One of San Diego’s most popular indoor play spaces is facing closure due to a city zoning issue.
After six years at their Bay Ho location, the owners of Kid Ventures discovered in 2012 they would have to close their doors because their building on Santa Fe Street was zoned for industrial use by the city.
At that time, owner Darren Solomon asked then-Mayor Bob Filner for help, and after visiting the gym, he promised to solve the problem.
“So we were told last year we could stay, which we were very excited about,” said Solomon.
But six months later, Filner’s political career was on the ropes, and city planners again told Kid Ventures’ owners they were violating the zoning law.
Now, if they don’t move soon, they face thousands of dollars in penalties.
Solomon told NBC 7 they’ve found other spaces to present to the city, but they’re in the same zone.
Other businesses on the street are non-industrial and also cater to the public, according to Solomon, so they’re hoping City Hall can change the zoning or make an exception.
Parents who need a place to take their kids on rainy days share that hope.
“My two little girls love climbing up the castle and pretend to play, whether it’s pirates or princesses,” said mother Jennie Chonka.
Kid Ventures has hired an attorney to help them find a solution with City Hall.
The mayor’s office declined to comment on the situation, saying only that it’s a legal issue.
The children’s gym has two other locations that are not affected by the zoning issue.