This planning endeavor presents all of us with a rare opportunity to decide how our bay and the surrounding waterfront should be nurtured for decades to come, for us, for our children, and for our grandchildren.
The Port’s first Master Plan was adopted by the Board of Port Commissioners in 1980 and certified by the California Coastal Commission in 1981. Sections of the Master Plan have been revised since then, but this is the first time we’ve conducted a comprehensive update.
We need everyone at the table – from those who live near and work on and around San Diego Bay to the environmental community and recreational enthusiasts.
That’s why, for the past several months in numerous communities around San Diego Bay, we’ve been holding public meetings and also have met with various community planning, maritime, environmental, and economic organizations along with various government agencies. Since May, with more than 60 public meetings and feedback received online, we have heard from thousands of people including more than 3,000 letters expressing ideas and concerns.
In late August, we held a large public meeting in Point Loma. I want to thank everyone who turned out for it. I was there as were two of my fellow Port commissioners. We wanted to hear directly from the community. And that we did.
Many are concerned with the future of the La Playa piers, while others have reservations about narrowing Scott Street. And nearly everyone is opposed to the number of hotel rooms that are proposed for Shelter Island under the current draft of the plan.
Let me assure you, we hear you.
What’s important to remember is that the draft Master Plan is just that – a draft. It is a document that will evolve based in part on public input.
On Monday, Sept. 16, the Board of Port Commissioners will meet to review the feedback we’ve received so far and listen to additional public comment. We will then give guidance to Port staff, which I am confident will result in significant changes to the draft plan.
The meeting will take place at 1 p.m. at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. Free parking will be provided for meeting attendees. I invite you to attend and provide our full board of Port Commissioners with your thoughts about the future of San Diego Bay – one of our region’s greatest assets, offering enormous environmental, economic and recreational benefits.
If you’re unable to attend and would like to submit your comments through email, please send them to PMPU@portofsandiego.org. I also encourage you to visit portofsandiego.org/pmpu to learn more and to stay up to date as we continue to move through this process.
No final decisions on the plan will be made at the board meeting next week. The meeting will help staff write a proposed plan that can be analyzed under state law. Additional public review must occur before any plan update can be approved.
We all have a stake in what happens on, in, under, and around San Diego Bay.
On behalf of our board, thank you for participating in this important endeavor. I look forward to seeing you on the 16th.
Bonelli is chairman of the board of Port Commissioners.