Pond 20 Development Ideas Sought at Workshop Monday

A workshop will be held Monday at the Dempsey Holder Safety Center where residents will be asked to submit ideas for how to develop the area which borders Imperial Beach.

The Port of San Diego will hold a workshop Monday from 4:30-6 p.m. where residents are being asked to contribute their ideas for how to develop 95 acres of land bordering IB known as Pond 20.

The workshop follows one held last month in the same location and continues a process which will end with recommendations by port staff to commissioners for proposed development of the land.

A petition requesting that the area be declared protected preservation land was started by AJ Schneller, Coastal and Marine Conservation Program Manager for .

The petition has received 214 signatures and will be sent to the City of Imperial Beach, City of San Diego and Port of San Diego.

In January the two cities and the Port of San Diego signed an agreement to explore the potential of developing the land.

To comment on Pond 20 or receive updates email pond20@portofsandiego.org.

Mark June 25, 2012 at 04:15 PM
The property is an eyesore and should be developed. Not every bayfront property should be protected for birds. There is already a siginficant amount of land used for this. With that said, I suggest a boat marina, and luanch ramp into the bay. This could make a tourist destiantion much like Coroanado Glorita Bay Marina, and add a few quality restruants. This would bring much needed revenue to the city, and provide quality jobs, and actually bring people to the area. Total cost is minimal because the material dreadged for the boats and channel would be used to make the base for the buildings. This and the Tijuana River areas should be developed.
Dante Pamintuan June 25, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Mr. Mike McCoy presented a very reasonable idea that incorporated the Bikeway Village and the emerging EcoTourism for Imperial Beach. By tying in the Otay Valley Regional Park, Tijuana River Valley, Tijuana Estuary and the IB Pier, Pond 20 can be the crown jewel of Imperial Beach. I agree with you that there needs to be a way to bring in additional revenue to IB to make this a reality. However, I'm not sure that a Marina,Hotel and Retail will be a good fit for Pond 20. There are other ideas out there!
Aj Schneller June 25, 2012 at 07:20 PM
The very few remaining coastal wetlands in southern California should be restored for wildlife habitat, ecosystem values, and public access to open space for healthy recreation. Aesthetically speaking, Pond 20 is the last open space that provides a view of the bay from Palm Avenue. Habitat restoration coupled with beautification along Palm avenue (removal of the chain fence and construction of a walking path with benches) would alleviate the "eyesore" and improve the viewshed that Mark is referring to. And the MOU stakeholder cities can still receive revenue through this process. For instance, Port Tenants who are in need of mitigation credits (and sites) for prior impacts to the Bay can pay for restoration projects at Pond 20, buying mitigation credits from the stakeholder cities and the Port. With so much vacant retail space on Palm Avenue and in the surrounding communities we should be facilitating urban redevelopment and utilization of existing retail properties, before we pave over the last remaining coastal wetlands. If paving and filling wetlands has not already created revenue and jobs in south San Diego and Imperial Beach, why would this antiquated approach work now?
Ms. Ida & Mauli June 25, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Look at J street in Chula Vista for example of how their "marina district " is doing. Since that was built some time ago it has been doing marginal at best, marina yes. cheapest mooring in Socal. Business's like dining and boat services have came and went there. Why try to build something on the bay that already exists , the J street marina. We really dont need to look at more boats on the water, tied up to their slips, many never leave with a permanent scum line on them. Chula Vista already has dibs on the pond, along with the salt plant, former power plant, former Rohr plant and all the acreage from I.B to the wetland center. Good luck with any of your intentions, it is already mapped out what is to be done there. BUT........BUT....lets throw a wrench in this potential " land grab". there are no more RDA funds from any city, just where is this mystery check going to come from? Only way this could be built is from a private venture, private checkbook. Dont be looking at Sacremento or D.C to float that cash. Just leave it alone, maybe fill it in with bay silt and build trails, no more asphalt or concrete, there is plenaty of that to go around. I am sure there is some endangered weed or rare mosquito issue we would have to deal with anyhow, and good luck with any potential building when the endangered word comes up.
