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Thread: New Lot Search Information

  1. #1

    New Lot Search Information

    Hello everyone, I’m Larry Houghton and the new chairman of the San Diego Region, New Lot Search Committee. Todd Cameron was the initial chairman, but his new work schedule precluded his ability to continue in that role.

    In an effort to keep everyone apprised on the progress of acquiring a new lot, I am posting this information here on the SDR Forum and will continue to periodically update this post with the latest status. I will also post a short note on the San Diego SCCA Autocross Facebook page with a link to this thread, indicating new updates.

    Much has been going on in the background since last year when it became obvious that the Stadium would be going away and unavailable for running Solo Events. We were officially notified that as of 12/31/2018, the stadium would close. The New Lot Search Committee was formed with volunteer representatives and alternates from each club. Several meetings were held with the first order of business to scout possible new sites. The directive was to talk to their club members and come up with ideas for sites without preconceived ideas about the reality of using each site. A lengthy list of over 25 locations was compiled and then each site was visited to collect real information about the size, conditions of the surface, the surrounding areas, access, etc.

    In parallel with this effort, Todd contacted the San Diego chapters of the BMW and Porsche clubs to explore their efforts and suggest that the three organizations would be better served by joining forces in a lot search. That was accomplished, and the three organizations then shared their lot lists. (see attachment) Each site is listed with it’s approximate size and the conditions or reason the site was selected or not.

    More information is below.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by BM96; 02-13-2018 at 11:24 AM.

  2. #2
    There was an additional committee formed with representatives from SCCA, BMW and PCA. I have replaced Todd as the SCCA rep on that Future Autocross Site (FAS) committee. The need for a formal proposal was discussed and the framework was laid out. Sidney Chang generously offered to create the proposal that would be used to approach the final few sites that seemed best suited for success. The proposal has been completed and the final three possible sites identified. They are: Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach (Ream Field), Cal State Univ. San Marcos - Lot F and the Lake Elsinore Storm Stadium lot.

    The FAS Committee will approach all three locations, somewhat in parallel, with the hope of gaining access to at least one site. In the event that we gain access to more than one site, a decision will be made later as to how to schedule dates for 2019 season and beyond.

    The first group that we will approach is Naval Air Station North Island as they control our primary chosen site of the airport runway at Ream Field. Initial contact has been made and there was a positive response. The FAS is setting up a meeting with the Executive Officer and the Command Master Chief as soon as possible. This meeting will be attended by one representative from SCCA (myself), BMW and PCA, along with our two base contacts on the FAS committee. The proposal will be reviewed, questions answered, and details of the Navy’s concerns and requirements determined. If all proceeds well, the same FAS group will then meet with the Commanding Officer. The Navy has already requested contact information for other military bases where SCCA currently conducts Solo events. In my view, that request indicates a willingness to consider our request and I am gathering that information now.

    We are also getting the current contact information for the Cal State Univ. San Marcos - Lot F and the same FAS committee members will approach them soon.

    The Lake Elsinore Storm lot is in the Cal Club jurisdiction (Los Angeles area SCCA’s geographical boundaries), so we made contact and their BOD granted us permission to use the site. It is already being used for a driver training program. I will be contacting them in the coming weeks to gather details about the use of the lot and if everything is reasonable, and with the approval of the Solo board, I will attempt to schedule a one-day Solo, to be hosted by the San Diego Solo Committee, in the October/November time frame.

    As you may have seen in the news, there are two major efforts to redevelop the SDCCU (formally Qualcomm) Stadium site that may both be on the November ballot. But given the typical amount of time to design, conduct impact studies and acquire permits, etc., actual construction may be many months off. Although the city has stated that they will be closing the stadium at the end of the year, we are continuing to stay in contact on the chance that they may allow limited use past the end of this year.

    If anyone has any questions about the site selection, the process, etc., please post them here on the Forum and I will attempt to answer them in a reasonable timeframe.
    Last edited by BM96; 02-13-2018 at 11:29 AM.

  3. #3
    Larry and crew, thanks for all the hard work on this!!

