Chicago. That would be my breaking point.

I hear you. Speaking of Chicago, now that is a CITY! It's not perfect, but it has public transportation that gets people where they need to go, grand civic projects, a real airport, a soaring skyline, an enormous corporate infrastructure, and a population that puts the needs of the region above their own.

Fusey Aug 19, 2009 2:37 PM


Originally Posted by Derek (Post 4412818)
If we lose the Chargers, I'm seriously moving to Chicago. That would be my breaking point.

Until the team is actually threatening to move I wouldn't worry about it too much. There are plenty of feasible locations to build the Chargers a new stadium. All that we need is a local representative to take lead of this issue.

On second thought we're probably screwed. :haha:

IconRPCV Aug 20, 2009 3:21 PM

I predict the area in the East Village next to PETCO will be the eventual site of the Charger Stadium. It makes sense as they can receive redevelopment dollars, help an area that needs a shot in the arm, and is right in the middle of mass transit.

staplesla Aug 20, 2009 7:36 PM

I agree with tdavis. I don't think the Chargers will be here in 5 years due to a lack of leadership all around by the city council, mayor's office, etc. And btw, the area next to Petco was identified as having a fault line underneath. This was found when there was discussion of expanding the convention center to the area. This was the reason the convention center changed plans and are now proceeding with the expansion on the park next to the Hilton. This area next to Petco will be most likely a parking lot for many years to come due to this fault.

HurricaneHugo Aug 21, 2009 3:58 AM

Link to the fault line?

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