Daily Business Report-Oct. 28, 2016
Image from the Save San Diego Neighborhoods website (savesandiegoneighborhoods.com)
Packed Hall Seen as Council Sets
Vacation Rental Special Meeting
By City News Service
The San Diego City Council on Wednesday called a special meeting for next week to tackle the prolonged and controversial issue of regulating short-term rental properties.
“Short-term vacation rentals have become a concern for many of our residents, especially in single-family residential neighborhoods,” said council President Sherri Lightner.
The meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday will be held in Golden Hall — adjacent to the City Administration Building — to accommodate an expected large crowd.
“We are recommending minor edits to the municipal code to better clarify the description of `visitor accommodation’ in order to make it easier for the city’s code enforcement to enforce the areas where visitor accommodations, including short term vacation rentals, are allowed, and those areas in single dwelling zones where visitor accommodations are not allowed,” Lightner said.
At a news conference, opponents said the proposal would ban such properties in single-family neighborhoods across San Diego. A coalition of political and civic leaders, including Councilmen Chris Cate and Scott Sherman, plus representatives of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and San Diego Taxpayers Association, called for a more balanced approach.
“Council President Lightner has refused to docket my proposal for consideration, placing her own ban on the docket without the benefit of community input,” Cate said.
Lightner said the recommendations are based on input from numerous previous meetings and would not regulate home-sharing, or owner-occupied rentals where the owner lives on-site and rents out rooms in his or her home.
“We believe this recommendation strikes a reasonable, measured balance between continuing to allow short-term vacation rentals in zones that are designed to accommodate visitors, while protecting the sanctity of single- family neighborhoods, which are not designed to accommodate short-term vacation rentals, but are intended for long-term residents,” Lightner said.
A City Council committee meeting on the heated topic last year went over parts of two days and resulted in members asking Mayor Kevin Faulconer to budget more money for enforcement of noise, overcrowding and refuse regulations.
Private Support to UC San Diego
Totals a Record-Breaking $213 Million
The University of California San Diego reported that it received a record $213 million from 46,000 gifts in fiscal year 2015-16 — a 20 percent increase over the previous year.
That brings the total combined endowment for the campus at $1.177 billion, managed by the UC San Diego Foundation and the UC Regents.
University research was supported with $128.9 million in private funds. The Microbiome and Microbial Sciences Initiative was recently launched to study methods for manipulating microbiomes for the benefit of human health, and the Contextual Robotics Institute was created to develop safe, useful and human-friendly robotics systems to advance how people live.
The university said foundations provided the largest source of private support in FY 2015-16, up 59 percent with a total of $108.7 million.
The largest beneficiary of private funding on campus was health sciences, with donors designating a total of $93.3 million. Gary and Mary West provided $11.8 million to create a state-of-the-art senior emergency care unit to be housed within the Emergency Department at the future Jacobs Medical Center. The Gary and Mary West Senior Emergency Care Unit will enhance care for older adults and enable a multi-year medical research initiative in partnership with the West Health Institute.
Endowed gifts totaled $39.0 million.
Last year, donors gave $16.8 million to help UC San Diego students. A $4.3 million bequest from Mary Andrews Haag will provide merit-based scholarships to undergraduates such as Katie Hutchins, who graduated in June and plans to attend physical therapy school. Yet, without scholarship support, UC San Diego might not have been a reality for Hutchins.
SDSU Unveils Fowler Business
School After Largest Donation Ever
Times of San Diego
San Diego State University unveiled the new Fowler School of Business Administration Wednesday after Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler and his wife Alexis donated $25 million.
The donation is the largest in SDSU’s history, and pushed the university past its 10-year-old goal of raising $750 million. It also marks the first time that an SDSU academic school has been named for a benefactor.
“I think it’s a good business school. We want to make it a great business school,” said Fowler, who is a longtime supporter and holds an honorary doctorate degree.
He said the gift would help the school focus on entrepreneurship and assist deserving students from all backgrounds with scholarships. College is “a great equalizer,” he added.
“I was the first one in my family to be able to go to college and now we have scholarship programs and we still are seeing kids — especially kids of color — who are the first ones in their family to go to college, and it’s a huge difference,” he said.