    Steve

  4. #4
    Awesome work Larry and the rest of the committee members

  5. #5
    Another possibility, thinking a little outside the box so to speak. Why not lobby for a full on race course. Funded by the dealerships of San Diego (or Nationally). Using the East end of the San Diego Land fill, the area north of Kearny Mesa and just South of The Miramar Marine Air station West of I 15. The property is owned by the city of San Diego, produces no income to the city currently and due to the military presence is not suitable for residential development. Have it designed and paved by the participating auto dealerships to use to showcase their wares and also work as a world class race course. Corvette Owners Club, Cunningham BMW, Mercedes of San Diego as well as other commercial endeavors could and should get behind this. There is more than enough room for a full on road course as well as a large Nascar Oval, Drag strip for street racing and a parking lot for lots of fun. Chances for me living to see it would be slim and then there is the even less possibility of driving on it but it could be a good addition to San Diego and a money maker to boot.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Baby Blue View Post
    Another possibility, thinking a little outside the box so to speak. Why not lobby for a full on race course. Funded by the dealerships of San Diego (or Nationally). Using the East end of the San Diego Land fill, the area north of Kearny Mesa and just South of The Miramar Marine Air station West of I 15. The property is owned by the city of San Diego, produces no income to the city currently and due to the military presence is not suitable for residential development. Have it designed and paved by the participating auto dealerships to use to showcase their wares and also work as a world class race course. Corvette Owners Club, Cunningham BMW, Mercedes of San Diego as well as other commercial endeavors could and should get behind this. There is more than enough room for a full on road course as well as a large Nascar Oval, Drag strip for street racing and a parking lot for lots of fun. Chances for me living to see it would be slim and then there is the even less possibility of driving on it but it could be a good addition to San Diego and a money maker to boot.
    Thanks for the idea, Daryled. Obviously, this is way beyond the purview of the New Lot Search Committee. This would certainly be better taken up by the Region BOD's. Having been on the SDR BOD for eleven years in my past life, I can tell you there there was a significant amount of background effort to build a track in the county, and not only by the SCCA. There were some movers and shakers that had major financial backing and tried for some time to make a track, or at least an annual event similar to the Long Beach GP, happen. But there was also a portion of the power brokers that wanted no part of racing, period. What the current possibilities are, I have no idea.

    Daryled, since you are retired and have time on your hands, why don't you approach the Region BOD and offer to help investigate this idea? I'm not being flippant, but somebody has to get the ball rolling.

  7. #7
    Larry, Can you post Google map links to the 3 sites we are pursuing?
    Mark
    Mark, 1990 Van Diemen, CM
    You can try to make a street car into an autocrosser or you can do a lot less work and make a race car into a great autocrosser

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by FFwizard View Post
    Larry, Can you post Google map links to the 3 sites we are pursuing?
    Mark
    Sorry Mark, I saw this and then forgot to get the links. Old age and all that, you know. Here you go.

    Ream Field

    Cal State University San Marcos

    Lake Elsinore Storm

  9. #9

    March New Lot Search Update

    Good evening, I wanted to update everyone on the new lot search status.

    As mentioned previously, we are planning to meet with the Executive Officer and Command Master Chief at NAS North Island, to discuss the possibility of using the NOLF Imperial Beach (Ream Field). The command showed interest but asked that we postpone the meeting until the middle of March as they were preparing for and conducting a service wide operation and the command was very busy until it’s completion. We have acquired a couple of the requested contracts from the other SCCA Regions running on military bases back East.

    We also connected with MCAS Miramar to explore the option of using some of their areas, as well. There was an initial positive reception and they also requested copies of the contracts being used by other SCCA Regions. At this point, we anticipate a meeting later this month.

    Initial contact is being made at CSU San Marcos by one of the FAS members who used to work there and knew the contact. A tailored proposal has been completed, so that is ongoing.

    The lot at the Lake Elsinore Storm (minor league baseball) is used often during the season (April – early September). I have begun trying to contact people to get additional details about the use, cost, options, etc. for an October/November one day date. The calendar shows it’s fully available over the winter months, but I suspect there are other users just not shown on the team’s calendar. I’ll be following up on this tomorrow.

    And finally, a request.

    At the last Solo, I was approach by three different people wanting to help with this process. They were all active or retired military and thought their connections might be beneficial. Down the road, these military contacts might prove to be very beneficial. But I would request that everyone come through myself, rather than attempting to individually make contact at various bases or with staff. We are already operating at the command level at NASNI and MCAS Miramar, both of whom have been open and receptive to our initial discussions. We would like to continue these avenues and not potentially “muddy the waters” with other contacts. Thanks for your eager support and offers to assist in our efforts.

    As always, please respond here on the Forum with any ideas, questions or concerns. I’ll see everyone on the 18th.

  10. #10
    Thanks Larry, doing a great job and the communication is appreciated! Hopefully a meeting can be scheduled this month with the bases. Keep after ‘em!

    I posted a link to here on the SDR Autocross FB page.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by cpasti View Post
    Thanks Larry, doing a great job and the communication is appreciated! Hopefully a meeting can be scheduled this month with the bases. Keep after ‘em!

