Community rallies to save San Diego's Skateworld - The CW San Diego - News 8

Community rallies to save San Diego's Skateworld

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Dozens of community members on Monday marched through the rain as they rallied to save Skateworld, San Diego's only roller skating rink, from closing its doors. 

Brett Stang, who has been Skateworld's general manager for the past 44 years, said they lost the bidding process to a “so-called big developer.” 

“It’s been very private and that is why we have a big issue on what has gone on because nothing has been transparent. It’s been all shady,” said Stang. 

A "Save Skateworld" petition had over 16,000 signatures as of Monday night. The petition's goal is to urge members of the San Diego City Council to vote no on the proposed sale of Skateworld to Pacifica Companies. Organizers hope they can collect 25,000 signatures. 

Last week Stang told News 8 he does not want to see the lights go out. 

"We are trying to make sure they  [the City of San Diego]  do not approve the sale to Pacifica. We worked with a new developer and his goal was to put a big-box store up here instead of a rink," he said.

A Save Skateworld Committee was formed before a City Council meeting is held to approve the bid for other business was postponed.

“We are looking at the land use. We are looking at the deeds. We are looking at trying to get transparency in the bidding process,” said Danica Arnold with the Save Skateworld Committee.  

Civic San Diego, the non-profit that is handling the sale for the city, in their statement to News 8 did not say why Skateworld was not chosen to buy the property that they leased month-to-month, but rather elaborated on the state’s dissolution laws. 

Civic San Diego released the following statement to News 8: 

Unfortunately, former Governor Brown and California State Legislature did away with redevelopment and the City of San Diego and Civic San Diego are faced with implementing the laws which the State has put in place. Many of these assets where originally bought with the desire to help improve and add to the fabric of the community in which they exist. However, with the dissolution of redevelopment we are forced to dispose of these former redevelopment agency assets.

The Linda Vista site is one of a number of former Redevelopment Agency properties that Civic San Diego, on behalf of the City of San Diego Redevelopment Successor Agency, has disposed of in accordance with the State imposed dissolution of Redevelopment.  Under that Redevelopment Dissolution law Successor Agencies are required to dispose of former Redevelopment Agency properties in accordance with the State approved Long Range Property Management plan.

The Dissolution law imposes specific requirements on Successor Agencies with regards to how an agency can dispose of the assets.  The State law specifically requires a Successor Agency to liquidate the assets expeditiously and requires the sale of the property to be of fair market value, with the goal of maximizing revenues to the local affected taxing entities.  The law precluded the Successor Agency from imposing any site specific requirements on the sale of the property, unlike what was possible when Redevelopment had previously existed.
 

Editor's note: A previous version of this story indicated that Councilmember Scott Sherman did not reply to requests for comment, however he was not contacted by News 8. 

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