SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The city's Balboa Park Committee will solicit public comment on a plan to ban vehicles from the park's Plaza de Panama during a 9 a.m. meeting Saturday.
The Park and Recreation Board committee will meet at the Balboa Park Club to discuss a privately funded, $33 million project to make the plaza north of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion more pedestrian friendly.
Philanthropist and former Qualcomm chief executive Irwin Jacobs headed the fundraising effort.
The plan calls for traffic to be diverted from the Cabrillo Bridge around the Museum of Man, and for construction of an underground parking garage, with a rooftop garden, behind the organ pavilion.
Bruce Coons, of the Save Our Heritage Organisation, supports the proposed ban on cars, but said the current plan "is extremely destructive and would forever alter the iconic Cabrillo Bridge and the historic landscape, and would hide the most important character-defining features of the front entrance to this National Register district."
Coons said the plan is at odds with the Interior Department's standards for historic properties, because it would alter the entrance. Most preservation organizations are against the proposal, he said.
Plaza de Panama, along with many of Balboa Park's architectural center pieces, was built for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, but since the 1960s has primarily been used as a parking lot.
Mayor Jerry Sanders said the plaza was designed as a gathering place for park visitors and a hub of cultural activities, but was converted into a few dozen parking spaces.
He hopes to have the project completed in time for the 2015 centennial celebration of the Panama-California Exposition.
National City police were responding to a shooting scene with "multiple victims'' Saturday morning, but it was unclear if there were any fatalities, according to officials.
Extremely hot weather in San Diego County's deserts is expected to persist Friday through early next week and temperatures in other inland areas will spike on Sunday.
A 30-year-old man who was hit by a car in San Marcos while jaywalking Saturday morning died in a hospital, according to San Diego County sheriff's officials.
A town hall meeting meant for veterans to share their experiences with civilians who haven't gone through combat is scheduled for Saturday in El Cajon.
A 12-year-old Oceanside boy who went missing from a Kaiser hospital in Irvine was found safe Saturday morning in Mission Viejo and turned over to a family member, according to Irvine police.
Two Subway sandwich shops in San Diego were robbed at gunpoint Friday, possibly by the same masked thief, authorities reported.
Home surveillance cameras captured two women stealing mail right out people’s mailboxes in a Rancho Penasquitos neighborhood this week.
Short-term lodging service Airbnb on Friday released a report about the $420 million impact it has on San Diego’s economy.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of one of San Diego's most treasured attractions - SeaWorld's Bayside Skyride. Since 1967, more than 20 million guests have soared above Mission Bay on its iconic gondolas.
Investigators working to identify and track down a man who fatally assaulted a well-liked transient in downtown Ocean Beach released surveillance-camera footage of the suspected killer Friday.