In July 2019 hundreds of residents attended a Port of San Diego public outreach meeting at the Coronado Community Center with a unified message against a proposal in the ‘Discussion Draft’ of the Port Master Plan Update (PMPU). Their primary grievance was the allocation of up to 350 new hotel rooms near the Coronado Ferry Landing. The community voices, along with those of Coronado’s elected officials, were heard loud and clear by Port staff, and the advocacy was effective.
With significant revisions made to the Discussion Draft PMPU, the Port is reaching out to the public again for input regarding the changes.
“I’m proud of our (Port) response - it’s not often that you find a government agency that spends the extra time, effort, and money to reach out and listen, and adjust, to public opinion,” said Coronado Port Commissioner Garry Bonelli of the outreach and changes following the Draft PMPU.
Port Planning Director Lesley Nishihira agreed, “Two rounds of public review is unusual and such robust community involvement is not required for the EIR (Environmental Impact Report). We carefully digested all feedback and were very sincere in our efforts to improve the plan based on public input. The changes we made were significant and reflected public opinion.”
Over 4,000 pages of public comments were received and presented to the Board of Port Commissioners in September 2019. In response, the Board directed staff to make significant changes which are reflected in the ‘Revised Draft’ PMPU released in October 2020.
The three key points in the Revised Draft PMPU for Coronado residents to be aware of and, most importantly, provide feedback to the Port, are:
Zero increases in hotel rooms in the Port’s Coronado planning districts. (The 2019 draft proposed up to 360 new hotel rooms in the Silver Strand Planning District which includes Grand Caribe Isle, and up to 350 net new hotel rooms in the Bayfront Planning District)
A change in the designation of a 2.83 acre parcel on the northern portion of Grand Caribe Isle from Commercial Recreation to Recreation Open Space.
A 40 foot height limit and no-growth policy for the entire Bayfront Planning District, including future redevelopment of the Coronado Ferry Landing.
The Master Plan is a years-long process which began in 2013. Until a final plan is approved (likely in 2022), changes can still be made. Input on the PMPU will be accepted through Nov. 17, 2020, followed by another public Board workshop before the end of the year to present the public feedback and obtain Board direction. From there it will go through the EIR process and then final approval from the California Coastal Commission.
The Port has made it convenient to review the plan, with links to provide feedback prior to the Nov. 17, 2020 deadline: portofsandiego.org/pmpu.