Fowler’s gift, combined with smaller donations from others, creates an endowment of $50 million that will be used to recruit faculty, fund scholarships and host special lectures.
“It’s just been a lifelong dream for me to get involved in higher education,” said Fowler, who is also chairman and CEO of the beverage distributor Liquid Investments Inc.
The business school’s new name was unveiled in an afternoon ceremony attended by Mayor Kevin Faulconer, himself an SDSU graduate. The event was introduced by the marching band and cheerleaders.
“With leaders in the community like Ron and Alexis, we are going to serve a future generation of leaders very well,”Faulconer said.
Plan to Remove Traffic from
Balboa Park Moves Forward
By City News Service
A City Council committee Thursday gave initial authorization to staff to issue $50 million in bonds and award a construction contract for a revived plan to remove vehicle traffic from the center of Balboa Park.
On a pair of 3-0 votes, the Infrastructure Committee advanced the plan that would also lead to construction of a parking garage behind the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Revenue from the garage would pay back the bond proceeds, according to the city’s plans.
The measures still have to go before the full City Council for final approval.
Last month, the council approved the expenditure of $1 million to complete planning and documentation.
The City Council first aproved the project four years ago, but it was overturned by a judge on a technicality. The city later won an appeal, and Mayor Kevin Faulconer recently revived the idea.
Balboa Park cultural institutions are solidly behind the plan, which was brought to the city by Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs.
The plan “is an opportunity to restore our park’s grand plazas and promenades to the beauty envisioned by the early founders,” Jacobs told the committee members. He said that “marvelous spaces” were “inappropriately” turned into roads many decades ago.
The Save Our Heritage Organisation has been opposed to the plan from the beginning. “Save Our Heritage Organisation will exhaust all remedies to challenge any proposal that would irreparably damage Balboa Park and that could jeopardize its status as a National Historic Landmark District and its stature as a world-class public park beloved by locals,” said SOHO President Bruce Coons in an op-ed in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The approved actions will also allow staff to enter into a cooperation agreement with Jacobs’ group and accept funding from them.
An opponent of the plan, David Lundin, told the committee members that there was no evidence of parking shortages in the park or danger for pedestrians. The park suffers from crumbling buildings and aging water pipes, he said.
“If you have $50 to 60 million you want to spend on the park, spend it wisely,” said Lundin, who helped found a group called the Balboa Park Heritage Association.
The approximately $70 million plan caps the city’s contributions at $49 million.
The Plaza de Panama Committee, headed by Jacobs, will be responsible for the rest, plus cost overruns, according to staff.
S.D. Sport Innovators Signs
100th Member Company
Solana Beach’s San Diego Sport Innovators (SDSI), the nonprofit business development organization, announced that it has signed its 100th member company — Surf Cup Sports.
“It’s a big day for us for two reasons,” said Executive Director Bob Rief. “Reaching 100 members is really a threshold for SDSI. Our focus is on the SAL community, basically the companies whose products or services constitute the San Diego lifestyle. Bringing together 100 of these companies to promote San Diego and our business category is really fantastic.”
Surf Cup Sports is a business generator for San Diego, bringing $139 million in associated revenue annually. Its facilities in Del Mar and Oceanside collectively providing 44 fields of play for the community. Over 200,000 athletes compete on their fields each year. More than 2,000 college coaches attend Surf Cup Sports events to recruit players, resulting in millions of dollars in scholarship awards.
“As one of the top sporting event organizers in the country with deep roots here in San Diego we are excited to join SDSI to participate in the collaborating and networking opportunities provided by the organization,” said Mike Connerley, president of Surf Cup Sports. “We want to continue to grow and improve our business as well as support other San Diego sports companies, and we see SDSI as a vital part of that process.”
Denton’s Partner Charlie Bird Presented
Witkin Award for Excellence in Law
Dentons’ San Diego Litigation and Dispute Resolution partner Charlie Bird was awarded the 2016 Witkin Award for Excellence in the Practice of Law by the San Diego Law Library Foundation.
The award ceremony took place on Oct. 20 at the San Diego Law Library. Each year the Witkin Awards are presented to esteemed members of the San Diego legal community for civic leadership and excellence in teaching, practice, enactment, or adjudication of the law.