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The California Coastal Commission approved Chula Vista's Bayfront Master Plan at a Santa Cruz meeting on August 9. Collaboration between the city of Chula Vista, the Port, and various community stakeholders produced a plan that will include 1,500 condominiums, four hotels, a resort, and more than 240 acres of parks and natural preserve.

In an August 10 interview, council member Pat Aguilar said that it was a "love-fest" in Santa Cruz. "All the speakers, including myself, spoke in favor of the plan and the commission passed it unanimously."

Although the bayfront master plan passed, the passage of the Local Coastal Plan, which is specific to Chula Vista, is contingent on the city council ratifying modifications suggested by Coastal Commission staff.

Additional modifications were garnered by the civic organization, Crossroads II, in negotiations with the city and the port. Crossroads II gathered over 600 signatures from residents who favored some additional changes.

According to Aguilar, the letter of agreement between Crossroads II, the city, and the port, increases the acreage of the active park. The agreement also contains a caveat in relation to the future of the bayfront plan. The anchor piece of the design is the resort/hotel. Infrastructure for a significant portion of the bayfront plan is dependent on revenue from the resort/hotel.

Aguilar said that what the agreement gains for residents is the assurance that the bayfront plan will be revisited, including public outreach to come up with a revised land use plan, if no developer materializes for the resort/hotel in the next 10 years.

Meanwhile the Port announced, "The next step for the Port and City is to secure a developer(s) for the master planned project by preparing a Request for Qualifications or RFQ. Marketing efforts are already underway and it is anticipated that an RFQ would be issued for initial phases of the project early next year and will be announced and posted on the Port and City websites."

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Comments

VigilantinCV Aug. 11, 2012 @ 5:01 p.m.

Susan mentions the 240 acres of parks and natural reserve -- almost one-half of the total 556 acres of the Bayfront Plan. But most of that is off-limits to humans, and only 25 acres, about 4% of the total Bayfront Plan, is for "active" parks. "Active" means things like rallies, big gatherings, concerts, 5K runs, and so forth. The kinds of things Balboa Park has almost every weekend. The remaining "parks" are "passive" parks, for protection of nearby wildlife reserves, and about the only thing you can do on "passive" parks is to read a book -- as long as you don't read aloud! So Chula Vista can brag about one of the largest bayfront parks, with the smallest amount of people-parks, in the Christian world.

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eastlaker Aug. 12, 2012 @ 11:49 a.m.

I have been following the bayfront issue for several years now, am clearly not an expert in land use, architecture and environmental issues, but would like to weigh in just the same.

When looking at the plans, I keep wondering why the convention center is as close to the water as it is. The point of a large convention center is that people focus on what is being presented to them inside the building. I think the location of the convention center should be about a block further from the water, and there should be more green/open space in front of the building itself. This would lend itself to greater access and use by the general public. And--if the convention center is built with a balcony that overlooks the greenspace and water, it will still be a great view--even better, if you want to ever restore fireworks on the 4th of July, for example.

On the whole, I am glad Chula Vista is moving forward with a plan, and I hope that the city will continue to listen to various citizens and citizen groups so that all the sectors of the population who have legitimate uses for the park can be included.

I hope there will be access for young people to learn to kayak, paddleboard, join canoe and outrigger canoe clubs and so forth. The city of Chula Vista needs to educate its populus regarding all the good that is available here. We don't need to settle for perks for the corrupt few who then run things "for us" showing nothing but contempt for the masses--i.e. the modus operandi of Ed Brand and his side-kicks on the Board of Trustees.

Let us have community input and work together in a healthy and positive manner. Transparency and cooperation can bring great things to Chula Vista. Corruption, in case anyone needs reminding, refers to decay--and the process of decay is the opposite of what we want for our city.

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VigilantinCV Aug. 15, 2012 @ 9:25 p.m.

eastlaker -- moving the "indoor" convention center a bit inland was exactly what Crossroads II tried to talk them into, and for the same reasons you mention. They just thought it would be more attractive to a potential hotel developer if it was attached to the hotel. How about moving both the hotel and the convention center a bit inland? They got PKF Consultants to do a study, and it said a bayfront hotel can charge a FAR HIGHER room rate than one just a few hundred feet more inland. It was nosense. They even gave the site nearer the bay a HIGHER rate than either the Marriott Marquis or Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego.

My prediction is that that spot is going to be empty for many, many, many years.

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