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New Bayfront Development Plans Unveiled

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0x-iPTqiqc

Video published August 6, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: San Diego's downtown bayfront is often called the city's front porch. And, there's a new plan to redevelop the land along the bayfront. Vice Chairman of the San Diego Port Commission Scott Peters talks about the latest plans.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

SAN DIEGO'S DOWNTOWN BAYFRONT IS OFTEN CALLED SAN DIEGO'S FRONT PORCH. FOR YEARS, THERE HAVE BEEN ATTEMPTS TO MAKE IT MORE BEAUTIFUL, INVITING, HOSPITALLABLE, BUT THE LATEST ATTEMPTS HAVE BEEN REJECTED BY THE COASTAL COMMISSION. NOW HOPE SPRINGS ANEW. THE VICE CHAIRMAN OF SAN DIEGO PORT COMMISSION IS SCOTT PETERS, AND HE IS ONE OF THE HOPEFUL, ARE YOU NOT?

I AM VERY. THANKS FOR HAVING ME TODAY.

WHAT IS THE LATEST PROPOSAL FOR THE NORTH AND BARKER DARE OH.

THAT'S THE AREA BETWEEN SEA PORT VILLAGE, PAST THE COUNTY BUILDING, ALONG THE WATER WHERE WE HAVE A LOT OF ASPHALT. FOR 12 OR 14 YEARS, PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WORKING TO MAKE IT INTO A PUBLIC SPACE THAT YOU AND I WOULD LIKE TO GO TO AND ENJOY. WE FINALLY GOT TO THE POINT WE WERE READY TO TAKE THE FIRST BUILD OUT, PART OF IT BETWEEN BROADWAY AND BEACH STREET TO THE COMMISSION, THERE'S AN ARGUMENT ABOUT WHETHER WE SATISFIED PERMIT CONDITIONS. SO IT HAS BEEN HELD UP.

WELL, I MEAN, IT IS MORE THAN A GENERAL WHETHER YOU SATISFIED THE PERMIT CONDITIONS. IT HAS TO DO WITH A PUBLIC PARK SPACE.

RIGHT. AND I'M RELATIVELY KNEW TO THIS. I HAVE BEEN AT THE PORT A LITTLE UNDER TWO YEARS. THE DISCUSSION HAS BEEN GOING ON SINCE PERMITS WERE ISSUED BY COASTAL COMMISSION EARLY 2001 OR SO. AND WE ARE READY NOW TO INVEST ABOUT $28 MILLION IN NARROWING HARBOR DRIVE, PUSHING IT OVER TO THE EAST, CREATING A PUBLIC SPACE WHERE THERE'S A LOT OF ASPHALT NOW FOR WALKERS AND BIKERS AND PEOPLE TO SIT AND ENJOY IT. I GUESS THERE'S A QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER THERE'S ENOUGH PARK SPACE. SO THAT'S BEEN THE ARGUMENT. AND WHAT WE'VE DONE THIS WEEK, WE LISTENED PRETTY HARD TO THE PEOPLE THAT COMPLAINED TO SEE IF WE CAN FIND A WAY TO CREATE MORE PUBLIC SPACE THAN WE EVEN PLANNED. THAT WAS THE RESULT OF THE MEETING THIS WEEK WHERE WE STARTED TO THINK ABOUT A SETBACK THAT WOULD CREATE A PUBLIC SPACE NOT JUST ON THE WATER SIDE BUT ALSO ON THE EASTERN SIDE OF HARBOR DRIVE THAT'S BIGGER THAN WE CONTEMPLATED IN THE PAST.

SEEMS TO ME OVER THE YEARS, IT IS TRUE YOU'VE ONLY BEEN THERE TWO YEARS, THAT THE REVAMPED IDEA HAS HIT SO MANY POTHOLES. DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHY?

WELL, ONE OF THE THINGS ABOUT CALIFORNIA PROCESS, IT TAKES A LONG TIME. THEN DIFFERENT PEOPLE GET ENGAGED FROM TIME TO TIME. AND THAT'S PART OF IT. PART OF IT IS IT HASN'T BEEN UNTIL NOW THAT WE HAD THE MONEY TO SPEND. AND THAT'S WHAT'S EXCITING ME.

WHERE DID THE MONEY COME FROM?

WE HAVE $28 MILLION AT CDDC. SOME ACE LOAN, SOME IS THEIR SHARE OF THIS. THIS IS A COLLABERATION BETWEEN THOSE TWO AGENCIES AND THE CITY OF SAN DIEGO. AND WE ARE READY TO GO. I THINK WE DON'T HAVE A LOT OF DISAGREEMENT ABOUT THE PHASE ONE. A LOT IS FIXING THE LEVEL OF BROADWAY TO IMPROVE VIEWS, NARROW HARBOR DRIVE, REBUILD IT, CREATE PUBLIC SPACE. AND SO I THINK WE SHOULD GET GOING WITH THAT. I THINK THERE'S STARTING TO BE CONSENSUS TO PUT THAT MONEY IN THE GROUND, MAKE THIS SPACE, GET STARTED. THEN WE ALREADY STARTED A PLANNING PROCESS FOR THE REST OF IT, WHICH WILL INCLUDE NAVY PIER, POTENTIALLY NAVY BROADWAY COMPLEX, A DEVELOPMENT THAT'S GOT A LOT OF ATTENTION. POTENTIALLY WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN FRONT OF THE COUNTY BUILDING. THERE'S A LOT OF GREAT PUBLIC SPACE WE CAN ENGAGE PEOPLE IN AND HAVE PUBLIC INPUT ON TO HAVE SOMETHING REALLY GREAT.

SO THIS PLAN NOW IS BEING FORMULATED TO PRESENT AGAIN TO THE COASTAL COMMISSION?

RIGHT. THERE'S TWO PARTS. ONE WE HAVE MONEY TO SPEND ON TODAY, PHASE ONE. I THINK THERE'S AGREEMENT ON IT, AS LONG AS WE TALK ABOUT THE KINDS OF THINGS WE ARE GOING TO CONSIDER DOWN THE ROAD IN TERMS OF PLANNING. I THINK OTHER OPPONENTS ARE GOING TO COME ON BOARD WITH US. PHASE TWO IS A BIGGER EFFORT. GOING TO BE MUCH MORE PUBLIC OUTREACH TO REALLY FIGURE OUT WHAT HAVEN'T WE DONE IN THE PLAN, WHAT DO WE NEED TO INCLUDE, WHAT DO WE NEED TO MAKE IT A GREAT WATERFRONT.

IN TEN SECONDS, WHY WOULD ALL OF THE FINANCIAL ISSUES FACING PUBLIC AGENCIES TODAY SHOULD THIS BE A PRIORITY?

WELL, THERE'S JUST A HUGE OPPORTUNITY FOR SAN DIEGO. YOU KNOW, IF WE DON'T THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE IN TERMS OF CREATING A GREAT SPACE, WE ARE GOING TO LOSE A LOT OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY. IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. TIME TO INVEST NOW FOR A BRIGHT FUTURE TOMORROW.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH. COMMISSIONER SCOTT PETERS.

THANKS A LOT.

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