Condo Excitement

On May 18, the San Diego Port Commission, the Chula Vista City Council, the Chula Vista Planning Commission, and the Chula Vista Redevelopment Agency met in back-to-back meetings to approve the Bayfront environmental impact report and to approve the amended Bayfront Master Plan. The amended plan calls for 1500 condominiums, hotel and retail space, and park lands.

Public comment came from various sectors of the community that expressed approval of this “world-class Bayfront plan.” Chula Vista’s main street, Third Avenue, has been in decline. Adam Sparks, owner of the Third Avenue restaurant Mangia Italiano, expressed the hope that this project will have a huge impact on business and income in the area. He congratulated all who had worked on the plan for making it environmentally friendly.

Richard D’Ascoli, who called himself the “local voice of real estate,” began by saying “condominiums make me excited.” D’Ascoli said that he had been “hoping for 3000” but that he was ultimately happy with the 1500 condos that Pacifica, Inc., plans to develop.

There were also speakers who protested aspects of the plan. Peter Watry, of Crossroads II, addressed the issue of park space. Watry lamented the loss of a 35-acre park but also spoke about the problems associated with the most recent changes to the park plan.

As Watry described it, the park is divided by a “ ‘choke point’ which the Port [District] refused to fix,” thus the park is divided into north and south. He said the south park will be for people in the resort area with plenty of expendible income; the north park is what Watry defined as the “people’s park.”

According to Watry, in a recent agreement with the Environmental Health Coalition, the Chula Vista City Council cut a 400-foot environmental buffer zone out of the public park, shrinking the space even more.

Jackie Lancaster, president of Save Our Bayfront, said the Bayfront plan will “deny residents access to the shore line…. Every inch of the waterfront will be owned by condo owners, yacht owners, and hotel owners, and they won’t want us in their area.”

Because the plan now will go to the California Coastal Commission for approval, Lancaster held up a sign with the Coastal Commission’s phone number (619-767-2370) and urged people to call.

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While I agree it is unfortunate that our Bayfront may end up with all these high rise buildings and the plan clearly calls for too much development, the buffer zones are exactly the same size in both the Sweetwater Park and the Harbor Park plans. Also the port is working on adding a possible pedestrain only bridge between the two parks and getting land from the Marine Group Boat Works to expand the park in that section. There is a public road between the proposed hotel and the expanded existing Bayview Park which will not be changed at all only made larger. I would think it highly unlikely hotel guests paying $400 a room for all the amenities offered on site will be crossing the road in droves and crowding out local people at a passive strip of sand on a polluted Bay. The condos are across the road from the marina, which will have a pedestrian and bicycle path as well as shops under the proposed plan along its edge. The environment is being protected to a larger degree than previously by the current plan. If people object to the development then the alternative is no project. If that is what is wanted people should honestly say so instead of making up an issue about parks which would be the same size and of the same nature whether the Harbor Park or the Sweetwater Park alternative were adopted once the required environmental protection guidelines to get CCC and legal approval were added.

Admin, what is with the font size changing in comments, I've seen it a few times now. Glitch?

Yes, the font size glitch is very distracting....

It is really unfortunate that the author really seems to have misrepresented the comments and issues.

Mr. D'Ascoli's comment of being excited by condos was specifiaccly in response to the previous speaker who closed saying that no one is excited by condos.

She also reports Mr. Watry's lamont at the loss of 35 acres of parks, but there was no real loss of parkland, but a reconfiguration.

Then she reports Jackie Lancaster's concern of no access to the shoreline. Ms. Lancaster's charge is also incorrect. There will be at least the same access to the shore as there has been for years, which can be found at the current park on the bayfront park.

Ms. Luzarro's reporting indicates an obvious opposition to the Bayfront Plan.

Happy to see a new reader though I must disagree. The comments represent themselves. Those are the things that people said. While D'Ascoli was responding to the idea proposed of a fountain as a grand entrance to the bayfront rather than condos, the essence of his comment is enthusiasm for condos, no? Watry did lament, etc.


Clearly you were not reporting both sides of each comment, intending to leave the reader with the impression that the quotes represented the truth. There was no real balance to the report. Of course Peter lamented, but what about the other sie of his lament? And D'Ascoli did not state opposition to the fountain, but to the prior speaker who advocated the fountain and concluded that no one gets excited about condos.

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