Battle on the Beach

Don, I have always enjoyed your investigative pieces, but I don't think you did much research on this one. I am pretty sure the 20-30 million dollar project (if that is the cost) is for redevelopment of all of Fiesta Island, not just the southwest corner for the paddlers. If paddlers are excluded from the redevelopment project, the project cost is still going to be $20-30 million. As an ocean paddler, I would prefer somewhere closer to the ocean for access, but the redevelopment of Fiesta Island is the only project under consideration by the City. The Fido folks gladly suggest better locations for us, but I think they also know the environmental and public review process would be impractical for any other site at this time or even in the near future, at least Carol Chase knows that. When they talk about us refusing to meet with them, it is because they wanted us to meet and agree to go somewhere else. But Fiesta Island is the only game in town. Frankly, I think their ultimate goal is to prevent any development from occurring which is too bad because a significant part of the Fiesta Island redevelopment is the protection and enhancement of environmental habitat. We in the paddling community got involved because we have been left out of the planning process of Mission Bay for many decades and this became our first opportunity to secure a safe and designated location. It was a real surprise to see how much anger occured from our involvement. No one knows if this plan will ever go forward, but if it does it will require approval of the state Coastal Commission. Presumably, they will be a little more sensitive to the protection of habitat and expansion of multi-recreation activity especially as it relates to an ocean sports.
— February 6, 2009 11:18 a.m.

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