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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 new National City Aquatic Center and many pieces of valuable public art. 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.

National City Bayfront Gallery

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 Balanced Plan 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is in the National City Marina District?

The National City Marina District is the approximately 60-acre area in and around Pier 32 Marina. It is a key asset of the Port of San Diego 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 National City Aquatic Center.

What is the Balanced Plan?

The Port has worked closely with the City of National City, as well as businesses and community stakeholders to find the right balance of land use between the above-mentioned priorities. Public outreach has been an integral component of the process and has included small stakeholder working sessions, public meetings and individual meetings with interested parties. The proposed National City Marina District Balanced Land Use Plan (Balanced Plan) is a result of this outreach and consists of the following:

  • Expansion of Pepper Park by more than 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.
  • Better configured/more contiguous commercial recreation and maritime uses.

In addition, four additional projects and a program are being analyzed in one comprehensive Environmental Impact Report, and are collectively referred to as the "Balanced Plan 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 Tidelands Avenue.
  • 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 (MTS property) 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 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 National City Marine Terminal (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 or fully closing Bay Marina Drive between Marina Way and Tidelands Avenue. 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. In the coming years, it is anticipated that the Board will consider whether to certify the Balanced Plan EIR and other project components within the Port’s jurisdiction and decide whether to approve a PMPA for the same.