    I posted a link to here on the SDR Autocross FB page.
    Thanks, Peter. I don't know what's going on with the FB page. I don't see the link I posted and do not see yours either. It seems like the posts come and go depending on if I look at it on my phone, desktop or tablet and when I look. Very weird.

  12. #12
    Page linked to show directly now
    Last edited by cpasti; 03-10-2018 at 01:41 PM.

  13. #13

    3/14/18 Update

    On Wednesday, myself and two other FAS members met with the contact at Cal State University San Marcos. We were driven around the completely full parking lots to get a better feeling for the ability to conduct Solo events on Lot F. We also discussed many topics relating to our renting the facility. The Executive Summary is that the lot, and the facility as a whole, look like a very viable option for holding Solo events. The lot is approximately one half the size of the Southeast lot at SDCCU Stadium, but there didn’t appear to be any drainage ditch to cross!

    Now the details in no particular order.
    • Permanent restrooms are available and a short walk from the lot.
    • There is a fully equipped (electronics, displays, etc.) meeting room for 60 to 120 people available at no extra charge for Novice or Street Survival School training.
    • The parking lot lights are solar powered and are automatic, so night time setup/teardown is not a problem.
    • Campus security patrols the lots 24 hours/365 day a year.
    • The university has no summer classes, so there will not be anyone around during the summer months.
    • Setup Friday after 6:00 PM is Ok. During the summer when there are no classes, earlier setup would be possible.
    • Lot F has limited access. There is only one vehicle entrance and three open pedestrian access areas in the fence line. This will make controlling the lot very easy.
    • The surface is pristine and what appears to be a slurry seal coating and lined for parking. I suspect the grip may not be optimal, but that remains to be experienced.
    • There are permanent trash and recycle cans at the light poles.
    • Light pole spacing is good, similar to the stadium and more than acceptable for all safety requirements.
    • The lot is surrounded by two earthen and rock sloping hillsides to the south and east.
    • Condos and apartments are to the west, but they are all student housing.
    • We were told that they have held late night loud concerts in the lot and no noise complaints followed. Our current sound policies should be acceptable.
    • Authorization for overnight camping will need to be researched by the campus staff, but the initial reaction was that it should be possible.
    • CSUSM wants to be a community hub, encouraging users of all types.
    • A small section on the northeast has berms that would preclude that area being used for the course. But it could be part of the pit area.
    • They are willing to schedule out one year in advance, with some minor exceptions during high use times at the university.
    • During a two-day event, CSUSM would place “No Weekend Parking” signs at the lot entrance early Friday morning to ensure no cars were left on the lot.
    • They will get back to us soon with a blueprint of the lot and final pricing.
    • They are currently charging another group substantially less than what we are currently paying to rent the stadium. Without the need to rent Porta-Potties, the additional savings would be very helpful.
    • They have contracts with three food trucks and are presently trying to expand the number to increase variety. We could use any of these vendors.

    Now the minor potential issue. The lot is currently used by another group most every weekend. The university has, for several reasons, wanted to move them to a smaller lot as they don’t use the entire lot area. The university is moving forward with that idea soon which should enable us to rent the lot often.

    The current plan is to have them send us an application for use and tell us the final pricing and insurance requirements. We discussed that each of the three groups, SCCA, PCA and BMW, would like to run a sample event in the second half of the year before committing to more. Once we know the second half stadium schedule in late May or so, we can select dates for trial events. This will also give the university time to move the current users to another lot.

    Please continue to the next post for details about our meeting with the Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station North Island.
    Last edited by BM96; 03-14-2018 at 10:21 PM.

  14. #14

    3/14/18 Update Page 2

    Today, myself and a representative from PCA and BMW met with the Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station North Island to discuss the use of Ream Field. Also in attendance were the Officer In Charge of the Ream Field base, a JAG officer (lawyer) and a civilian facilities expert. The meeting went well and was an introduction to the command of who we are and what we were interested in doing. The meeting was exploratory on both sides. Questions were asked and mostly answered by both groups. Considering this very early stage, the meeting went as well as I hoped. The short version is that they did not say “No” to the idea of our running on Ream Field.

    Prior to the meeting, we had provided them with our proposal, copies of contracts from other military bases hosting SCCA Solo events and some contact information at other bases. We went through details on the number of events and entrants we would like, the current rental rates at the stadium, support of the military that we were offering, safety, security, insurance, etc.

    The CO indicated that there was no way they could support the number of events we were requesting (SCCA – 30 to 35 days). His initial statement was maybe once a quarter. We discussed the available areas that they were willing to allow us access to, which is less than we had hoped for, but still reasonable. Depending on where we could actually place a course, it would be similar in size, or a little larger than the Southeast lot. More on this below.

