Campland on the Bay
Campland on The Bay in the Pacific Beach neighborhood of San Diego. Courtesy of the camp

The San Diego City Council‘s Land Use and Housing Committee voted 3-1 Wednesday to forward a proposed five-year lease extension for the Campland on the Bay campground to the full council.

The extension would enable Campland to remain in its current 46-acre space in the northeast corner of Mission Bay Park and expand to a large swath of the adjacent De Anza Cove mobile home park, which recently closed following decades of litigation with mobile home park residents. Campland would take over the Mission Bay RV Resort, located at the center of the De Anza Cove mobile home park.

The proposed extension is contingent on Campland making various improvements to the former mobile home park, such as removing around 100 old and decrepit mobile homes. Campland would also nearly double its number of recreational vehicle rental slots from 560 to 970.

The proposal comes as the city considers multiple redevelopment options for the northeast corner of the park, including a wetland restoration project drafted by San Diego Audubon. The city is conducting environmental and feasibility studies of the area, which are expected to be completed around the time the five-year lease ends.

Opponents of the extension argue the city should establish a shorter lease and pivot to the wetlands restoration project, which would turn Campland’s current 46-acre footprint into restored marsh area. Currently, according to San Diego Audubon, only about 5% of Mission Bay’s original 4,000 acres of wetlands remain.

The three committee members to vote in favor of the lease extension told opponents, mostly environmentalists, that five years is a short-term lease considering the speed at which government moves. The lease would also have little bearing on long-term plans for Mission Bay Park or wetlands restoration, they said.

“It does not prevent, it does not delay the long-term conversation, and the city will continue to study all options for the long-term solution,” said Councilwoman Jennifer Campbell, whose district includes Mission Bay. “In the meantime, instead of waiting longer, I appreciate the efforts that Campland has come forward to clean up De Anza and help begin to clear this area of environmentally hazardous structures.”

Councilwoman Vivian Moreno voted against the proposal, the only committee member to do so, because she also sought to amend the proposal to ensure the council has legislative authority over options to extend the lease with Campland in the future. As it stands, Campland could opt to extend the lease by a year or more without coming back to the council for approval.

“Council meetings, council committees are really the only place where members of the public have an opportunity to provide testimony on how we use our public park land,” Moreno said. “If the option does not return to the council for discussion, that essentially cuts the public out of the conversation.”

The full council is expected to vote on the extension either later this month or in early July.

City News Service