No hotel on the Ferry Landing, or anywhere in Coronado within Port jurisdiction. Commissioner Garry Bonelli did a cordial reversal this week, with a very well organized by-invitation meeting of concerned Coronado citizens. It was a graceful backing down, but island folks must stay alert. We could tell this is not exactly over, because: 

It is possible the Coronado Ferry Landing lessee has been allowed by Port management to let that property deteriorate by way of preparation for some kind of massive redevelopment on the site.

Mention was made of taking out Il Fornaio like they obliterated Anthony’s, for no good reason.

Mr. Bonelli announced that Costa Azul, the restaurant moved off of Orange Avenue to make way for the new Henry’s, is going into the Ferry Landing space that has been empty and looking run down and abandoned for months.

A full Commission meeting was announced for 1 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 16, at the Port building, 3165 Pacific Highway, to present the final draft of the proposed new Port Plan. They will be taking public comment. We are not the only shoreline community resisting offensive planning elements. Point Loma/Shelter Island folks are reported to be on the war path. This is the first indication that Coronado is not alone in fighting off wildly inappropriate Port planning objectives. Nice to have company.

This kind of intrusive over development attempt by a California port is not without precedent. In the early 1990s irate San Francisco citizens rose up to vote overwhelmingly for Prop H mandating strict constraints on their port. Citizen outrage can defeat outrageous Port planning! Let us hope we are able to continue backing down the San Diego Port without something as drastic and time consuming as a Prop H type action. Commissioner Bonelli appears to have had an epiphany. He is vowing to represent Coronado’s objections. Still, we need to stay vigilant and hold him to it.

Then there is the just announced Historic Context and Survey kick-off community meeting, Sept. 12 in the Nautilus Room, from 5 to 7 p.m. Be there if you can. The stated purpose is “to list potentially historic resources in Coronado.” If it is true that nothing supersedes Historic Designation, a neat and simple solution to stopping unwanted Port development on the Landing, and SANDAG’s demand for 1001 affordable/low income units on the island, might be to declare all of Coronado island historic. What a concept--as long as it is carefully studied for unintended consequences.

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