Thursday, December 2, 2021

Draft EIR for Port Master Plan Update Available for Review and Input

Source: Port of San Diego

Continuing robust public outreach in the Port of San Diego’s planning for the “future of the Port,” more formally known as the Port Master Plan Update (PMPU), the public and stakeholders are invited to review and provide feedback on the Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the PMPU.

The Port is updating its Port Master Plan, a water and land use plan that designates specific areas of San Diego Bay and the surrounding waterfront for maritime, fishing, visitor-serving commercial, recreational, conservation, and institutional uses. The plan determines where port activities should take place, where recreational amenities should be located, and where commercial uses like hotels, restaurants, and visitor-serving retail may be built.

The Draft Program EIR, which includes the latest Draft PMPU, is available for public review at The Draft EIR includes analysis of potential environmental impacts such as, but not limited to, air quality, climate change, traffic, noise, and natural resources. The Draft PMPU includes goals, policies and development standards that reflect extensive input from the public, stakeholders, and the Board of Port Commissioners. A tracked changes version of the Draft PMPU is also available at and shows the text changes made since the Revised Draft PMPU was published in October 2020.

The document is also available for public review during normal business hours at the Port’s Office of the District Clerk, 3165 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101, as well as at the San Diego Central Library (330 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101), the Imperial Beach Library (810 Imperial Beach Blvd, Imperial Beach, CA 91932), and the Coronado Public Library (640 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118). Note that review must be done at the location.

The Port welcomes and encourages all feedback and is grateful the community is engaged in the PMPU process.

Comments will be accepted through Thursday, December 23, 2021, and should be emailed to or mailed to the Port of San Diego, Attn: Planning Department, P.O. Box 120488, San Diego, CA  92112-0488.

A Port Master Plan is required by the San Diego Unified Port District Act and the California Coastal Act. The Port’s existing plan was certified (as a whole) in 1981 by the California Coastal Commission and since then there have been many location-specific amendments but never a comprehensive update. The PMPU seeks to reflect changes in the needs and priorities of Californians and the region’s growth since the current master plan was approved 40 years ago.

The Port’s objective is to create a holistic, thoughtful, and balanced approach to future water and land uses on and around San Diego Bay for generations to come. The goals of the PMPU are to:

  • Balance the needs of development with those of valuable natural resources;
  • Prioritize coastal-dependent developments and clearly define water and land uses for development;
  • Protect opportunities for public access and parks on the waterfront for all Californians and visitors to enjoy; and
  • Streamline the permitting process for developers, investors, and Port staff to process projects more effectively and efficiently.

The PMPU effort began in 2013 and is being done through a multi-faceted and comprehensive approach and process known as Integrated Planning. This five-phase planning process will culminate with an updated Port Master Plan:

  1. Vision Statement and Guiding Principles (Completed in 2014) – This initial phase included a high-level assessment of Port-wide assets and extensive public engagement resulting in a foundational Vision Statement and Guiding Principles for the entire Integrated Planning framework.
  2. Framework Report (Completed in 2015) – In this phase, the Vision Process was further refined through consideration of a core set of comprehensive ideas, memorialized in a Framework Report, that informed the development of the Draft PMPU document. (Phase 1 and 2 make up the Integrated Planning Vision.)
  3. Port Master Plan Update Discussion Draft and Revised Draft (Completed in 2020) – This phase involved direction from the Board for drafting of the Draft PMPU document to be used as the project description in the Draft Program EIR and which is comprised of goals, policies and maps.
    • Baywide Elements and Planning District Goals (Completed in 2017)
    • Policy Concepts and Water and Land Use Maps (Completed in 2019)
    • Additional Policy Discussion Topics (Completed in 2019)
    • Public review of PMPU Discussion Draft (Completed in 2019)
    • Public review of Revised Draft PMPU (Completed December 2020)
  4. Environmental review pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) (Current Phase)
  5. PMPU Certification (Anticipated for completion in 2023)
    • Port Board considers certification of the Program EIR and adoption of the PMPU (Anticipated in spring 2022)
    • Processing of the PMPU with the California Coastal Commission (Anticipated spring 2022 – spring/summer 2023)
    • California Coastal Commission considers certification of the PMPU (Anticipated in mid-2023)
    • Port Board approves the PMPU as certified by the Coastal Commission (Anticipated in mid-2023)
    • California Coastal Commission considers approving the final PMPU (Anticipated in mid-2023)

For more information about the PMPU process and/or to sign up to receive updates, go to

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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:
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