I currently serve as President of the Coronado Cays Home Owners Association Board of Directors and am writing on its behalf. In voting unanimously this month to oppose the proposed Cottages at the Cays project, the Coronado City Council reaffirmed its strong stand in support for both the environment and preserving the character of our neighborhoods. The Cottages at the Cays is presented as an affordable, environmentally benign RV park, but it is basically a hotel that is neither affordable nor environmentally benign. It is comprised of 41 “cottages” that are in fact mobile modular homes classified as RVs by the state. The facility would accommodate up to 246 guests, not including visitors, maintenance workers, and hotel staff.

The proposed site for the project is on land leased from the Port of San Diego by an Arizona developer. It is located in the Coronado Cays adjacent to the Port’s Grand Caribe Shoreline Park. It is currently operated as a boatyard. The same developer proposed a hotel with comparable impacts on the same site in 2019, and it was rejected by the Port in 2020. The Port found the proposal inconsistent with its current Master Plan, citing unacceptable impacts on the neighborhood due to increased traffic through the single entrance to the Cays, as well as negative impacts on the environmentally sensitive neighboring park.

Do we really need another hotel on San Diego Bay? In the South Bay alone we have the beautiful Loews resort next to the Cays already, which has its own separate entrance and complements, rather than disrupts, the community. There is the new Chula Vista Convention Center Hotel under development which will have 1600 rooms. And there is the Outdoor Sun RV Park in Chula Vista and the Marriott in Coronado. On the other hand, designation of new open space around the bay has been limited.

Both volunteers and elected officials in our community have worked diligently for years to try to change the designation of this site to preclude commercial development. The Port recognized these concerns in 2020 its new draft Master Plan, which designates the site as “Recreation Open Space” effective at the end of the current lease in 2034. With this redesignation, the Port achieved a good balance among development, preserving open space, and protecting the environment. The adjacent Grand Caribe Shoreline Park could be extended into the site, creating a beautiful new park that would be accessible to everyone for free. A new jewel in the green necklace of open spaces around the bay. But the new Port Master Plan is a draft and has not yet been finalized and approved.

When the Port rejected the hotel proposal in 2020, it noted that public support was critical. So far public opposition to the project appears as great or greater than for the hotel proposal. Not only does the City Council oppose it, but our HOA has collected over 800 signatures from residents throughout Coronado who also oppose it.

The Port will consider the Cottages project at its next meeting on January 11. Let your voice be heard. Please join us in opposition to this ill-considered development by contacting the Port directly at publicrecords@portofsandiego.org.

VOL. 112, NO. 51 - Dec. 21, 2022

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