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National City Marine terminal

National City Bayfront

Waterfront Development

The National City Bayfront is made up of 273 acres of waterfront land and 167 acres of water and includes the National City Marine Terminal, Pepper Park, Pier 32 Marina, the Aquatic Center and many pieces of valuable public art. The National City Marina District refers to the approximately 60-acre area in and around Pier 32 Marina, including Pepper Park.

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The public review period for the National City Bayfront Projects & Plan Amendments has closed. The Draft EIR was available for a 45-day public review period that ended Wednesday, November 17, 2021. Port staff will assess all the comments received on the Draft EIR and estimate when the Final EIR and associated draft Port Master Plan Amendment will be ready to be presented to the Board for approval at a future public Board meeting. The public will have the opportunity to provide comment at that meeting. The Board meeting schedule and agendas can be found here. To sign up for agenda meeting notices, click here.

The National City Bayfront Projects & Plan Amendments includes the proposed National City Balanced Land Use Plan, often referred to as the Balanced Plan. The proposed Balanced Plan, as well as four proposed projects and one programmatic component (located within the City of National City’s jurisdiction) are collectively referred to as the National City Bayfront Projects.

For questions, please call Anna Buzaitis, Program Manager, Planning Department, at 619.686.7263 or email Anna at


NC Bayfront Projects Draft EIR - Comment Letters

Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the National City Bayfront Projects & Plan Amendments

Volume I: Draft EIR

Volume II: Appendices to Draft EIR (Appendix A through Appendix G)

Volume III: Appendices to Draft EIR (Appendix H through Appendix J)

Volume IV: Appendices to Draft EIR (Appendix K)

Volume V: Appendices to Draft EIR (Appendix L through Appendix N)

SPANISH - Draft EIR Executive Summary

Balanced Plan

The Port of San Diego has been working closely with the City of National City, as well as business and community stakeholders, to rebalance land use for the National City Marina District based on public priorities. This effort is referred to as the National City Marina District Balanced Land Use Plan (Balanced Plan) and proposes the following:

  • Expansion of Pepper Park by 2.5 acres;
  • Realignment of Marina Way, which will serve as the buffer area between commercial recreation and maritime uses;
  • East-west and north-south public access corridors, with pedestrian, bicycle and visual access; and
  • Better configured/more contiguous commercial recreation and maritime uses.

Pepper Park

Picnic tables surrounded by green grass and trees along the path at Pepper Park at the Port of San Diego

National City Bayfront Projects EIR

The Balanced Plan, as well as four additional projects and a program, have been analyzed in one comprehensive Environmental Impact Report, and are collectively referred to as the National City Bayfront Projects Environmental Impact Report (EIR):

  • Pasha Road Closures Project: This project proposes the closure of Tidelands Avenue between Bay Marina Drive and West 32nd Street, and West 28th Street between Tidelands Avenue and Quay Avenue. When combined, these road closures total approximately six acres. The project would increase operating efficiencies through the elimination of certain internal fences, drive aisles, and the bifurcation of terminal operations created by these roads.
  • Bayshore Bikeway: This project will include the permanent alignment of Segment 5 of the Bayshore Bikeway in National City. Currently, three routes are being analyzed and are generally as follows: Route 1 – along the former railroad right-of-way on the southern end, and along McKinley Avenue on the northern end; Route 2 – along the existing alignment of Marina Way on the southern end, and along Cleveland Avenue, West 19th Street and Tidelands Avenue on the northern end; and Route 3 – between the former railroad right-of-way and Marina Way on the southern end, and along McKinley Avenue on the northern end. All three routes traverse both Port and City property.
  • GB Capital Project: This project proposes a recreational vehicle (RV) park, “environmental living units” (modular structures, such as recycled shipping containers which are proposed to be operated like a hotel), and the ultimate development of up to four hotels with up to 465 rooms. The project includes ancillary amenities such as, but not limited to, a clubhouse, pool, activity courts, laundry facilities, and dry boat storage; as well as in-water improvements such as, but not limited to, transient vessel moorings and a potential aquaculture site.
  • Pasha Connector Rail Project: This project proposes a connector rail track to connect the existing rail and loop track located on the National City Marine Terminal (NCMT) to additional rail car storage spots at the existing Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) National City Yard east of the National Distribution Center. The connector rail track would connect the BNSF National City Yard directly to the existing rail loop and loading tracks on the NCMT, and would allow for Pasha to have both rail and rail car storage capacity which would improve efficiencies by allowing Pasha to have easier access to empty rail cars at the BNSF National City Yard.
  • City Program: This program proposes rezoning two vacant City-owned blocks to allow for the eventual development of hotel, restaurant, retail, and/or other combination of tourist-visitor-serving commercial uses. This program also includes evaluation of narrowing Bay Marina Drive between Marina Way and Tidelands Avenue or closing Bay Marina Drive west of Marina Way to thru traffic. This program is located in the City and outside of Port jurisdiction.

