SOHO responds to Plaza de Panama judge’s ruling

Save Our Heritage Organisation Executive Director Bruce Coons said the countywide historic preservation group and many thousands of San Diegans are disappointed by Judge Gregory W. Pollack’s August 8 ruling against SOHO’s environmental challenge to the Plaza de Panama Project in Balboa Park. SOHO and countless citizens oppose the $80 million project because it would irreparably damage the park’s iconic Cabrillo Bridge and century-old historic core with an overpowering freeway-style off-ramp bridge and destructive new roads. SOHO will consider an appeal.

“SOHO’s challenge may be headed for the Court of Appeal,” Coons said. “Judge Pollack stated at the court hearing that our argument that approval of the revised project was unlawful because the City of San Diego did not issue public notice, as required, is a matter for the Court of Appeal to decide.”
In addition, the proposed project and its massive freeway-style ramp dubbed “Centennial Bridge” would adversely impact the Balboa Park National Historic District, according to the City’s 2012 environmental studies. The bridge would cut away part of the historic Cabrillo Bridge and otherwise adversely impact the National Historic District.

“Only two years ago, San Diego celebrated the centennial of Balboa Park’s historic core, which is renowned worldwide for its cohesive architectural theme, historic landscape and ambience. We owe it to San Diegans and millions of visitors to protect the landmark park from unnecessary and destructive alterations,” Coons said.

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