Council Unanimously Approves Placing Mayor Faulconer’s Ambitious Plan to Preserve and Enhance Mission Bay Park, Balboa Park & Other Regional Parks on Ballot

San Diego's Regional Parks Would Receive Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in New Investment Under Proposal Advanced by Mayor Faulconer

Monday, July 11, 2016 - NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – With the goal of enhancing and preserving San Diego’s regional parks for generations to come, today the City Council unanimously approved Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer’s plan for a grand restoration of the city’s major parks that would make available hundreds of millions of more dollars for Mission Bay Park and regional parks, including Balboa Park.

The measure for the November 2016 ballot would extend 2008’s Proposition C – co-authored by then-Councilmember Faulconer – to direct a portion of Mission Bay lease revenue toward capital investment in Mission Bay Park and regional parks for an additional 30 years. This will result in continued annual revenue for Mission Bay Park and regional parks, including funds that can be used to revitalize historic buildings and structures in Balboa Park. The measure also expedites high-priority infrastructure projects for Mission Bay Park, such as lighting, bicycle trails, public restrooms and playgrounds.

“Today our city took a major step toward improving parks across San Diego. At a time when it seems more and more expensive to raise a family, every family can afford to enjoy our parks. They are free and open to everyone, making our parks system more important than ever,” Mayor Faulconer said. “The intent of this charter amendment is simple. The money generated in our parks should be used to improve our parks. This measure will help us invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Mission Bay Park, Balboa Park and other regional parks, leaving our generation’s mark on San Diego’s historic and recreational treasures to ensure their preservation for future San Diegans.”

The ballot measure would amend City Charter Section 55.2, which was approved by nearly 67 percent of voters as Proposition C in 2008. Proposition C ensured money generated in Mission Bay Park was available for park improvements. Mission Bay Park generates millions of dollars for the City through lease revenue from hotels and other businesses located on the bay. This money was originally used to pay for Mission Bay Park, but over time it was redirected into the General Fund for other purposes.

Proposition C changed this practice by requiring the City to divide excess Mission Bay lease revenue (anything above $20 million) for capital investment in Mission Bay Park (75%) and regional parks (25%) through 2039.

The 2016 ballot measure will ensure funding from Proposition C continues to be available for Mission Bay and regional parks across San Diego for generations to come. It makes several changes to preserve and prioritize improvements in Mission Bay Park and make new funding available for Balboa Park and regional parks, including:

  • Extending the City Charter amendment for an additional 30 years to 2069, making hundreds of millions of future dollars available for Mission Bay Park and regional parks. Without voters approving an extension, the City Charter amendment is scheduled to sunset.
  • Amending City Charter Section 55.2 to implement cash management best practices to improve efficiencies and expedite the completion of high-priority infrastructure projects for Mission Bay Park and Regional Parks.
  • Increasing the share that Balboa Park and regional parks receive in lease revenue from 25% to 35%. This is projected to bring in at least $3.5 million annually for improvements in regional parks, such as Balboa Park. This enlarged funding stream will give the City Council the option to leverage the annual revenue into tens of millions of dollars for projects, such as maintaining Balboa Park’s historic buildings.

San Diego regional parks that would benefit from this measure include:

  • Balboa Park
  • Chicano Park
  • Chollas Lake
  • Coastal Parks and Beaches
  • Mission Trails Regional Park
  • Open Space Parks
  • Otay River Valley Park
  • Presidio Park
  • San Diego River
  • Torrey Pines City Park

The ballot measure needs a simple majority of voters for approval.

CONTACT: Jen Lebron at (619) 384-5289 or [email protected]