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Port to Delay Pond 20 Land Use Decision

A recommendation initially planned to take place last year for how to use 95 acres of land near Imperial Beach known as Pond 20 will be delayed at least another six months, according to Port of San Diego spokeswoman Tanya Castaneda.

A recommendation to port commissioners on how to use the land was again delayed in order for the the governing body of land along San Diego Bay to modify its master plan known as the integrative planning initiative.  

"For the first time since it was adopted in the early 1980s we're taking the opportunity to update the whole thing," Castaneda said. "So we've put the Pond 20 plan on hold because what we want to make sure is whatever we propose for that site is consistent with these new guiding principles."

Portions of the master plan have been modified more than 30 times since the early 1980s but this is the first attempt to rewrite the entire plan. 

First up is Phase I: updating guiding principles and visions, which is scheduled to be completed in June.

The integrated planning initiative will temporarily slow Pond 20 progress but since the initiative will take years to complete it can't stop or slow Port business, Castaneda said. The port will have to "have to fix the plane while we're flying," she said.

Once Phase I is complete port staff may or may not move forward with recommendations to port commissioners on how to use Pond 20 land. 

"We'll know our next step once we have the guiding principles," Castaneda said. "You can't put everything on hold during this project but i can't say for what the next step will be. We don't want to make it much longer."

The land owned by the Port of San Diego was devoted to commercial use as a part of a land mitigation deal to allow the creation of Terminal 2 at San Diego International Airport. 

An initial attempt to develop the land about a decade ago was quashed.

A second attempt to develop the land began in 2012 with members of the public sharing ideas for how to use the land.

Proposals submitted by groups and businesses in summer 2012 include a dinner theater, recreation space, mitigation bank and Irish sports fields and club house.

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