15 Sep 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by spoiled_meli_pie

Pond 20- Simple Clarity/simple direction for the South Bay of San Diego

Pond 20- Simple Clarity/simple direction for the South Bay of San Diego Pond 20- Simple Clarity/simple direction for the South Bay of San Diego Pond 20- Simple Clarity/simple direction for the South Bay of San Diego
Most of the time I meet people walking by the my garden which adjoins the IB slough.  Its great and rarely do we talk of politics.  However there comes a time when we must use our God given right for free speech. So here goes....I have spent the last 40-50 years fishing, swimming, camping, and playing in the South San Diego Bay. This is a wonderful place, the best place on earth.  I have lived in North County...you can have it...too many cars and the quality of life does not compare to the South Bay.

Many local citizens of the south bay are not aware current status of the 95 acres at the corner of 13 Street and Palm Avenue.  In 1998 with little public notice the south bay communities of Chula Vista, South San Diego, Nestor, and Imperial Beach through their elected officials and the Port District gave away 722 acres of south San Diego Bay to environmental concerns for the right to expand the airport at Lindberg Field.  At that time they wisely set aside 95 acres for future public development at the corner of 13th street and Palm Avenue. The Port is now asking the public for its input into how this land is to be used for the public good of the communities of the South San Diego Bay. To give you an idea of how big this place is the Charger parking lot is 114 acres.  This area is large.  In my opinion the project breaks down as follows:

Most of the public does not know that there are two groups are vying for this land.  

The first group is local professionals and residents who want the land to be used for public parks or outside facilities such as fishing, horseback riding, camping, bird watching, bicycle race track, baseball/soccer fields or to access the south bay via paddle boarding/ kayaking facilities, university site for research on water quality. This group wants to develop the land in the same way that San Diego and Coronado have developed their respective water fronts. To do so in an environmentally sensitive way to enhance the use of property for both the environment and the public.  These citizens feel that too much land has been traded away from the south San Diego Bay to the benefit of the north San Diego.  The local feeling is "The Big Bay”-For Big Pockets".  Most local citizens feel and it can be argued that spending and land use benefit only the north end of the bay and the south bay communities get nothing. As said by many " we get our land traded away, and the City of San Diego gets the projects and jobs, we get nothing” It is not too hard to see this in the morning commute on the freeway.  All the cars are headed north/ no cars heading south. 

The second group represents the environmentalist and the developers.  At first glance these groups seem opposed to each other, but in fact they are not.  These groups want Pond 20 to be traded into a Land Mitigation Bank. If the Pond 20 land goes into a Mitigation Land Bank then public discussion ends and public use of the land ends.  Then the developers sit down with the environmentalist and decide behind closed doors and decide the fate of public lands without public over site.  More importantly the south bay communities get nothing in return.  For example say a group wants to expand the convention center at a cost of $500 million.  The project sits on the bay front.  This group goes through all the proper permit process and then stops by the land mitigation bank and buys up sensitive land credits.  The end results are follows and this list is not complete. 

1)    South Bay communities get public land taken away for the benefit of others, who are not public representatives.

2)    We lose rights of access ….we can’t even touch the water and have no access.

3)    Taxes created in the south bay are spent on the north end of bay communities.

4)    Jobs are created in the north end of the bay and lost on the south end of the bay

Please email all of your elected officials and the San Diego Port District and tell them I DO NOT WANT POND 20 TO BE TURNED OVER TO LAND MITIGATION BANKING.  Listed below you will find the links to your City, State, Federal officials.

Port of San Diego                             pond20@portofsandiego.org

Mayor City of San Diego                   toddgloria@sandiego.gov

List of elected officials                   http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/voters/Eng/reports/pubofficials.pdf

 

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