'Save Famosa Canyon' sues the San Diego Housing Commission
Heather Hope, May 7, 2022
Point Loma neighborhood group is suing the San Diego Housing
Commission to demand public records on any future development
at Famosa Canyon.
DIEGO — San Diegans, who have been using the Famosa Canyon
as a park or bike trail for the last 40 years say they like
it the way it is and don't want any new development that would
take away from the open space environment. The group "Save
Famosa Canyon" is demanding documents from the San Diego Housing
Commission about any potential plans for the land."We
are built out, so we need to have a place for people and animals
and things to go, said Cameron Havlik, a Save Famosa
loves walking the Famosa Canyon with his family. The Point
Loma resident is part of Save Famosa Canyon along with 2,081
members, who since 2018, have been fighting to preserve the
environmentally sensitive area that contains a wetland and
eucalyptus trees for a monarch butterfly habitat. But the
San Diego Housing Commission owns the land and has its own
plans for future use.
Save Famosa Canyon is suing the Housing Commission to find
out what those plans are.
is very much a concern for what they plan on doing and making
sure the public still has continued access to the site,
Everett DeLano of DeLano & DeLano who is representing
Save Famosa Canyon, says the case is about the public records
act, and if the Housing Commission entered into an agreement
with a particular developer, his clients as taxpayers need
to know exactly what is happening.
housing commission for some reason, even though we sent a
public records request in early February, we sent it on February
3, they are refusing to present many documents, over 6,000
documents. I certainly think its not consistent with
their legal obligations, said attorney Everett DeLano.
listed in a petition for writ of mandate, a letter from April
4, 2022 from the housing commission that stated, the
Housing Authority authorized negotiations over a potential
78-unit affordable housing project on the property."
letter from the housing commission says regarding the group's
request for "correspondence and notes, memos, and emails,
SDHC objects to your request as overly broad, burdensome,
and oppressive. A preliminary search has identified more than
6,150 electronic communications files since December 11, 2020,
that include keywords from your requests. A public records
request that compels the production of a huge volume
of material may be objectionable as unduly burdensome.
requested documents from the City of San Diego, and the city
did produce the documents, but unfortunately, the housing
commission refused to produce many documents. They did provide
links to certain documents that were available on their website,
but other than that, they largely refused to produce anything,
Famosa Canyon filed its lawsuit on April 28.
San Diego Housing Commission said in a statement, "It
does not comment on pending litigation, in deference to the
a court date is expected to be set in a month, the group is
hopeful nothing will happen to their neighborhood canyon.
a parent, who is raising two children, high-density housing,
parks and open space like this are crucial for their development
as children. We got to have places like this, and we got to
have open spaces Havlik said.