Mark June 25, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Mr. J. I have a boat in J. St. It is far from the "cheapest mooring" in SoCal. It cost more than Mission Bay, or what I paid in Los Angeles. You can look on line for mooring fees to verify my statements. J. Street marinas are very nice, and the operation is making money. Truth is most boats rarely get out of the slips, however the rent is paid, and people spend money to eat at nice places, buy needed items for their boats, and shop. When we all get out of this long depression, the marinas will make more money. I do think any money spent to develop the land should be private investment. With the exception of the extensive leagal cost that will occur prior to developing the property.
Conner June 25, 2012 at 10:44 PM
AJ Schneller brings up a good point- the City of IB could benefit from habitat restoration at Pond 20- and have a beautiful and productive wetland at the same time. Let's not homogenize the south bay to look like the rest of San Diego Bay......riprap rock shorelines and boats that site in slips....There is plenty of developed shoreline around San Diego Bay. Let's think of a way to restore the wetlands and draw in the ecotourists. A viewing platform over a restored wetland would be a great addition to the area.
Jacki F June 26, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Mark, This is for you: Pond 20 is important: Birds, land critters and ecotourism. Ecotourism will generate money for jobs and the economy. The ecotoursts are people who come here for conventions and vacations. They spend money. They drool over our beatiful waterscapes and then we make money. You make more money. If you make more money you can afford your slip. Of course, we get the added benefit of a place for fish to spawn, so you can catch them in the ocean. What makes you think a slip in Pond 20 will be cheaper than J Street? The better our economy is, the less you spend. The ecotourism tourists help us all, without leaving a big, negative footprint. I don't know if you are familiar with the Famosa Slough in San Diego. It once looked like Pond 20. It is now a draw for higher real estate prices in the area: http://www.famosaslough.org/. Check it out and google Famosa Slough. Please keep an open mind about what long range planning will do for you. Jacki Farrington
JWright June 26, 2012 at 05:24 AM
I live adjacent to Pond 20. I would be very interested in seeing Mr. Mike MCoy's presentation! My absolute favorite area of IB is the Tijuana Estuary Visitor Center. It is my understanding that he is the one that helped preserve that area. When friends visit me here, I take them there. I like the idea of merging Pond 20 into the emerging EcoTourism that seems to be trying to get off the ground in Imperial Beach. Make this a place where people want to visit and THEN build a hotel. Maybe build a hotel on the other side of Los Ponchos, where there is already a vacant condemned motel for sale. There is NOT enough land dedicated to our birds. And that area is NOT an eyesore to the home owners that bought property along that area. We love the open space and our wildlife. We love the Ospreys, the Clapper Rails, the Hawks, even the Skunks and Opossums that live there. We also love White Heron and Great Grey Egret; all these critters live in or along Pond 20. Let’s preserve or restore the habitat and make it a relaxing ecofriendly destination, an area where all people will want to come and visit and enjoy. Not that many people own boats. And please….DON’T BUILD ANOTHER CAR WASH!
Mark June 29, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Jacki F. I know where the Famosa Slough is and have been there. Problem with developing Pond 20 similar to the Famosa Slough is very basic, is there is not enough revenue to the city of Imperial Beach from increased property values, or ecotourism. I don’t think a marina slip in Pond 20 would be cheaper than J Street. I do think a marina and businesses there would thrive and one at the Tijuana estuary would dominate the San Diego marine industry bringing significant revenue to the city. Enough to pave the alleys, repave the streets, and add staff for public safety, parks and pay for the natural areas. Imperial Beach has very limited resources to draw from for revenue. It has two wonderful natural resources that can be utilized for revenue which would pay for an improved quality of life. I envision more like Coronado, where it is safe to walk around and people want to come. We need money to have that. Thanks Mark
Nanci July 25, 2012 at 05:35 PM
I think a portion of the land should be used as a dog park. I know a lot of local residents that drive pretty far to let their dogs run and play..Just a portion- of course a boat area would be great too.It does not take TOO much space to have a dog park....


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