Most of this land was acquired to mitigate the expansion of Lindbergh Field, when the airport operations were under the Port's control.
As part of this mitigation effort, 722 acres were transferred to the State of California. This ultimately led to the creation of the South San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
When the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (Airport) became a separate agency on January 1, 2003, the Port retained ownership of Pond 20, and the Airport took over the remaining acreage.
The Port has worked collaboratively with the cities of San Diego and Imperial Beach to explore opportunities for future uses.
An agreement, known as a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), has been developed between the Port of San Diego and the cities of San Diego and Imperial Beach, which outlines a process to solicit input and develop project concepts for Pond 20.
On July 14, 2015, the Board of Port Commissioners approved a land use plan for the 95 acres of Pond 20 that will benefit Imperial Beach, the City of San Diego, and our entire region. The long-term plan calls for:
- An 84 acre parcel in the center of the site is designated for mitigation banking as specified in an RFP issued for development of this site.
- A 3.1-acre parcel on the western edge of Pond 20 is designated commercial to complement the new Bikeway Village.
- A 7.9-acre parcel on the eastern edge is designated for low-intensity commercial development.
The other two parcels will be developed at a future date.
The Board of Port Commissioners also voted to establish a new economic development fund entitled the “Pond 20 Economic Development Fund” in which the net proceeds from the mitigation bank will be placed. Proceeds placed in this fund will be made available to be expended exclusively within the adjacent jurisdictions of Imperial Beach and South San Diego for appropriate economic development related projects and economic benefit purposes.