Aerial view of Fiesta Island
Aerial view of Fiesta Island in Mission Bay area. File photo

As our city grapples with producing more housing, the amount of accessible natural open space is becoming increasingly scarce, especially near the beaches and bays. As an undeveloped open space park near the water, Fiesta Island is the last of its type in the city.

Tens of thousands of residents and visitors use the undeveloped open space park each year to recreate, hike, run, ride bicycles, fish, wade and swim in the bay, exercise while their dogs run free, and just enjoy the physical and mental health benefits away from the stress of urban living. In fact, the Mission Bay Park Master Plan said it best:

“As an open landscape, Fiesta Island should be the place where city residents and visitors alike find the ultimate refuge from urban congestion, noise and visual clutter.”

In the spring of 2018, city residents were asked to respond to a Parks Master Plan survey. Three of the top five priorities for respondents were: beaches and shoreline parks, open space/trails, and off-leash dog parks. Fiesta Island’s 90-acre off-leash area provides all three. Citizens want more, not less, of what Fiesta Island has to offer.

At a time when the city has a major deficit of neighborhood and off-leash parks and is losing more open space to dense development projects, the preservation of the fenced-in open space park on Fiesta Island should be a priority.

Unfortunately, a section of Fiesta Island is in danger of development. On Thursday, May 23, the City Council’s Environment Committee will consider two amendments to the Fiesta Island Plan.

Option A would put a new paved road and fencing from the top of the area to the southern shoreline to access a new boat storage area, cut through the contiguous shoreline and berm path, and completely change the character of the area.

Option B preserves the area intact and would require minimal ongoing maintenance and does not reduce access for existing uses.

As three former City Council members who fought for years to preserve open space on Fiesta Island, and are deeply concerned about the quality of life of our citizens and our environment, we ask that you join us in asking council members to please support Option B.

Option B preserves Fiesta Island as it is today — an undeveloped multi-use recreation area that is environmentally friendly, safe and free to the public.

Save Open Space. Support Option B by calling or emailing City Council members and the Mayor’s office. Your voice matters.

Donna Frye, Sherri Lightner and Lorie Zapf are by former members of the San Diego City Council.