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Business or Mitigation Bank for Pond 20? Help Decide at Final Meeting

South Bay residents will be asked to comment on proposed ideas to develop Pond 20 on Palm Avenue at a Dec. 4 meeting before Port of San Diego staff make a recommendation to the Board of Port Commissioners next year.

Before the Port of San Diego decides what to do with a 95-acre plot of land on Imperial Beach's eastern border, residents of IB, Nestor and Otay Mesa are being asked a final time for their opinion on proposals by Port staff.

Following a first round of public outreach this spring and call for ideas this summer, seven proposals were presented to port staff.

The cities of San Diego and Imperial Beach and the Port reviewed proposed development ideas, and Port staff began to formulate short- and long-term plans.

Learn about the plans to develop the very southern tip of San Diego Bay and offer your opinion at a final round of public outreach Dec. 4 from 5-6:30 p.m. at the Otay Mesa-Nestor Branch Library located at 3003 Coronado Ave. in San Diego.

A mitigation bank, or land dedicated to restoration to offset adverse impacts on the environment elsewhere, is expected to make up a majority of the land together with an undetermined commercial business, said Tanya Castaneda with the Port of San Diego.

"What they're going to be seeking input on is a conceptual potential recommendations, and it includes a mitigation bank along with some portion of the parcel being used for a commercial development and  improvements on palm avenue," she said.

Though Port staff have concluded what kind of use of the land is best after the first public outreach and speaking with the cities of San Diego and Imperial Beach, things can still change.

After the Dec. 4 meeting, Port staff may adapt its plans before making a formal recommendation to the Board of Port Commissioners in early 2013, who will make a final decision on what happens to the land.

Development ideas that were recommended by businesses and organizations include a land bank to offset the consequences of environmental impact from development in other areas, but also Irish sports field and a surf dinner theater with an IMAX ceiling.

An agreement was signed between the Port and cities of San Diego and Imperial Beach in early 2012 to explore development of Pond 20, which the Port purchased in 1998.

Initial plans to develop the land a decade ago fell through after a proposed project failed to meet Tidelands Trust criteria, Port staff said.

John Galt November 23, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Business generates revenue while mitigation banks are smoke and mirrors. I can employ at lease 50 people on that site. How many people would be employed by the "bank"? ZERO Any questions...

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