The Port of San Diego swore in its 2020 Executive Officers for the Board of Port Commissioners on Thursday, January 9 during ceremonies held at Intercontinental San Diego located along the North Embarcadero on the San Diego Bay waterfront.
Ann Moore, who represents the City of Chula Vista, was sworn in as Chair; Michael Zucchet, one of three City of San Diego representatives, was sworn in as Vice Chair; and Dan Malcolm, who represents the City of Imperial Beach, was sworn in as Secretary.
After being sworn in, Chair Moore established her theme for 2020, “Port of the Future.”
“I’m inspired by ports around the world that continue to reinvest in their waterfronts to keep them new and fresh to meet changing public needs. Seattle comes to mind with its Pike Place Market and plans for a waterfront aquarium. Sydney is another premier example with its iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. The best waterfronts don’t remain the same and that’s how I see the Port of San Diego’s role for San Diego Bay – planning for the future while also being flexible so we can continue to evolve,” said Moore.
Moore’s focus for 2020 will be on making significant advancements in the Port Master Plan Update effort and of the continued transformation of the Chula Vista Bayfront.
Port Master Plan Update
The Port is updating its Port Master Plan, a water and land use plan that specifies what type of uses are allowed (parks and open space, commercial development, wetlands, marinas, etc.) to reflect changes in the needs and priorities of Californians and the region’s growth since the first Port Master Plan was approved in 1981 – nearly 40 years ago. The effort is often referred to as “the future of the Port” and is intended to protect and restore the natural environment, allow for and encourage a diverse range of uses around San Diego Bay, provide and ensure coastal access to explore and enjoy, and to protect and promote coastal-dependent and coastal-related uses (such as fishing, maritime, cargo shipping, cruise lines) within the Port’s control. In 2019, the Port released a discussion draft of the Port Master Plan Update (PMPU) for public review and feedback. In 2020, the Port will release a revised draft, complete the environmental review process, and anticipates the Board will consider approving the PMPU and certifying the Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Report. Continuing the Port’s commitment to robust public outreach and engagement throughout the PMPU process, there will be additional opportunity for public review and input during each of these steps. An updated master plan supports the Port’s mission to activate San Diego Bay and its surrounding waterfront for multiple purposes and uses for the benefit of the people of the State of California.
Chula Vista Bayfront Project
The Chula Vista Bayfront project is the economic future of the South Bay and is a collaborative effort between the Port, the City of Chula Vista, the community and numerous stakeholders. The project will transform approximately 535 acres of largely vacant and underutilized industrial landscape into a thriving recreational, residential and resort destination on the Chula Vista waterfront. In 2019, construction began on the Costa Vista RV Resort and the Sweetwater Bicycle Path and Promenade on the northern end of the bayfront. In 2020, the Port anticipates public infrastructure improvements and site preparation to begin for the Gaylord Pacific resort hotel and convention center. When the Chula Vista Bayfront project is complete, the public will enjoy more than 200 acres of parks, open space, a shoreline promenade, walking trails, RV camping, shopping, dining and more.
Outgoing 2019 Chairman Garry Bonelli, the Board’s Coronado representative, recapped his 2019 theme of “Renaissance on the Bay” to highlight the progress the Port is making in the PMPU effort and the Chula Vista Bayfront project. He also shined a spotlight on the Port’s clean water efforts. In 2019, those efforts included a focused attention to the ongoing discharge of sewage and other waste in the Tijuana River Valley. The Port is the state-designated trustee of public resources in and around Imperial Beach, which includes the ocean waters just off the Imperial Beach Pier, an area that has for far too long been dealing with toxic, sewage polluted water that flows from the Tijuana River. The Port and its regional, state and local partners worked on many fronts to urge the federal government to act and solve the problem.
Chair Moore was sworn in by her husband, Curtis Moore. Zucchet and Malcom were each sworn in by Port District Clerk Donna Morales. The executive officers are elected by the Board and will serve a one-year term.
Following the swearing-in ceremony, Chair Moore presided over the first Board meeting of 2020, held at the Port Administration Building.
There are seven Commissioners on the Board. In addition to the executive officers and the outgoing Chairman, the other Board members are Robert “Dukie” Valderrama, representing National City; Rafael Castellanos representing San Diego; and Marshall Merrifield representing San Diego. Commissioners are appointed by the city councils of their respective cities. They are appointed for four-year terms and may be reappointed for additional terms by their city councils. The Board of Port Commissioners is responsible for setting the policies by which the Port of San Diego conducts its day-to-day operations, under the guidance of its President and CEO.