San Antonio Regional Hospital has not presented to the public any alternatives to purchasing and building on publicly-owned parkland. For example, the hospital could build a parking structure on its current property or purchase adjacent private land.
The hospital also owns an approximately 10-acre parcel of undeveloped land less than a mile from its main campus that can be used for their expansion needs. This land consists of the strawberry patch on the northeast corner of Foothill Blvd. and Grove Ave. in Rancho Cucamonga.
Parkland Should Not Be Destroyed to Fund Park Improvements!
This land will NEVER be replaced, and land keeps its value over time while park upgrades do not. Park improvements could be funded in other ways; Upland has over $8 million inits park acquisition and development funds available, and more park grants could be pursued.
Upland City Policies Do Not Support This Sale! This sale contradicts the goals and policies of the 2015 Upland General Plan to preserve park space (OSC-3.1), wildlife habitat (OSC-1.1), and mature trees (OSC–2.6). In addition to public park space being permanently lost to a private, non-recreational hospital facility, mature native oak trees and other types of habitat for wildlife, like native birds, would be destroyed.
Public Open Space Is Limited! The demands on the remaining open space in the park will increase, especially with Upland's increasing population. The amount of true open space in the remaining park area is already limited due to the many buildings, fenced areas, and parking lots that already occupy the park.
Loss of Parkland Would Create an Environmental Injustice
The sale would create a social injustice for the lower-income and minority communities that surround Memorial Park by depriving them of recreational land. Memorial Park is the only green space accessible to hundreds of families living in apartments in the area and is a lifeline for those seeking relief from stress.
Environmental Impacts Have Not Been Evaluated and Presented
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires an evaluation and public presentation of the impacts that this loss of parkland would have on the community which should have occurred before Measure Q was placed on the ballot. In fact, a lawsuit was filed on August 28, 2020, by a local nonprofit group due to this violation of CEQA, amongst other procedural violations.
Parks Protect Our First Amendment Rights
City parks are considered "traditional public forums" where our rights to freedom of speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition our government are most protected.
Our Parkland Is Priceless! Parks provide many benefits that are often overlooked such as mental and physical health cost savings, tourism tax revenue, cooler city temperatures, flood protection, and temporary staging areas for responses to emergencies, like fires or even a pandemic!