Here's the dispute between hotel developer “Papa Doug” Manchester and the opposition Navy Broadway Complex Coalition over whether and how to build an office-hotel complex on some downtown shoreline, as told in the style of The Simpsons:
Papa Doug: Ow! Quit it.
Papa Doug: Ow! Quit it!
Papa Doug: Ow! Quit it.
The parcel in question lies just inland of the docked U.S.S. Midway, in an area currently off limits to the public because it's Navy headquarters for the Southwest United States region. But the Navy wants a shiny new headquarters, and it figured it would get someone to build it for free in exchange for the development rights to the rest of the large property.
As part of a 1992 deal between the city and the Navy, the only way San Diego can put the brakes on the project is via the board of the agency charged with overseeing downtown redevelopment, the Centre City Development Corporation (CCDC). They get to vote on whether any development proposal conforms to the city's vision for how its downtown area should look. As part of that vote, the board is also affirming the environmental study done on the project back in 1990. City Attorney Mike Aguirre determined in October 2006 that those votes could be overruled by the City Council. Well, that's all the Navy Broadway Coalition needed to begin appealing every vote by the CCDC board on the project (Poke! Poke!). They've already appealed three votes, and the City Council has sent them packing twice. The third appeal will be heard in February.
In the latest development, Manchester filed a lawsuit on Jan. 16 asking a judge to forbid all future appeals to the city on environmental grounds (Quit it!). The complaint, signed by Manchester's attorney, Steven Strauss, argues that the appeals are frivolous, that the environmental study was affirmed back in 1990, and that the city no longer has jurisdiction.
The city begs to differ. Malinda Dickenson, the lawyer dealing with the complaint for the City Attorney's office, said that when it comes to the city's discretionary approvals, “the complaint has no merit.”Strauss could not be reached for comment.
So add this to the towering pile marked “Navy Broadway Lawsuits.” Technically, it's a cross-complaint, which means it becomes part of the least-fun menage-a-trois ever—the city is suing Manchester; the Coalition is suing Manchester, the city and CCDC; and Manchester is suing the city and CCDC. Then there's the federal case the coalition has brought against the Navy under the National Environmental Policy Act. Then there's the Manchester complaint against the California Coastal Commission, which argues that the 1990 approval by the commission should still stand. And the one filed by the city against Manchester for legal fees he owes the city.
No doubt there's more where those came from.