The Bayside area of Coronado, from Orange Avenue to A Avenue faces the potential for significant change, from development proposals for the Coronado Ferry Landing, to HG Fenton ownership (and potential development) of the Smart & Final lot. What do you see as desirable for that area of Coronado and how would you as a City Council member have the City be engaged in that process?
Thank you for this very important Question. Coronado has always had the tools to keep Coronado Special, I just think that for the past 20 years or so, Council/Staff has been reluctant to use those tools. Sometimes I shake my head (as I know many residents do) at the choice of businesses, and the number of them that are springing up. I would love to see Coronado become more eclectic, more unique in our choice of businesses. I would suggest we are better served by having a more “resident centric,” and a more “diverse” business community.
I think having a broader base of businesses (wider selection) also helps people shop locally. I think when someone leaves Coronado to buy a product that is unavailable here, they tend to shop for other items as well. I also wonder about competition within certain sections of Coronado’s business Community. While competition is good, is having 63 restaurants (at last personal count) overkill. Are they fighting for a number of customers that just can’t support that many restaurants (especially in the winter months)? Are they having to draw “out of towners” just to stay in business?
Having said all that, I am a firm believer in using the “carrot rather than the stick.” I think that if Coronado wants a particular business, one which fits the needs of her residents, and her charm, we need to be willing to incentivize that particular type of business. I think the Village Theater is/was a good example of that.
In closing, I think it is a bad idea for Council to become too involved in dictating what should or should not happen in Coronado. I really think we already have the zoning laws in place to limit what can and can’t be done. Having said that, there are still some things I think council can avoid doing that will help keep Coronado’s unique and special small-town feel. No more Hotels. No new high-density mixed usage developments. No new (or very limited) chain stores (I say limited because if Smart and Final leaves I think it’s important to get another Grocery Store in that space).
Thank you for reading considering this.