Olive Street Park — KUSI Turko File Reports

On December 5, 2017, the consultants hired by the city to design the Olive Street Park site, KTU+A, will make a presentation at Uptown Planners.  The future park will be named the “Woods/McKee Park” after the family that donated the land almost 100 years ago.  Below are three investigative reports by renowned  KUSI Reporter, Michael Turko, who played a major role in the process of demanding the land donated by the Woods/McKee family finally used for its intended purpose — a public park.


Original Turko Story from 2008:


Turko Story from 2010:



Turko from 2014:














Waldo D. Waterman Park Ribbon-Cutting — Pictures

The Waldo D. Waterman Park was dedicated on Wednesday, October 25, 2017.  Speakers at the event were Councilmember Chris Ward; Herman D. Parker, Director of Park and Recreation, City of San Diego; James Kidrick, President/CEO San Diego Air & Space Museum.



Here is a brief biography of Waldo D. Waterman:




by Leo Wilson

On October 25, 2017, the “Waldo D. Waterman Park” will be dedicated.  The new park is at the corner of Maple Street and Albatross Street, and overlooks Maple Canyon.  On July 1, 1909, less than six years after the famed Wright brothers flight at Kitty Hawk, 15-year old Waldo Waterman flew a homemade hang glider from off the south rim of Maple Canyon into the canyon bottom. Some sources say he “swooped” into the canyon.  He actually made several flights, before returning to his garage and working on a plane with an engine. The spot he took off from on the canyon rim is included within the new park that is named after him.

The 9,000 square foot park site was formerly known as the “West Maple Canyon Mini-Park.”  On May 18, 2017, at the request of Uptown Planners, it was renamed after Waldo Waterman.  For over a decade it had been assumed the park would be named after Waterman.  On May 18, 2007, the Bankers Hill/Park West Community Association included it as part of its recommendations for how the new park should be designed. The recommendations also requested that: “A historic image of Waldo Waterman should be placed in the center of the site to commemorate the historic figure.”

That historic image will be an existing plaque that was placed at the west end of the park site on July 1, 1959, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Waterman’s flight. The plaque was placed by the “Early Birds of Aviation”, a national aviation organization, and the San Diego Historical Society.  The mayor of San Diego and other dignitaries were in attendance, as was Waldo Waterman himself, who spoke at the event.  The day prior, Waterman, who was still a licensed pilot, flew again over Maple Canyon.

In 1911, shortly after his first flight, Waterman became involved in a project to develop a new hybrid airplane/car/boat – know as the “whatsit” airplane. An owner could: “drive his amphibian aircraft away from the landing field or water.”  It got its name because when people first viewed it, their initial question was: “What is it”?  Waterman worked on the project for several decades, but eventually it was abandoned and the prototype plane donated to the Smithsonian Museum.  Waterman went on to become a TWA pilot, but at the same time continued his inventive work in aviation.

Waldo Waterman was not the only famed aviator associated with Bankers Hill.  In May 1927, a young 25-year old aviator left his temporary residence on Maple Street in Bankers Hill, only a few blocks east of Waldo Waterman Park, and flew a small plane that had been manufactured in San Diego to Paris.  His name was Charles Lindbergh.

The dedication of Waldo D. Waterman Park will take on October 25, 2017, from 10:30-11:00 p.m., at the park site.  There were dozens of people in Bankers Hill that helped make this park happen; and thanks to everyone involved.

Here are pictures of the new park:






Metro San Diego CDC Letter Re: Relocation of 14 DecoBike Bike Share Stations to Uptown


536 Maple Street, No. 103

San Diego, California 92103

(619) 822-5103


October 23, 2017
Ahmad Erikat, Brian Genovese

City of San Diego | Transportation & Storm Water Department

Transportation Engineering Operations Division

1010 Second Avenue, Suite 800, MS 608

San Diego, CA 92101


Dear Mr. Erikat & Mr. Genovese:

The Metro San Diego Community Development Corporation (“Metro San Diego CDC”) is a non-profit organization with representation from over 20 full blocks of property and business owners in the Uptown communities of Bankers Hill/Park West, the Hillcrest Commercial Core, and Five Points/Middletown. Both the Bankers Hill Business Group and Five Points/Middletown Business Association are affiliated with the Metro San Diego CDC, as well as are several local community associations.

At its October 16, 2017 meeting, the Metro San Diego CDC discussed the proposal to relocate 14 DecoBike stations from the Beach area to Uptown.  The Metro San Diego CDC found the proposed relocation puzzling.  Uptown has some of the lowest ridership per DecoBike station in the City of San Diego.  It appears on average the number of daily DecoBike rentals in Uptown is between one and two rides a day per station.  There is one station (#186) in Uptown that has not had a bike rented from it in all of 2017. Four stations have an average of less than one bike rental per day.  The normal business practice is to increase the supply of a product where there is a high demand; yet DecoBike is moving 14 of its stations from areas where they had a relatively higher ridership, to Uptown with possibility the lowest ridership in the city.

