The area, known as Pond 20, is located at 1400 Palm Avenue, at the eastern entrance to Imperial Beach on the north side of Palm Avenue between 13th and 16th streets. It is an area that many consider to be the gateway to South County's beaches.
An agreement, called a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been drafted to explore future uses of the area and for the Port to work with its member cities of San Diego and Imperial Beach to achieve this.
The MOU will be discussed at next Tuesday's monthly Board of Port Commissioners meeting. This month's meeting will be held in the city of Coronado at the Coronado City Council Chambers, 1825 Strand Way, at 1:30 p.m.
Pond 20 is under the Port of San Diego's jurisdiction. It falls within the City of San Diego, yet it is included in the City of Imperial Beach's redevelopment area.
If approved by the Board of Port Commissioners, the agreement would allow the Port, the City of Imperial Beach and the City of San Diego to establish mutual goals and objectives for Pond 20's future uses, based on stakeholder feedback, financial feasibility, market analysis and regulatory requirements.
Once the MOU is finalized, an outreach process would begin this year that would include meetings with a variety of stakeholders, including regional community planning groups. The purpose of the outreach process would be to solicit input on of the highest, best and most appropriate uses for the Pond 20 parcel.
The Port of San Diego has allocated $50,000 for feasibility studies or other improvement projects, as needed, in the Fiscal Year 2011/2012 budget.
The Port acquired the parcel in October 1998 as part of the Western Salt land acquisition. That purchase netted the Port 836 acres, of which 722 were transferred to the State of California as offsite mitigation for the expansion of San Diego International Airport. The 722 acres were used to create the South San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge and the remaining acres were left to the Port for future development. After the split of the airport from the Port in 2003, the 95.13 acres of Pond 20 remained in the Port's jurisdiction.
On January 11, 2011, the Board authorized Port staff to negotiate a memorandum of understanding to establish mutual goals and objectives for future development, based on financial feasibility and market analysis.
The memorandum of understanding supports the Port's strategic goals to enhance and sustain a dynamic and diverse waterfront; protect and improve the environmental conditions of San Diego Bay and develop and maintain a high level of public understanding that builds confidence and trust in the Port.
The Port of San Diego was created by the state legislature in 1962. Since then, it has invested $1.7 billion in public improvements in its five member cities – Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and San Diego.
The Port District oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 17 public parks, the Harbor Police Department and the leases of more than 600 tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.