By Tommy Hough
Good afternoon, my name is Tommy Hough. As many of you know I live in Mira Mesa.
There's a process concern and a substance concern going on here with getting rid of the park acreage standard and replacing it with a point system that pits park amenities vs. parkland acquisition. We need both, but because amenities are less expensive we're concerned parkland won't be acquired to the extent it needs to be given the increasing urbanization of our city.
There's been no outreach to planning groups or recreation councils about the city ending the park acreage standard. On that basis alone, this proposal should be delayed.
Also – and I want to be clear on this – Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) lands set aside for habitat conservation must not, or ever, be considered for greater use in the form of trails and mountain bike routes. Those uses conflict with legal preservation requirements and would undo the entire purpose of the Multiple Species Conservation Program. These lands cannot be placed into a vulnerable open space matrix out of laziness or expedience.
In addition, commercial encroachment is not acceptable on any public lands, certainly not in parklands. Please delay a vote on this matter and allow for greater public input and greater sunshine in all corners of this policy.
A former San Diego broadcaster and media personality, Tommy Hough is a wilderness and conservation advocate, communications professional, California Democratic Party delegate, and the co-founder and former president of San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action.