A Coronado citizen group has a wonderful plan to save the bay front open space east of Il Fornaio for the hundreds of local folks who enjoy it every day in every way. Walking with kids and dogs and wheel chairs, jogging, riding bikes, scooters, skate boards, and pedal jitneys, fishing, kayaking, and just hanging out parked in one of the blue spaces for a hour or so taking in the active scene.
Meanwhile we will soon have a new Port Commissioner. The Cultural Arts Commission at every meeting talks about filling in that same space with a windowless Cultural Arts Center that has nothing to do with the shoreline location. And the Port of San Diego actively seeks a tenant to build another restaurant. Right there.
So it is time to review Basic/Enlighteded Waterfront Planning 101: Nothing should ever take up space on a public shoreline that does not have a valid reason to be located there. Nothing.
Public waterfront installations in the order of importance should be required to go like this:
All water related business activities: fishing, fresh fish sales, cruise ship piers, the Navy, NOHA, and the Coast Guard, harbor police and rescue, shipbuilding and repair, container ship and break-bulk cargo working piers, rail access to those activities, cruise ship and excursion water craft boarding piers, ferry landings, fuel docks, private pleasure boat docks, kayak and paddle board launching, boat ramps, rowing and yacht clubs. All these have priority.
Next, historic sites and ships, and maritime museum exhibits. (The Carrier Midway and Star of India are outstanding San Diego examples.)
Then, public access to open space along the shorelines with promenades and parks, and view corridors from inland out to the water. (The baseball park facing city buildings instead of the open bay is a classic very bad example. The Convention Center, seven blocks long, has no connection to the view or the bay front.)
Last, always last: Miscellaneous business ventures that use waterfront locations to draw customers--principally restaurants and hotels.
Never, any installation, building activity, or use that does not have a need or reason to be right on a waterfront site. So obviously there is a problem with the proposed cultural Arts Center that is enthusiastically discussed in every Cultural Arts Commission meeting as a possible for this shoreline location. It could and should go anywhere else. There is no reason to place that where it blanks out the precious last remaining easy-to-reach open public shoreline access in Coronado.
I offer this extra-long discussion hoping to appeal to island folks who care about preserving our lifestyle, and will join in the effort by emailing the Five Council Guys who are our first line of defense. Also if possible, attend Nov. 10, 6 pm in the Council Chambers, to help make it plain to Port Commission applicants that the job is to advocate for what is best for our island, not what makes money for the Port.
Folks, the unique small cities of California are under attack, and only strong citizen action can save us.