Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Public Invited to Learn More about Status and Next Steps for Port Master Plan Update – Dec. 12 & 14

Virtual meetings Tuesday, December 12 at 6 pm and Thursday, December 14 at 1 pm

Two virtual meetings will be held to inform the public on the status and next steps for the Port Master Plan Update (PMPU)

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 Port is preparing to publish a Notice of Completion of the PMPU along with the release of the Final Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for informational purposes. Additionally, the public is invited to attend an upcoming virtual meeting for a refresher on the PMPU process, to review what changes have been made as a result of public and stakeholder feedback to date, and to provide additional feedback.

The Port Master Plan is a water and land use plan that designates specific areas of San Diego Bay and the surrounding waterfront for a variety of uses including maritime, fishing, visitor-serving commercial, recreational, environmental conservation and protection, and navigation. 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 Port is updating its Port Master Plan to reflect changes in the needs and priorities of Californians and the region’s growth. The current plan was approved in 1981 – over 40 years ago. The 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.

Final Program EIR Publishing and Public Meeting Dates
The Final PEIR, which will include the latest draft of the PMPU, will be made available for public review on Wednesday, December 6, 2023 at portofsandiego.org/pmpu. A tracked changes version of the latest draft of the PMPU, which will be called the “Final Draft PMPU,” will also be available to show the text changes made since the Draft PMPU was published in the fall of 2021. Additionally, the Port will hold two virtual public meetings at the below dates and times. Each meeting will have the same agenda and presentation and will allow time for comments and Q&A.

The Final Draft PMPU reflects extensive input from the public, stakeholders, and the Board of Port Commissioners. The Final PEIR includes responses to the comments received during the Draft PEIR public review period between November 8, 2021 and January 10, 2022. It also contains revisions made to the PEIR as a result of those comments; however, the analyses of the potentially significant environmental impacts and mitigation measures remain essentially the same as those provided in the Draft PEIR. The Draft and Final PEIR incorporate the required analyses of environmental impacts associated with air quality, climate change, traffic, noise, biology, public services and recreation, among others.

The Port welcomes and encourages all feedback at the virtual meetings and is grateful that the community is engaged in the PMPU process. The Board of Port Commissioners is anticipated to consider certifying the Final PEIR and adopting the Final Draft PMPU at a Special Session meeting on Wednesday, February 28, 2024. The public, interested organizations, and government agencies are encouraged to submit testimony, statements, and evidence relative to the Final Draft PMPU and Final PEIR at the Special Session BPC Meeting, or in written form prior to that meeting. Written information should be submitted to the attention of the District Clerk, San Diego Unified Port District, 3165 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92101 or at PublicRecords@portofsandiego.org.

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 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)
    • Staff conducted the requisite “CEQA Environmental Review.” (Completed in 2021; Preliminary environmental review work began during the third phase.)
    • Public review of the Draft PEIR with the latest Draft PMPU. (Completed in 2022)
    • Release of the Final PEIR with the Final Draft PMPU. (Current step, documents to be published on December 6, 2023.)
  5. PMPU Certification (Anticipated in 2025)
    • Port Board considers certification of the Program EIR and adoption of the PMPU (Anticipated in February 2024)
    • Processing of the PMPU with the California Coastal Commission (Anticipated spring 2024 – summer/fall 2025)
    • California Coastal Commission considers certification of the PMPU (Anticipated in late 2025)
    • Port Board approves the PMPU as certified by the Coastal Commission (Anticipated in late 2025)

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

Source: Port of San Diego

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Managing Editor
Managing Editor
Originally from upstate New York, Dani Schwartz has lived in Coronado since 1996. She is happy to call Coronado home and to have raised her children here. In her free time she enjoys reading, exercising, trying new restaurants, and just walking her dog around the "island." Have news to share? Send tips or story ideas to: [email protected]

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