Battle on the Beach

FIDO believes FI is working well for all users & should be available to all users. FIDO has offered to work w/paddlers to find a more suitable location but doesn’t change the use of the area by existing users. Boaters & paddlers will always have water access; but those of us who like to exercise w/our dog in an open space, not worry about cars, will lose the last open natural off-leash park in San Diego. Not only does the plan call for a road, fencing & parking lots in the 93 acres of off-leash area, it adds a bisecting road thru the center of FI, adding another intersection for bikers to be concerned. FIDO supports adding bathroom facilities for all users, but why add another road, fences, grass turf during times of water shortages where all users do not benefit. FIDO has started research on 5 possible locations for Paddle groups. Mariners basin ranks #1 based on req. set by paddlers. Boaters have given input that this area would not conflict with their activities. It is a large cove, flat water, short access to ocean, short access to Sail Bay for paddlers, existing bathrooms & parking lots, & could easily secure boats. The matrix of locations is available, please let us know if there are inaccuracies. www.fidosd.org/pages/paddlersitesv3.pdf Clarifications: 1 The project manager did have contact w/the paddlers & we have copies of his email to them. 2 Consultant has refused to meet w/FIDO regarding their needs sighting Parks 'n Rec staff did not approve. We have this e-mail. 3.There would be no dredging required at South Shores & no conflict w/Boat & Ski Club moving there some day. 4 There is no security at FI. 5 Paddlers need flat water close to the ocean. Beach location in the off-leash area is in the 5 mph channel. It would require major grading of multiple acres & tons of sand to build the beach out of the tidal zone to be suitable for paddlers. 6Quote: "The paddlers' usage of other sites would be incompatible with the Mission Bay Park Master Plan, the conditions of the SeaWorld permit, & the coastal act". Recreational boating is allowed by permit in the Mission Bay Park Master Plan, is explicitly compatible w/Coastal Act & SeaWorld permits are irrelevant. 7 There will not be more sludge mitigation funds & there are many other needs on FI for remaining funds -< $2 million after spending $500k on this plan which has been shoehorned into the process. 8 Blaming delays on dog owners is irresponsible. The consultant met w/all other users (OMBAC, Paddlers, etc.) & refused to meet w/the largest group, the dog owners. We are just making our needs heard because we were not allowed in the original process. FIDO has been asked to compromise in every way, but another group who already has available locations has been given carte blanche. As a person who is new to working within the gov’t process, I find, it abusively political & non-democratic. If this plan goes through, it will waste millions of taxpayers dollars.
— February 5, 2009 1:58 p.m.

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