Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Opposition to Rezoning the Smart & Final Lot

Letters to the Editor submitted to The Coronado Times are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher, editors or writers of this publication. Submit letters to letters@coronadotimes.com.

Submitted by Mary and Jim Heintz

I am writing because my husband, Jim, and I are STRONGLY OPPOSED to changing the zoning of the Smart & Final lot from commercial to mixed commercial/residential.

If Mayor Bailey and Councilmembers vote to change the zoning, then HG Fenton, who owns the lot, can develop/over develop it as they see fit. We do not want to see towering residences on the Smart & Final lot.

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The issue of losing Smart & Final has been somewhat addressed by a couple of Councilmembers. One said that perhaps the lot could be partially rezoned. Would that mean one residential tower instead of two?  Another said there would probably be some type of grocery store, along with residences. Mayor Bailey emailed a neighbor that the Smart & Final lot is the only option that ticks off all of the boxes. We have asked about alternatives, like partnering with the Navy to find space, looking at the Strand, city property, etc.

Although we have asked the Mayor and each Councilmember, no one other than Casey Tanaka has addressed the pivotal issue of density in this area. The Ferry Landing end of Coronado is already overcrowded, with residents, businesses and traffic. Visitors, who we understand are important for our businesses, do add to the congestion. We have the hospital, the Marriott, Broadstone, the Landing, Crown Point, etc. According to the 2020 census, the population within a one mile radius of Smart & Final is 14,000. The daytime population is 18,000. Owners of 100-150 B Avenue are advertising commercial space available, and report that B Avenue has 1,402 cars going by every day, and 1st Street has 7,300 cars going by that spot every day. If the Smart & Final lot is further developed for commercial/residential use, we’re adding perhaps thousands more people and cars.

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We have specifically asked how infrastructure would be handled, like traffic, road upkeep, etc., and have not received any answers about these issues.

According to a post on Facebook’s Coronado Happenings, rezoning and developing the Smart & Final lot could include underground grocery store and parking, with who knows how many stories of apartments/condos above. One of the developers of Regatta Bay, who said that the underground parking area there was much more complicated and took a lot longer than originally planned, feels that construction on the Smart & Final lot could take four to five years to complete.

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The best way to make your voice/opinion heard is to contact Mayor Bailey and Councilmembers regarding this issue. They could be voting on this issue as early as this Tuesday, March 2. Phone numbers and email addresses are listed below.

Mayor – Richard Bailey

Council Member – Bill Sandke

Council Member – Casey Tanaka

Council Member – Mike Donovan

Council Member – Marvin Heinze

Thank you for your support.

Mary and Jim Heintz

Image: Google Maps

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Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is thrilled to call Coronado home and raise her two children here. In her free time enjoys hitting the gym, reading, and walking her dog around the “island.” Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: manager@coronadotimes.com
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