Coronado City Council considers memorial plaque policy

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CORONADO, Calif. -- No matter where you are in Coronado, you’re bound to find plaque-covered amenities that serve as memorials to honor members of the community.

But what if one of those memorial trees had to be removed or cut down? Or the city decided to redevelop an area?

Coronado City Councilman Mike Woiwode says those are important questions the city council plans to consider Tuesday night, as they don’t currently have a policy that addresses those possibilities. He says the expectations of the donors need to be clarified.

Woiwode says traditionally, most people wanting the naming rights to such items just had to provide a donation. But in many situations, the donation fails to cover the cost of the installation.

Claire Wilson wanted to honor her late son Van Andrew Wilson with a memorial in Coronado, where the young Navy SEAL had spent his last few years and had many friends. Wilson chose an outdoor bench in a lavender garden overlooking Glorietta Bay.

But if for some reason, years from now, the city decides to build over the garden, will that memorial be moved or just disappear?

“A hundred years from now, is it the family’s expectation that that thing will still be there?” Woiwode said. “It’s really about finding the best way to let people honor their loved ones and still permit the city to carry out its basic functions and provide services to all the facilities available to all the public.”

Tuesday night is the first time the city council will look at this issue and staff will make recommendations on which the public can comment. The council will then consider what kind of policies should be put forth.

Until then, the hundred memorial plaque requests the city currently has will remain on hold.

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