The Metro San Diego CDC passed the following motion regarding the proposed relocation of 14 DecoBike stations from the Beach area into Uptown:

1.) The Metro San Diego CDC opposes relocating the 14 DecoBike stations to Uptown, as the existing Uptown DecoBike stations are badly underutilized. This is a very poor business decision; the stations should be relocated into areas with high existing ridership, several of which exist outside of the Beach communities;

2.) The Metro San Diego CDC strongly opposes DecoBike stations being placed in locations that will result in the loss of existing street parking.  Several of the proposed stations are at sensitive locations in business districts; where there already is a critical shortage of parking.  In particular, the Metro San Diego CDC requests the following five proposed stations be removed from consideration for DecoBike stations, as each will result in the loss of two parking spaces or a parking space and a commercial loading zone:

+ Fifth Avenue & Washington Street;

+ Fifth Avenue & Pennsylvania Street;

+ Third Avenue & Washington Street;

+ Fifth Avenue & Nutmeg Street;

+ Park Boulevard & Cypress Street;

3.) The Metro San Diego CDC also strongly opposes the placement of two DecoBike stations on the east side of Sixth Avenue at the curb along Balboa Park. It has been the existing policy of the City to not allow commercial advertising in Balboa Park.  The two proposed Sixth Avenue Stations, at Sixth Avenue & Nutmeg Street and Sixth Avenue and Fir Street, will have advertising, so will violate this policy. They will also compromise the attractiveness of the park viewshed.

Sincerely yours,

Michael Seidel


Metro San Diego CDC



Metro San Diego CDC Letter Regarding the Conceptual Design of the San Diego AIDS Memorial



536 Maple Street, No. 103

San Diego, California 92103

(619) 822-5103


October 19, 2017


Dear Co-Chairs & Members of the AIDS Memorial Task Force:

As a result of an online design competition, a preferred conceptual design for the San Diego AIDS Memorial was put forward in early October 2017.  The proposed conceptual design will be considered for adoption by the San Diego AIDS Task Force at a future meeting. The San Diego AIDS Memorial will be placed within the Olive Street Park (“Woods McKee Park”) in Bankers Hill.

The Metro San Diego Community Development Corporation (“Metro San Diego CDC”) reviewed and discussed the proposed preferred conceptual design at its October 16, 2017 meeting.  Metro San Diego CDC members have been involved in the planning and development of the Olive Street Park for over a decade.  The proposed park consists of a northern parcel, which was donated to the City of San Diego over a decade ago by the Woods-McKee family for use as a park, and a southern parcel purchased by the City of San Diego in 2010. Both parcels together will become the future “Woods-McKee Park.”

The City of San Diego, because of limited funding, had indicated that the design/construction of the Olive Street Park would not take place until after about 2026.  However, as a result of the sale of the Truax House property in 2017, funds were obtained to begin the immediate design and construction of the future Olive Street Park, conditioned on the placing of the San Diego AIDS Memorial within the new park. The Metro San Diego CDC endorsed the placement of the AIDS Memorial in the Olive Street Park in a letter dated October 27, 2016.

The Metro San Diego CDC, after reviewing the preferred conceptual design of the San Diego AIDS Memorial, approved the following motion by a vote of 17-0:

1.) The Metro San Diego CDC is very favorably impressed with the preferred conceptual design, particularly that of the northern parcel and its cantilevered canyon lookout;

2.) As the AIDS Memorial was intended to be a memorial placed in a community park; the Metro San Diego CDC requests that the AIDS Task Force honor its previous commitment to not use more than 25% of the land within the proposed Olive Street Park for the AIDs Memorial.  This could be done through utilizing the preferred conceptual design for the northern parcel of the proposed park; while the southern parcel would be utilized for community park use;

3.) The Metro San Diego CDC recommends the proposed memorial path on the southern parcel with boulders with “names engraved of those lost” be removed from the preferred design concept.  The memorial path would be in close proximity to the neighborhood play structure, and having a memorial walk/memorialized rocks next to the children’s playground is inappropriate.  The memorial path and rocks should be relocated to the northern parcel;

4.) The proposed parking within the proposed park’s footprint along the west side of Third Avenue should be removed. It reduces the size of the future park, and there is already street parking on Third Avenue, as well as additional parking a few blocks away in Balboa Park;

5.) The medium tree in middle of Third Avenue is not part of the proposed park, and should not be included as part of the memorial.   It is unknown who has jurisdiction over medium with the tree, whether it’s the City of San Diego or an adjacent private property owner.

