2001 CPEO Military List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: 27 Nov 2001 23:56:37 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] San Diego Naval Training Center
[The following comes from John McNab, spokesman, Save Our NTC

Support requested protecting public rights at Naval Training Center San Diego

Save Our NTC has worked to preserve Naval Training Center San Diego for
public usage described below.  Currently, demolition has been halted due
to legal actions brought by Save Our NTC.  We request your endorsement,
support or assistance in both these legal actions and in efforts to
revert ownership of NTC to the federal level.

Current legal actions are:

1. 30 foot height limit lawsuit.  In 1972, San Diego voters passed an
initiative to limit future coastal building height in the city north of
its downtown to its border in Del Mar to 30 feet.  Naval Training Center
sits in this area.  Federal and state property was exempted to this
municipal code due to the city of San Diego not having jurisdiction. 
The City of San Diego Environmental Impact Report stated that the height
limit applied.  Documents made available to the general public did not
indicate that this height limit would be violated until after the city
gained approval for their commercialization plan from the Navy in 1999.

The city has stated that they can violate their own municipal code
because the property in 1972 was federal property and at that time
exempt from height limits.  The mayor of San Diego when substantiating
giving away this public property to private developers, however,
consistently stated that it was too expensive to bring buildings up to
city code standards. In effect, buildings would have to be demolished so
that what would exist in the future would comply with city municipal code.

This item is having its first ruling December 14 in San Diego.

2.  Fletcher lawsuit.  In the 1910s, six prominent families purchased
land which would become Naval Training Station San Diego.  They gave
this property, passing it through the City of San Diego, to the federal
government in perpetuity for this purpose.

When the land was no longer needed for training Navy sailors, no purpose
consistent with the grantors intent was pursued either by the Navy (the
Record of Decision did not evaluate any continued public usage) or the
City of San Diego.  Instead, the City of San Diego stated that - we gave
the property to the Navy and now we want it back -.  The City also did
not approach any heirs regarding property disposition.

This lawsuit claims that if property is given to a government agency for
a specific type of purpose, then it is the obligation of the government
to find purposes consistent with the intent of the grantors if the
property is no longer needed for the original purpose.  In the case of
Naval Training Center, continued uses would include national defense,
general public training and memorialization of the ideals which those
trained here fought for.

This case is now on appeal.

3.  Public Trust changes.  A large portion of Naval Training Center was
protected from non maritime or coastal usages by California State
Tidelands Trust restrictions.  The state of California rezoned Naval
Training Center and gave up rights at Naval Training Center specifically
to allow property to be given away virtually for free for office and
residential uses - both which are not allowed under tidelands trust regulations.

We are looking for help understanding how best to pursue these potential
public trust violations.

The Naval Training Center issue:

Naval Training Center San Diego was closed in 1987 as part of the 1990s
BRAC process.  No governmental funds and minimum government effort was
expended exploring public usage of this $1 billion training base sitting
on some of California’s most valuable coastal real estate.

Naval Training Center consisted primarily of modern lodging and
educational facilities.  Citizen research found that expanding the
public use precedent established at Fort Mason Center (located in the
San Francisco area Golden Gate National Recreation Area) would result in
over $30 million in annual rental income.  Utilized as a center for non
profit and community activities, the entire base would be able to pay
its own way while providing a wide array of national, global and local
training programs that reduced the cost of government.  This usage would
have enabled government programs such as Americorps (a tenant until
their lodging facilities were demolished) to work together with NGO
training programs to further the call President Bush made to Americans
November 8  to show the world the spirit of American volunteerism.

Public usage also preserves strategic property sitting in the middle of
a continuous band of military installations stretching from the Marine
Corps Recruit Depot, through NTC and the Anti Submarine Warfare base and
to the Submarine Base and other training installations on the San Diego
Point Loma Peninsula.  If needed for any massive US global outreach
effort, Naval Training Center under public usage would be available to
support mobilization efforts in Americas largest west coast port.

Instead of pursuing public usages of Naval Training Center, most of this
facility was given to a private developer for $8. 

To render assistance or for further information:
John McNab 
Spokesman, Save Our NTC
(619) 531-0773
1333 29th St
San Diego, CA  92102

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