Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox, accompanied by Councilmember Pamela Bensoussan, introduced the speakers who represented an alliance of environmentalists, businesses and residents. Supporters wearing blue shirts to show solidarity, stood up and waved upon Cox’s request during the general public comment period.
In the meeting, Coastal Commission staff indicated that the CVBMP is planned to go before the Coastal Commission for final approval in August at its Santa Cruz meeting.
“There’s a lot of compromise that went into this plan. None of us got exactly what we wanted but we got the best plan for everyone,” said Marco Gonzalez, Executive Director of the Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation. “I hope you remember the 100 supporters who are here today. This will truly be a boon for this community for decades to come.”
The plan transforms 556 acres of underutilized industrial property on the waterfront into a residential and resort destination on San Diego Bay. The CVBMP was developed and is supported by a broad coalition of local and regional stakeholders, including a rarely seen collaboration between developers and environmental groups.
“The rumors you have heard are true,” said Laura Hunter, representing the Environmental Health Coalition and the Bayfront Coalition. “We are here to support a coastal development plan. This plan includes a massive increase in park space, with over 80 acres of parks, while preserving the peaceful and natural setting of the Chula Vista Bayfront. This is the best chance to get development located in the right place while protecting wildlife and the environment.”
The project not only offers new recreational opportunities, but also creates and sustains new jobs and business prospects, providing a much-needed economic boost to the region.
“This plan will create 2,200 permanent jobs and 7,000 construction jobs,” said Cindy Gompper-Graves, President/CEO of the South County Economic Development Council. “It will contribute $1.3 billion in revenue for the economy including $11.5 million annually in tax revenue. We ask you to help us with our future and support the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan.”
Representatives from Pacifica Companies, the developer for the project, also made comments at the meeting. Other CVBMP-endorsing groups that were represented at the hearing included the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce, Third Avenue Village Association, San Diego Audubon Society, EMPOWER San Diego, Surfrider, and Coastkeeper.
About the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan
At 556 acres, the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan (CVBMP) will transform Chula Vista’s underused industrial bayfront landscape into a thriving residential and world-class waterfront resort destination. The Plan will establish thousands of new jobs, create new public parks, protect natural coastal resources, provide conference and visitor-serving amenities and build an important asset for the San Diego region, the South Bay, Chula Vista residents and coastal visitors. The CVBMP is the result of a decade-long joint planning effort by a broad coalition of stakeholders, the Port of San Diego, the City of Chula Vista and Pacifica Companies. The Plan represents the last significant development opportunity in Southern California and is anticipated to be considered by the California Coastal Commission in summer 2012.
About the Port
The Port of San Diego is the fourth largest of the 11 ports in California. It was created by the state legislature in 1962 and spans five Port cities – Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego. The port oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 17 public parks, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of more than 600 tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay. The Port of San Diego is an economic engine, an environmental steward of San Diego Bay and the surrounding tidelands, and a provider of community services and public safety.
About the City of Chula Vista
The City of Chula Vista is located at the center of one of the richest cultural, economic and environmentally diverse zones in the United States. It is the second-largest City in San Diego County with a population of nearly 250,000. Chula Vista boasts more than 50 square miles of coastal landscape, canyons, rolling hills, mountains, and a variety of natural resources and quality infrastructure. Established neighborhoods, contemporary communities, start-up firms, corporations, nationally recognized entertainment venues, the nation’s only warm-weather Olympic Training Center, an award winning nature center and a historic downtown all contribute to Chula Vista’s attraction for both families and businesses.