The Metro San Diego CDC again expresses it support for the AIDS Memorial being placed in Olive Street Park, and is very impressed with the preferred design conceptual, with the suggested modifications stated above.

Sincerely yours,

B. Michael Seidel

B. Michael Seidel, President,

Metro San Diego CDC



Metro San Diego CDC Meeting on Monday, October 16, 2017, 4:00-5:00 p.m.

Just a reminder of the Metro San Diego CDC Board/Charter Committee will meet tomorrow, Monday, October 16th, from 4:00-5:00 p.m.  The location will be the St. Paul’s Manor “Cafe Room” located at 328 Maple Street.  There is a buzzer at the door to press for entry.

Among items on the agenda:

  1. Gerrie Trussel, the director of the Uptown Parking District, will be present to discuss the proposal to relocate 14 DecoBike bike share stations from the beach area to Uptown. It would result in the loss of 10 parking spaces, and placement of 13 advertising panels — two of which be on the east side of Sixth Avenue along Balboa Park. Pasted below is the link to a recent San Diego UT article regarding the proposal;
  2. Bob Daniel, chair of the Western Slope Community Association, will provide an update regarding the “Quiet Zone” proposal moving forward for the railroad track along the western border of Uptown. The proposed Quiet Zone would limit the amount of horn noise a train could make while traveling along this rail corridor;
  3. Jake Sutton, the director of the Bankers Hill Business Group, will discuss the Bankers Hill Fall Festival that will take place on Saturday, October 21, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. along 5th and 4th Avenues in Bankers Hill;
  4. Leo Wilson will provide an update regarding the Olive Street Park, AIDS Memorial, and the proposed Uptown/Hillcrest Parking Garage;
  5. The Waldo E. Waterman Park, at 250 West Maple Street, will be formally dedicated on Wednesday, October 25th, between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m.

Leo Wilson,


Metro San Diego CDC


Metro San Diego CDC Social Mixer Held on September 28th

A great time at the Metro San Diego Community Development Corporation social mixer at Park Bistro Brasserie.  Over 35 in attendance; including Councilmember Chris Ward, and community leaders from Bankers Hill/Park West, Hillcrest Gateway Council & Balboa Park.   Toni Duran, on behalf of State Senator Toni Atkins, gave retiring board member Robert Grinchuk a certificate of appreciation for his decades of service to the community.

20170928_171744_resized_1 20170928_171432_resized

Metro San Diego Community Development Corporation Board of Directors for 2017-2018

The Board of Directors of the Metro San Diego Community Development Corporation for the next year has been seated.  On September 28, 2017, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., the Metro San Diego Community Development Corporation will host a social mixer, at which the new board of directors will be introduced and the goals and projects of the Metro San Diego CDC for the coming year will be discussed:


Metro San Diego

Community Development Corporation

Board of Directors: 2017-2018


Bud Alessio (General Partner /FAFC, Inc.)

Bob Daniel (Hilco Real Estate; Chair/ Western Slope Community Association)

Beth Jaworski, (Past UCSD Researcher, University Height)

Alexandra Jamason, (Director of International Relations, Manchester Fifth Avenue Financial Center; Manchester Financial Group)

Susan Jester (Public Relations & Media Director/ St. Paul’s Episcopal/Anglican Cathedral;  Co-Chair on the Mayor’s LGBT Advisory Council; California Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission )

Richard S. Ledford, Treasurer (President/ Ledford Enterprises; Palm Street Properties; St. Paul’s Senior Homes & Services)

Bruce E.  Leidenberger, Secretary (President/ La Jolla Pacific Group)

Jennifer Pesqueira, Vice President, Five Points/Middletown (Owner/ El Indio Mexican Restaurant; Co-chair/Five Points/Middletown Business Association)

Michael Seidel, President (Senior Partner/ E&D Ventures LTD; Co-chair, Bankers Hill/Park West Community Association)

Mercedes Sheehan (Asset Manager/ Greenwald Company; Director/ Uptown Hillcrest Gateway Council)

Christine Spalding (Past Administrative Canon/St. Paul’s Episcopal/Anglican Cathedral)

Dr. Alan Spector (President/ Park Laurel HOA; Board of Directors/ Balboa Park Conservancy)

Jake Sutton (Financial Advisor/ Edward Jones; President/ Bankers Hill Business Group)

Sara Steinhoffer, Vice President, Bankers Hill/Park West (VP Government Relations/Sharp Health Care)

Glen Younger (CEO Grah Lock /Past President/ Hillcrest Business Association)


Uptown News Guest Editorial:    http://sduptownnews.com/guest-editorial-will-uptown-finally-get-parking-garage/