Memorial Park Saved!
Photo: This is a view facing southwest towards the ball field and surrounding area that was up for sale in Memorial Park. San Antonio Regional Hospital can be seen in the background.
On March 26, 2018, the Upland City Council approved the sale of 12% (the southern ball field and its surrounding area) of our historic and lovely Upland Memorial Park to San Antonio Regional (SAR) Hospital. The hospital wanted this area for a new medical building and more parking.
On May 16, 2018, the city of Upland asked the superior court in San Bernardino to approve the parkland sale via a lawsuit so that the city would NOT have to comply with Government Code Sections 38440-38462 that requires the city to have a 20-day public notice, a public hearing, and an election before a parkland sale can be completed.
One year later on May 29, 2019, Judge Cohn ruled that it was ILLEGAL for the city of Upland to ask the court to validate their sale of Memorial Park land, so the case was thrown out. For clarification, the court did NOT determine whether or not the sale itself was valid, but that the court could not make a decision on this type of case, a validation action.
On July 27, 2020, Mayor Stone, Mayor Pro Tem Zuniga, and Councilmember Velto voted in support of an ordinance that called for an election to abandon and discontinue use of this 4.63 acres of Upland Memorial Park so that it could be sold to SAR Hospital. Thus, on November 3, 2020, voters were asked to decide the fate of our beautiful Memorial Park by voting on the "City of Upland Memorial Park Measure," also known as Measure Q.
People for Upland Parks and many others in our Upland community asked Upland voters to Stop the Sale by voting "no" on Measure Q and on November 3, 2020, Upland voters defeated Measure Q.
Why Did People Vote No?
This sale of 4.6 acres of public parkland would have decreased the quality of life and environment for Upland residents and their surrounding communities. The money from this sale could not replace the invaluable public parkland that would have been lost.
Although we value San Antonio Regional Hospital and their efforts to curb the Covid 19 pandemic, public parkland is a priceless treasure that we could not afford to lose. Voters should not have been asked to subsidize the private business interests of the hospital.