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Public Outreach

Long-term Planning Process

The primary objective of the current MOU between the Port of San Diego and the cities of San Diego and Imperial Beach is to determine the "highest and best" use of the Pond 20 parcel.

To make this determination, the Port conducted an extensive stakeholder outreach process to solicit feedback and project ideas.

The public outreach for the long-term planning process had four primary components:

  • Public Outreach: The first component was to reach out to various stakeholders to discuss the objectives of the MOU and the process by which the Port would be soliciting project ideas. Presentations were given to community groups, planning committees, environmental groups and other stakeholders to discuss the process and encourage participation in the process. February through April 2012.
  • Development Workshops: During the second phase of the outreach process, the Port hosted development workshops. These forums were set up so any party interested in submitting a project proposal could speak directly with port staff, review past studies, and obtain information on public comments that were received during the initial outreach sessions. The intent of these workshops was to ensure that anyone interested in submitting a project proposal had the information they needed to develop their proposal. May through June 2012.
  • Letters of Interest: The third phase of the outreach process was the submittal of Letters of Interest. Anyone interested in submitting a project proposal had 60 days after the last development workshop to submit a letter of interest. Port staff then reviewed and discussed all letters of interest with the cities of Imperial Beach and San Diego. August through December 2012.
  • Public Outreach, Second Round: The final phase of the outreach process was to present the findings from the initial outreach stages to the public and solicit feedback prior to bringing a recommendation to the Board of Port Commissioners for consideration. 

The Port received hundreds of comments regarding the long-term development of Pond 20 as part of the public outreach process. Comments and ideas were submitted through a variety of formats, including the Letters of Interest, the port website, written correspondence, and comments made at public meetings. Common themes among the public comments included habitat restoration, mitigation, public access, recreation, economic development, and beautification. The following table summarizes common themes of public comments.

Respondent GroupPrimary Preferences
County residents Habitat restoration, public access, education
Community groups Beautification, public access/recreation, and a pier
Resource agences Mitigation banking, habitat restoration, passive recreation
Environmental organizations Mitigation banking, habitat restoration, recreation
Academia Wetland restoration
Member cities Mitigation banking, habitat restoration, recreation
Businesses Economic development and recreation

Since the completion of the public outreach process, Port staff has been working with the cities of San Diego and Imperial Beach to evaluate existing information on Pond 20 and formulate a recommendation for long-term improvements to the site. Information considered as part of the evaluation includes public input received through the outreach process, project concepts proposed through the Letters of Interest, and existing information and previous studies conducted at Pond 20. Existing Board policies and other guidance information such as the Public Trust Doctrine also are being considered as part of the evaluation process.

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