Pacific Beach planners on par with Mission Bay Park proposal
Published - 12/15/16 - 04:15 PM | 3904 views | 6 6 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The De Anza area of Mission Bay Park is getting a facelift. / Photo by Thomas Melville
The De Anza area of Mission Bay Park is getting a facelift. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Pacific Beach Planning Group voted 8-6 on Nov. 30 against a proposal that Mission Bay Golf Course not be included in recommendations to be made to the city on how the 120-acre De Anza Special Study Area within Mission Bay Park is to be redeveloped.

“So the 'golf section' will be stricken from verbiage in the document (recommendations) Pacific Beach Planning Group will send to other (community) groups and the city,” said Chris Olson, representing PBPG on a broad-based city parks committee studying De Anza's redevelopment. “I will present it as the PBPG could not pass a motion with this section included.”

The golf course vote came following a spirited debate between PBPG chair Brian Curry and a golf professional in the audience. Curry argued golf course popularity nationwide is waning. The golf professional countered that is not true in San Diego, where golf demand he said remains strong, especially amongst youth.

“I'd like to see the golf course preserved as much as possible,” said PBPG board member Baylor Triplett.

Fellow planner Tony Franco concurred, noting Mission Bay Golf Course has been a part of the fabric of the beach community for 60 years.

Led by the City of San Diego, the De Anza Revitalization Plan project seeks to re-imagine, repurpose and revitalize De Anza regional park, along with its 120-acre Special Study Area. That area is comprised of De Anza Cove Park and the surrounding uses including Mission Bay Golf Course, Mission Bay Boat and Ski Club, Bob McEvoy Athletic Field and Mission Bay Tennis Club.

The city is about midway through its three-year planning process, which seeks to update the planning blueprint for the regional park via an amendment to the Mission Bay Master Plan guiding park development. The master plan's ultimate goal is to create an iconic destination that balances recreation, environment and commerce.

“This has been a longtime waiting, everyone wants to see what's going to happen to De Anza,” said Curry adding, “This is a pretty good problem to have.”

Presenting a slideshow, Olson noted there are four major components to the park's special study area — Mission Bay Golf Course, guest housing accommodations (RVs, campers), athletic fields and planned wetlands habitat restoration.

“All are important, but they all take up a lot of space,” he said adding it's unlikely all four can be kept. “We have to eliminate something,” Olson said.

Olson pointed out the city-operated golf course is “in the weakest position,” given that it's lost money for the past decade. “It's hard to make an economically viable golf course that is compatible with adjacent land uses,” he added.

De Anza serves a plethora of recreational and sports uses besides golf including tennis courts, rapidly growing and underserved beach volleyball, soccer and baseball. Proponents of sports user groups turned out to plead with PBPG to retain — or expand — recreational sports uses in the park.

Karen Zirk, of Friends of Rose Creek, pointed out there are environmental resources, including planned wetlands restoration, which are equally important to the park's welfare. Zirk noted the existing Kendall-Frost Reserve is a remnant of a once much larger wetlands habitat. Another audience member pointed out even that remnant is threatened by drought conditions, which have kept fresh water from flowing into wetlands harming plant life and threatening wildlife species, some endangered.

Kristen Victor, of beautifulPB, promoted eco-tourism noted the study area's redevelopment is a prime opportunity to put principles of environmental sustainability into practice.

Regarding guest accommodations, Olson said it's assumed the Coastal Commission will not approve a plan without affordable visitor accommodations.

“But this assumption has not been tested,” Olson said adding, Also the MB Master Plan states very clearly that Campland will be relocated in this area.”

Olson concluded that “PBPG is showing leadership, taking on a very difficult task by confronting a complex and emotional issue that will have huge implications for decades to come. We will send this document to our EcoDistrict Partners so they can take action as they see appropriate.”

For more information about the plan and the process, visit

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Bob M
December 17, 2016
So it's basically the PG wants to get rid of campland. Then move campland to De Anza Cove.

The environmentalists have a bug up their ass over the golf course but don't have the votes even though these groups have no authority.

So we get land and give up land at the same time. Genius!

How about cleaning Rose sewer before expanding "wetlands".

The golf course should stay . its by the freeway anyway. Leave campland where it is and start fixing the creek which flows form a landfill BTW.
Chris Olson
December 16, 2016
Update: The Board of Directors for both beautifulPB and PB Town Council have voted in support of the 11 page PB Planning Group response. Additionally, they voted to add these points:

1. Eliminate MB Golf Course from the planned area

2. Expand the project study area to prevent “planning in a silo” and allow for consideration of relationships to adjacent concurrent planning efforts, land uses, and future transit oriented development along and around Mission Bay Drive

3. Embrace the Ecotourism concept as described on page 7 of the PBPG document.

4. Meet regularly with key planners of the ReWild Mission Bay project and use their input, including the technical reports and input from their public meetings to inform plans for expanded and improved habitat restoration in the De Anza Revitalization Plan. Recognize that competing uses of the De Anza Revitalization Plan do not have to be balanced within the planning area. The De Anza Revitalization Plan should attempt to move towards creating a balance within the entire park.

4. The community garden is an important element that supports the EcoDistrict Principles and will serve as an example for visitors to this area.
John (PB resident)
December 22, 2016
As a resident, homeowner, with kids in the local schools I have listened closely to what you guys have been saying.

The community garden makes no sense. It's not close to a community. Therefore, to get there you will have people driving to it. How is that eco friendly? Basically as you state "it will serve as an example". In other words, window dressing instead of an actual, functioning garden that is integrated into a "community". Ultimately it appears that how things look is going to be the major driver of this thing with an inordinate amount of the land being for our eyes instead of actually allowing Californians to use the park.

Based on my reading over the past year, the environmental group is very loud and has the ear of this committee above other stakeholders. Stating they would meet regularly with this group and use their input from their public meetings acknowledges this. Should the other stakeholders start having public meetings so that you have a balanced perspective or is it your intention to be unbalanced.

I would like to see statistics on actual usage of various elements of the park. That would include proposed estimates as well.

My guess as to how it would rank:

1. Mission Bay Baseball fields which includes youth baseball, soccer, and adult leagues such as Vavi, etc..

2. Day use Park visitors

3. RV and camping visitors

4. Tennis

5. Golf

IMO the elements should be weighted to the usage rate. Instead half of the project will be set aside of unusable land that we get to look at or that very few people use.

December 16, 2016
How confusing is this article. Just tell us, did the PBPG recommend the Golf Course stay or not??
Chris Olson
December 16, 2016
It is confusing because the PBPG could not agree on what to do with the golf course. So they just voted to eliminate a recommendation on it from the eleven page document they approved. The document clearly supports all other land uses: athletic fields, visitor camping accommodations and habitat as well as EcoTourism. There was not a consensus to either eliminate or keep the golf course.
December 16, 2016
Sounds to me like they took the easy way out!
Comments are back! Simply post the comment (it'll complain about you failing the human test) then simply click on the captcha and then click "Post Comment" again. Comments are also welcome on our Facebook page.