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?
Over the next ten years it is inevitable we will experience new development along the bayside area of Coronado at the Ferry Landing and current Smart & Final site. Some of this development will be subject to local control and some of the development will be outside of local control. However, any development will be influenced by our community and the city council. Whether this new development complements our community or adversely impacts us will require strong and visionary leadership.
Redeveloping the Ferry Landing is subject solely to approval by the Port of San Diego. Although the city does not control development in this area, we do have influence. Through this influence, the community and city council successfully lobbied the Port of San Diego last year to remove any potential for a new hotel which would have been incompatible with surrounding residential area. Going forward, we should insist any new development be low-profile with minimal impact to the surrounding neighbors, increase outdoor spaces, and access to the bay to promote an active lifestyle, enhance ferry service to encourage people to travel without a car. As I mentioned earlier, the Port of San Diego will have the final say in any new development at Ferry Landing, but we will have the ability to influence the decision to create a new destination for our residents to enjoy as well.
The Smart & Final site is the largest most underdeveloped site within the business district of Coronado. While currently zoned exclusively for commercial use, the site could be ideal for a mixed-use development to help the city meet a portion of our state housing mandate, if necessary, while minimizing impact to our residential community. A mixed-use development will result in more noise, traffic and parking congestion, but this site is probably the best situated location to minimize the impact to surrounding neighbors. Ultimately the intensity of development will be determined based on the result of our lawsuit with SANDAG, input from the community, and negotiations with the developer. I am confident that we can work with the owners to create a project at this site which best complements our existing residential community.
With strong leadership and vision, we will be able to influence future development at the Ferry Landing to complement our existing community with new open space, bay access, recreational outlets, and low-profile commercial space. We’ll also be able to create the potential for a mixed-use development at the Smart & Final site that fits our existing community and helps meet state mandates with minimal impact to neighbors. Change in these locations is inevitable, but with a committed, hands-on, professional approach, we can create a situation where the downsides are minimized and the opportunities are enjoyed by our entire community.