This park is your park

City to repo 80´x 120´ plot of parkland

A parcel of land on Olive Street in Bankers HIll will be made into a city park just as a local family intended it to be when they granted the parcel of land to the City of San Diego in 1909.

On February 10, the city notified the public that certain non-permitted uses will be removed from the 80´ x 120´ piece of land overlooking Maple Canyon.

The non-permitted uses have been at the center of controversy since 1963, when the city granted an adjacent property owner, Dr. Milan Brandon, use of the property in exchange for a promise to maintain the small plot. In the decades that followed, as reported by the Reader in 2008, the doctor's office expanded and what was meant to be a park soon became a parking lot.

In 2004, members of the Uptown Planners began to notice trees were being cut down on the canyon slope. Soon after, a group of citizens — including descendants of one of the three families who gave the city the land — began to lobby the city and city councilmembers. Among them was then-councilmember, current mayor Kevin Faulconer.

In a 2008 statement to the Reader, Faulconer supported the effort to turn the land into a small community park as the owners of the land had intended.

“I will be working with them [Uptown Planners] and the rest of the community when we figure out the best options for the site,” he says. “Parks are very important, and getting new parks is good for every community. Earlier this year, we became aware of the renewed community effort to pursue the park, so I think it’s taking on a lot of momentum.”

Despite the support at city hall, the plot of land remained a parking lot for the medical office building. In 2013, Dr. Brandon and his family sued the city in hopes of keeping rights to use the land for ingress and egress. In November 2014, a judge denied the Brandons’ complaint. The case is now being appealed.

In the meantime, the city is moving forward with removing some of the work that was done to the park in recent years and ensuring public access to the park.

A spokesperson for councilmember Todd Gloria was waiting to hear back on the scope of the project and what uses were to be removed.

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Interesting what constitutes a Park in San Diego. Just because the city owns it and there's no building on it doesn't mean it is parkland. If it is a designated park, it is difficult, almost impossible for the city to sell. Otherwise they can do whatever they like with it. This was so chaotic that a few years ago, the city tried to make a list of all the parks, and declare a whole slew of parcels (think property ownership) as parks. I think Todd Gloria was responsible, but the memories are vague, and the city council voted on it. I don't know how to tell if a parcel is or is not a park.

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