Port of San Diego commissioners
Port Chairman Garry Bonelli and Commissioner Ann Moore huddle during the meeting. Photo by Chris Jennewein

The Port of San Diego‘s board of commissioners reassured residents of Coronado and Pt. Loma Monday that an upcoming master plan update will not threaten the character of their communities.

Hundreds of residents showed up for the regular meeting, which had been moved to Grand Hall A at the Manchester Grand Hyatt downtown in expectation of the level of interest.

“Community character is of the utmost importance and should be retained,” said Commissioner Ann Moore, who represents Chula Vista, in comments that were echoed by the other six commissioners.

Moore had attended a raucous community meeting in Pt. Loma in August, and specifically addressed the issues raised there. She recommended continued height limits, eliminating the proposed 1,600 new hotel rooms on Shelter Island, and keeping the four small piers in La Playa that are threatened with removal.

“These piers have become a treasured part of the community,” she said, but added the community needs to help the port fight the California Coastal Commission on this issue.

In April the port began a 90-day public review period for its master plan update, which outlines future development and management of water and land within the port’s jurisdiction on San Diego Bay. During the review period, the port received nearly 3,000 written comments, most of them from the community adjacent to Shelter Island.

“We at the port would not know what the concerns of the community may be until we hear from you,” said Chairman Garry Bonelli, who added staff would be directed to make changes and circulate them. No vote was to be taken Monday, and he reminded residents  that “we’re not anywhere near a vote until nearly mid 2020.”

Coronado City Manager Blair King said he was confident that the port would end up with a plan acceptable to all stakeholders, but advised, “We want to maintain our island-like atmosphere, and it’s important that that’s reflected in the port master plan.”

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.