Last week the Port of San Diego released its draft master plan which will guide development of all Port Properties for the next 50 years. What does this have to do with Coronado? Plenty!

Almost every piece of property in Coronado touching San Diego Bay is owned by the Port.

One of the Port’s properties is The Ferry Landing Marketplace and the adjacent restaurants and parking. The Port’s proposed master plan emphasizes development designed to attract visitors. It also calls for ”visitor serving uses that activate the area” which appears to mean programming attractions and special events to draw visitors from across the Bay. In addition, among other things, it calls for up to 350 new hotel rooms though a new hotel on the Ferry Landing site and an expansion of the Marriott, “consolidated parking” (which I read as a multi story parking garage), 12 new vessel slips and a “Mobility Hub” so that visitors can move about town.

Not coincidentally, the plans for redevelopment of The Ferry Landing site published by The Eagle several months ago to illustrate Port Chairman Bonelli’s inaugural speech are an example of what could be built under the new standards. Those plans showed a three story hotel, a three story parking garage facing First Street, a new marina and a “food hall” in addition to restaurants, retail and office space. All of this would mean more day trippers, more tourists, more car traffic, especially on First Street and more noise. Does Coronado really want more tourists and tourist attractions?

I would hate to see Coronado turned into a Disneyland type attraction designed to fill the Port’s coffers at the expense of what remains of our village atmosphere. We have until July 31st to comment on the Port’s proposed plan. After that it will go to the Coastal Commission and once approved it will be final for the next 50 years. So speak now Coronado or forever hold your peace.

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