Several neighbors also complained to the board about the contents of its recent letter to the City regarding a controversial work force housing project at Famosa and Nimitz boulevards.
What’s being billed as the “most extensive improvement” in the San Diego International Airport's 90-year history, a long-term project is underway to replace the 51-year-old Terminal 1. That project is to include a new on-airport entry, with a dual-level roadway and curb front.
The airport plan would also expand close-in parking and make major airfield efficiency improvements. There is presently a 45-day review period for the project's newly released draft environmental impact report, which can be viewed at san.org/plan and commented on at [email protected]
“The broader goal of the airport development plan is to optimize the airport for the growing need and demand for air travel in the future,” said Ted Anasis, San Diego International Airport's manager of planning.
Anasis noted the airport accommodated 22 million passengers last year, the most ever, placing it among the top 30 airports nationally in commercial passenger service.
“We are anticipating another banner year serving more than 60 domestic and nine international destinations,” Anasis said. “San Diego Airport is a critical economic driver in the region contributing $12 billion annually to the region’s economy.”
Added Anasis, “The single runway at San Diego International Airport will not be expanded. We would like to construct a new airport entry three-lane, free-flowing roadway utilizing 12 acres of airport property connecting to Terminals 1 and 2. It would serve a new Terminal 1 replacement.”
Current plans for Terminal 1’s replacement call for adding three more additional gates than the present structure. If approved, the new terminal would open in 2023. The project cost is estimated not to exceed $3 billion. The project would be funded primarily through ongoing user fees.
Work force housing
Some residents have taken issue with a letter from PCPB dated July 19 and sent to District 2 Councilmember Lorie Zapf and the City.
Excerpts from that letter read: “… a significant unmet demand for work force housing exists in the Peninsula. However, unlike other San Diego communities, which have encouraged and supported the development of rental housing to accommodate work force families, the Peninsula has not been successful in attracting enough affordable rental housing to sustain our community over the long term. … For any community to be sustainable from generation to generation, it must maintain a housing stock that is available and affordable to families at all income levels.”
Several residents, some from Park Point Loma near the project site, spoke out at the group’s July 19 meeting. They complained planners weren’t listening to their expressed desire to see the approximately five-acre proposed work force housing site turned into a public park or left as open space.
San Diego Housing Commission reps previously told the plan group and residents that they are required to continue to investigate the feasibility of developing the site for work force housing. The property, owned by the SDHC since 1955 following a binding public vote then, is not zoned for a park or open space.
SDHC added changing zoning on the property to park or open space would require a majority vote of the City Council.