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Public Meeting: Tell the Port of San Diego to Protect South San Diego Bay: Pond 20

April 24, 2012

The Port of San Diego invites the public to attend an outreach meeting to learn how to solicit ideas for potential projects for Pond 20, a 95-acre undeveloped stretch of land on the shores of south San Diego Bay.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. at the Robert Egger-South Bay Recreation Center located at 1885 Coronado Avenue in San Diego. The public meeting is a major step to determine the best uses for the Pond 20 parcel.


Port staff will present background information on Pond 20, outline the process for submitting project ideas, listen to community concerns and encourage stakeholder participation.

Pond 20 was originally one of the salt ponds of the Western Salt Company. It was purchased by the Port of San Diego in 1998 as part of an 836-acre land acquisition.

Most of this land was acquired as an environmental offset for the expansion of San Diego International Airport, when the airport was under the jurisdiction of the Port. As part of this mitigation effort, 722 acres were transferred to the State of California, which led to the creation of the South San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

The remaining 114 acres were set aside for future development. When the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority became a separate agency in January 2003, the Port retained ownership of Pond 20, and the airport took over the remaining acreage.

The Pond 20 parcel, described as "the front porch of Imperial Beach," fronts the 1400 block of Palm Avenue.

In January, 2012, the Board of Port Commissioners adopted a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Port and the cities of San Diego and Imperial Beach to explore uses for Pond 20. The land is located in the City of San Diego yet included as part of the City of Imperial Beach's Redevelopment Area.

The MOU creates a roadmap for the Port and the cities of Imperial Beach and San Diego to work with stakeholders and planning groups on environmental enhancement and economic development opportunities for Pond 20.

It satisfies a Port of San Diego goal to facilitate responsible, job-creating development while protecting the environment.

During the outreach process, the Port will request letters of interest from project proponents with written project ideas about development and/or restoration. These letters will be evaluated and will result in a staff recommendation for Pond 20 that will be considered by the Board of Port Commissioners.

About the Port:

The Port of San Diego is the fourth-largest of 11 deep water ports in California and the top port in the state for the movement of break-bulk cargo. The Port was created by the state legislature in 1962. Since then, it has invested in public improvements in its five member cities – Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City, and San Diego.

The Port District oversees two maritime cargo terminals, two cruise ship terminals, 17 public parks, the Harbor Police Department, and the leases of more than 600 tenant and sub tenant businesses around San Diego Bay.