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San Diego releases development update for De Anza Cove

A clean up effort begins in De Anza Cove. San Diego, Calif. Feb. 15, 2023.
Matthew Bowler
A clean up effort begins in De Anza Cove. San Diego, Calif. Feb. 15, 2023.

City officials released a draft amendment on De Anza Cove at Mission Bay Park on Tuesday, calling for a balance between visitor accommodations and natural habitat restoration.

San Diegans are encouraged to review the new details and provide input as the planned development moves ahead.

"We know how important De Anza Cove is to our residents and visitors and we want to make sure the area has a bright future by retaining recreation while also using its unique features for a more natural habitat and to prepare us for the effects of climate change," City Planning Director Heidi Vonblum said. "We look forward to ongoing input to ensure we make it a place for all San Diegans to enjoy."


An undated satellite image showing the De Anza Cove development area.
City of San Diego
An undated satellite image showing the De Anza Cove development area.

The cove update is part of the larger Mission Bay Park Master Plan. San Diego released its initial concept proposal for the De Anza Cove area in 2018, which was updated and released for public review again in January 2022. Since then, city staff used community member and stakeholder input to draft the latest update, "De Anza Natural," and will continue to take input until it is considered for adoption by the City Council — expected to happen by the end of the year, city staff said.

Specific designs are sparse in the draft update, which can be viewed at the city's website. Instead, it includes broader plans to "enhance recreational activities in the area with new and improved programs," according to a city document. Among these are a waterfront trail, a nature center and non-motorized boat area.

The proposal includes space for low-cost visitor accommodations such as camping and recreational vehicle facilities, which set amid expanded and restored coastal wetlands, "will provide exciting new opportunities for eco- tourism and environmental education," a planning department statement read.

Open space could also host sports and recreation facilities such as golf, tennis courts and ball fields.


De Anza Natural as proposed would provide more than 220 acres of wetlands and use "nature-based solutions" to protect these resources from the effects of sea level rise.

In future phases, city staff will hold more public workshops and meetings to develop detailed plans for site-specific uses.

Along with the draft amendment, the city released the amendment's draft programmatic environmental impact report. Comments on the PEIR analysis can be submitted to by the close of its formal public review period on April 20.