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Port And Coastal Commission Work On Embarcadero Compromise

Audio

Aired 2/15/10

Staff of the California Coastal Commission and the Port District say they are both confident they can come up with a better plan for public open space on the waterfront downtown.

Staff of the California Coastal Commission and the Port District say they are both confident they can come up with a better plan for public open space on the waterfront downtown. The Coastal Commission has given the Port 60 days to reach a compromise on the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan.

A dispute over a public park that disappeared from Port plans for the bay front near the Star of India prompted the Coastal Commission to delay approving the long awaited waterfront upgrade.

Diana Lilly of the Coastal Commission says it should be possible to reach agreement so that the space linking downtown with San Diego bay is acceptable to all.

“We are going to try and be as creative as possible to come up with something that works for the public and the Port,” Lilly said.

Fred Maas is chair of the city’s redevelopment arm, which is financing the $28 million upgrade. He says if the project is delayed much longer, the money could get eaten up by other things.

“To consider, here we are in 2010, the 9th biggest city in America, with a coastal downtown - and that we still have the opportunity to enhance 1.2 miles of waterfront,” Maas said. “To let that go to waste would be a travesty.”

Port Commission spokeswoman, Irene McCormack, said the goal of the negotiations will be to make the key public space at the foot of Broadway more like a civic plaza rather than a loading dock for cruise ships. She says the space cannot be a park, but it could perhaps have a fountain and greater access to the bay.

The Coastal Commission reviews the plans again in mid-April.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Maria_Linda45'

Maria_Linda45 | February 17, 2010 at 12:37 a.m. ― 4 years, 8 months ago

A city's waterfront is really its signature. It is the POST CARD image that is the face of any city lucky enough to be located on a bay or harbor.

Having PUBLIC ACCESS to San Diego's waterfront is VITAL.

I have to give the Port of San Diego credit where credit is due. I mean, they have a formidable task, to balance a multitude of uses of our bay-front: Military, Commercial, Industrial and Touristic. They do a pretty good job.

But they are dropping the ball bigtime when it comes to providing a pleasant waterfront for visitors and tourist alike!!!

We NEED public space near the Embaradero, space to gather as a Community, space to have recreation, Space to recognize the simple fact that we are a MAJOR PORT on Pacific Ocean!!!

We should be able to go downtown and FEEL like we are on the edge of the Pacific Ocean! Have you ever been to the GasLamp and thought to yourself,

"Where are we?" Can you see the water? No, Its been walled off!!!
Do you have a sense of place?
Do you realize you are steps away from a major waterfront?
How can you, the way the Harbor has been piecemeal planned for decades and the whole "waterfront" experience has been systematically walled off?!

You might as well be in downtown Pasadena! ( if only it was as nicely designed!)

Public Space and park space are part of a well designed waterfront that is both friendly to business interests and at the same time becomes an amenity to the entire region.

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