San Diego Bob Filner is known as a real hands-on guy. His type of leadership is viewed as very touching by the locals. Putting aside all stories of his handiness, Bob has other concerns now, including allegations of corruption (which hit a little close to home):
Did Mayor Bob Filner and/or members of his staff break the law in connection with a six-figure donation from real estate developers?
In a front-page story Thursday, U-T San Diego reported that the FBI “has visited more than one city official” while looking into how Sunroad Enterprises got a special treatment for a big apartment complex that’s in its final build-out phases in Kearny Mesa.
The intrigue involves city property on two sides of Centrum Park, two acres of grassland and playground structures on Lightwave Avenue surrounded by swank townhouses and construction sites for hundreds of apartment units to the north and south.
Many neighbors of the park are only now becoming aware of the land-use controversy in their midst, and wonder if it might reach scandal proportions now that the U.S. Justice Dept. is reported to be investigating.
“It could be a little embarrassing for the city if it gets that big,” said Jason Boutwell, interviewed Thursday while walking his Australian sheepdog and cattle dog in the park. “I think it would be in their best interest to clear it up as soon as possible.”
The back story?
It seems Sunroad’s building project encroached deep into 15 feet of required setback, or separation, from the public park property.
The firm came to the city for an easement to make that legal.
A few years ago, Sunroad had a similar problem with a too-tall office tower nearby — and, after ugly legal battles, had to lop off two stories.
To residents in the Spectrum neighborhoods of Kearny Mesa, the park situation is an eerie case of deja vu.
“It’s pretty strange,” said Derek Blattner, as he stopped to chat Thursday on his way out of Centrum Park.
I leased my car from one of the dealers in the fine stable of Sunroad businesses. Don’t blame me though. I had nothing to do with Bobby Boy’s corruption or his grabbiness, for that matter.