Note: The proposed land uses and other project components have not been approved by the Board and no actions to date have bound the Board’s discretion whether to make such approvals. 

Future Pepper Park Expansion

The Port of San Diego held a virtual Community Workshop on Thursday, May 6, 2021 to receive public input for the future expansion of Pepper Park. This outreach is the Port’s latest design effort aimed at establishing a grand vision for Pepper Park.

Workshop Videos

Workshop Transcripts

The virtual Community Workshop explored design elements for both the existing park and the 2.5-acre future expansion. The team and participants explored park features and recreation opportunities that will help transform Pepper Park into a resource that both visitors and residents will cherish for years to come. The virtual meeting was conducted via Zoom, and was available in Spanish and Tagalog in addition to English, and included an interactive activity to discuss exciting park ideas.

For next steps, the feedback will be considered as the park expansion is designed and the community, stakeholders, and City leaders will continue to have a role as that process develops in the future. The National City Bayfront Projects EIR will serve to inform the design process as well.

Thank you to everyone who has participated in this process. As we move further along in the design for the Pepper Park expansion, we will notify you of additional opportunities to provide input. If you have have any further questions, email

Workshop Flyers 

Through this transparent and open outreach process, the workshop provided the public the opportunity to share feedback on potential park features.

Aquatic Center at Pepper Park, National City

National City Marina District

This approximately 60-acre area in and around Pier 32 Marina is a key asset of the Port of San Diego and is currently designated for three primary purposes:

  • Maritime - Most efficient auto-processing cargo terminal on the West Coast.
  • Commercial recreation - Pier 32 Marina opened in 2008 with a 250-slip marina and restaurant.
  • Public access - Pepper Park has a boat launch, playground, picnic areas and the Aquatic Center.

Balanced Plan Timeline

September 2015
September 2015

The Board of Port Commissioners directs staff to move forward with preparing a new conceptual land use designation map that will achieve three objectives: add two to three acres of park space to the Marina District, optimize maritime operations, and maximize commercial redevelopment opportunities.

April 2016
April 2016

The National City Marina District Balanced Land Use Plan (Balanced Plan) is presented to the Board. The Board directs staff to proceed with processing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and processing of a Port Master Plan Amendment (PMPA).

October 2016
October 2016

The Board directs staff to incorporate the GB Capital Project, Pasha Connector Rail Project, and City Program into the EIR and all but the City Program into the PMPA. (Note: A PMPA is not required for the City program because it is not located within Port jurisdiction.)

February 7, 2017
February 7, 2017

The Board authorizes an agreement for the preparation of the EIR to be conducted by consultant ICF Jones & Stokes, with the Port, the city of National City, Pasha, and GB Capital sharing the cost of the preparation.

October 10, 2017
October 10, 2017

The Board authorizes an amendment to the EIR agreement to revise the EIR scope of work, at the request of the City, to also include analysis of full closure and narrowing of Bay Marina Drive between Marina Way and Tidelands Avenue.


May 6: Port held a virtual workshop to get community and stakeholder feedback on potential components/features for future Pepper Park expansion.

September 29: Port staff released the National City Bayfront Projects Draft EIR for a 45-day public review and comment period.

TBD: Staff will present the EIR and public feedback to the Board. The Board will consider whether to certify the EIR and other project components within the Port’s jurisdiction and decide whether to approve a PMPA for the same.

National City Bayfront Gallery