    Based on the questions and responses from the JAG officer, we didn’t get the feeling that there were any legal issues involved. She needed to check one item but believed there would be no problems.

    Some positive takeaways were:
    • They are still open to some usage of the base. They want to review some logistic requirements involved with our gaining access and use of the base and weight that against the benefits we would provide to the personnel. This needs to make sense for both the Navy and the autocross groups.
    • The facilities expert happens to be a long time PCA member and participates in HPD events and has run many autocrosses over the years in other parts of the country.
    • The Officer in Charge of Ream Field seamed very open to the idea, but naturally wants to evaluate where and how much area we could use.
    • There are no scheduled flight operations on the weekends.

    Some issues/requirements that we would need to adapt to include:
    • No access would be available on Fridays to set up a course as they conduct flight ops until 8:00 PM during the week.
    • There would be no smoking on the base, or at least where we would be.
    • The entire area would need to be closely inspected after every event, by our people, for FOD (Foreign Object Damage), i.e. anything on the surface that might be sucked into engines and cause damage to equipment.
    • We would need an emergency plan in the event of any emergency landing that might take place while we were there.
    • There are some jet fueling rigs near the area that we would use, and the exact location needs to be identified in order to define course limits. If a decision is made to proceed with granting us access for events, we would be given a detailed tour of the site and work with the base personnel to define the specific areas where we could place a course design.
    • They are concerned that allowing us onto the base might open the floodgates for other car clubs, etc., to demand access.

    So again, this initial meeting was a get acquainted and information sharing session that resulted in a continuation of the evaluation of the potential for our usage. Had there been any showstoppers that surfaced, I’m sure that the answer would have just been a quick “No”. But they are going to continue looking into the idea and the earliest we could expect a tour of the base to define the area boundaries would be next month due to personnel schedules.

    Since it was made clear that we could not use the base multiple times per month, it is obvious that this opportunity would be only one option of multiple sites (CSUSM) we might use. But if they decide to move forward, it would be the proverbial “foot in the door” and maybe we could gain additional dates in the future.

    We were told a while back that the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar command would be unavailable to meet with us for a couple of weeks. Yesterday’s visit by the President was obviously the primary reason for the delay and we are now hoping to schedule a meeting with the Marines in the coming weeks.

    I view all the events of the week as very positive and I am convinced that we will have at least one location to continue running in the future.

    Please post any questions or comments here on the Forum page and I will attempt to respond in a timely manner.

  15. #15
    Thanks Larry. Maybe CSUSM as a primary and Ream as a site for back to back weekend SCCA National Champ and Pro Solo once a year, and an event for the military. Were they thinking once a quarter for each club, or just once a quarter? Still a tough road for a base, but sounds like the same concerns that have derailed it before. Great work though, much appreciated!

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by cpasti View Post
    Thanks Larry. Maybe CSUSM as a primary and Ream as a site for back to back weekend SCCA National Champ and Pro Solo once a year, and an event for the military. Were they thinking once a quarter for each club, or just once a quarter? Still a tough road for a base, but sounds like the same concerns that have derailed it before. Great work though, much appreciated!
    We are not sure about the CO's "once a quarter" comment and didn't want to press him at this stage. But at this time, I would say that CSUSM would be the primary site. The problem as I understand it now is that weekdays are off the table due to flight ops at Ream Field. That would mean no possibility of a Tour or Pro there as they always want to use at least Friday and we prefer to setup beginning on Thursdays.

  17. #17
    Also something to remember with the base access portion, if their pass and decal would allow us to inspect and gain a pass similar to a contractor pass they could control access and male entry the day of a little faster. Racers would need to plan for gate traffic to get on base as security will be slow the first fee times. I am qualified for those watches and can provide a gate liaison or even armed watch to augment the people the need to provide for us. If need be i can spin up sone of my guys who need volunteer hours for work to come and augment them on those days also. This is just if them providing bodies becomes an issue.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtrhd329 View Post
    Also something to remember with the base access portion, if their pass and decal would allow us to inspect and gain a pass similar to a contractor pass they could control access and male entry the day of a little faster. Racers would need to plan for gate traffic to get on base as security will be slow the first fee times. I am qualified for those watches and can provide a gate liaison or even armed watch to augment the people the need to provide for us. If need be i can spin up sone of my guys who need volunteer hours for work to come and augment them on those days also. This is just if them providing bodies becomes an issue.
    Thank you for the idea and offer. We'll see how all this plays out over the coming weeks.

  19. #19
    Awesome work Larry.
    CAM is good...

  20. #20
    Fair point on the weekday issue, although we could get by with Friday setup. They would be potentially awesome events though...

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