The board also formed a subcommittee to respond to the San Diego Housing Commission’s proposed five-acre redevelopment of the property at Famosa and Nimitz.
The San Diego Unified Port District was created in 1962 to manage 34 miles of San Diego Bay waterfront along Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego including Shelter Island. The lands are to be used to benefit the statewide public in enhancing commerce, navigation, fisheries and recreation.
Lesley Nishihira of the Port of San Diego presented on the the ongoing port’s master plan update noting the plan calls for La Playa Trail enhancement in the Peninsula, as well as creating more hotel rooms on Shelter Island.
“No on new hotel rooms in Shelter Island,” argued one audience member.
Another Peninsulan warned restroom improvements in the master plan could “attract drug use.”
One resident labeled a proposal to waive height limits to build more hotel rooms as “obscene with no parking.”
“Put them on Harbor Island, nobody goes over there,” reacted another Peninsulan half-jokingly.
“This document is not set in stone, we’re looking for your feedback on the process,” answered Nishihira.
When asked what the public benefits were in the master plan update, Nishihira said, “increasing public access to our shoreline and creating public pathways and walkways."
“We’re trapped at the end of the most dangerous peninsula in San Diego,” said board member Margaret Virissimo. “Point Loma is the Mecca for events. We’re trapped here, congested. We don’t need anything else.”
“Increasing the height limit is absurd,” said board member Robert Tripp Jackson. “What about maintaining crosswalks and lighting? Let’s concentrate on stuff like that.”
“The district’s mission is to provide different uses on state lands,” said board member Jim Hare.
“The 30-foot, voter-approved height limit, everybody is really serious about that,” pointed out board member Lucky Morrison.
July 31 was the deadline for public comment on the Port Master Plan Update.
In other action:
• Roberto Garcia from the U.S. Census Bureau presented on the upcoming 2020 Census. By law, a census head count of population everywhere in the country is done every 10 years. The information gleaned is used for things like reapportioning political and school districts based on population.
“The census is the bedrock of our democracy,” Garcia said. “People not counted do not get political representation.”
Garcia added about a quarter million San Diegans are considered hard to count. He said postcard Census questionnaires will be sent out to everyone in the general population. A citizenship question will not be on the 2020 Census, Garcia added.
• Board chair Robert Goldyn said he could not comment at present on ongoing litigation by board member Don Sevrens filed against the planning group in June over a controversy involving allegations of promoting candidate slates in the March elections in opposition to the group’s bylaws. Sevrens sued, naming PCPB board members as defendants in an alleged violation of First Amendment and civil rights. His lawsuit also challenges provisions in City policy 600-24 governing community planning groups.