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Development Opportunity Approaches after Coastal Commission Site Visit Along San Diego Bay
The California Coastal Commission yesterday (March 8)toured the area of San Diego Bay that comprises the proposed Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan (CVBMP), one of California’s largest available waterfront development sites and the largest undeveloped waterfront in Southern California.

While the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan was not on the Coastal Commission’s agenda during its monthly meeting held March 7,8 and 9 in Chula Vista, the tour familiarized commissioners and staff with the site’s geography, as they look to have the project on the agenda for consideration of approval in the coming months.

When approved, the Port of San Diego will prepare and issue a Request for Qualifications from developers whose vision can enhance the mixed-use, eco-approved, major market master plan.

“The future of the Port of San Diego is in the South Bay,” said Ann Moore, Vice Chair of the Board of Port Commissioners, who participated in the tour. “I want to thank the California Coastal Commission for taking the time to tour an area that holds tremendous opportunity for the San Diego region and the city of Chula Vista.”

The tour covered the 550-acre waterfront property that will include a mix of hotel, conference, commercial, residential, industrial, retail, parkland, open space and recreational uses. A land exchange between the Port and Pacifica Companies, a development company, shifts development away from protected refuge areas toward the active harbor area. It also allowed the Port to acquire 62 acres of land for parks, open space and lower-impact future development.

The project is anticipated to create more than 2,200 permanent jobs, nearly 7,000 construction jobs and numerous indirect jobs in Chula Vista and the San Diego region.

Its promising economic impact was noted by Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox following her comments to the Coastal Commission during the public comment period at the March 7 meeting.

“Given its scale, this project, in many ways, is the first of its kind, balancing business investment and environmental preservation,” said Cox of the plan that aims for a resort feel while implementing buffers for natural habitat and sea-level rise. “To me, it also means jobs and the generation of $1.3 billion for the regional economy over the next 20 years, including more than $11.5 million in annual tax revenues.”

During her comments, Cox recognized the supporters from environmental groups, business and government who helped develop the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan. In attendance were elected officials and regional leaders, including Lou Smith, Chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners, Vice Chair Ann Moore, Port President and CEO Wayne Darbeau, City of Imperial Beach Mayor Jim Janney, City of Coronado Councilmember Mike Woiwode, Chula Vista Councilmember Pamela Bensoussan and Chula Vista City Manager Jim Sandoval. Also present were representatives from Goodrich Aerostructures, the Environmental Health Coalition, the Chula Vista Nature Center, the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Building Industry Association.

The Coastal Commission is headquartered in San Francisco and regularly holds its meetings at different locations throughout California. Mayor Cox used the March 7 venue as an opportunity to tout the benefits of the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan, which the Port and the City of Chula Vista will present to the Coastal Commission in the coming months for approval.

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