On May 18, the San Diego Port Commission, the Chula Vista City Council, the Chula Vista Planning Commission, and the Chula Vista Redevelopment Agency met in back-to-back meetings to approve the Bayfront environmental impact report and to approve the amended Bayfront Master Plan. The amended plan calls for 1500 condominiums, hotel and retail space, and park lands.
Public comment came from various sectors of the community that expressed approval of this “world-class Bayfront plan.” Chula Vista’s main street, Third Avenue, has been in decline. Adam Sparks, owner of the Third Avenue restaurant Mangia Italiano, expressed the hope that this project will have a huge impact on business and income in the area. He congratulated all who had worked on the plan for making it environmentally friendly.
Richard D’Ascoli, who called himself the “local voice of real estate,” began by saying “condominiums make me excited.” D’Ascoli said that he had been “hoping for 3000” but that he was ultimately happy with the 1500 condos that Pacifica, Inc., plans to develop.
There were also speakers who protested aspects of the plan. Peter Watry, of Crossroads II, addressed the issue of park space. Watry lamented the loss of a 35-acre park but also spoke about the problems associated with the most recent changes to the park plan.
As Watry described it, the park is divided by a “ ‘choke point’ which the Port [District] refused to fix,” thus the park is divided into north and south. He said the south park will be for people in the resort area with plenty of expendible income; the north park is what Watry defined as the “people’s park.”
According to Watry, in a recent agreement with the Environmental Health Coalition, the Chula Vista City Council cut a 400-foot environmental buffer zone out of the public park, shrinking the space even more.
Jackie Lancaster, president of Save Our Bayfront, said the Bayfront plan will “deny residents access to the shore line…. Every inch of the waterfront will be owned by condo owners, yacht owners, and hotel owners, and they won’t want us in their area.”
Because the plan now will go to the California Coastal Commission for approval, Lancaster held up a sign with the Coastal Commission’s phone number (619-767-2370) and urged people to call.