Fiesta Island Debate: “One of few open and undeveloped areas within City will end if current proposed plan is implemented.”

by on July 28, 2016 · 6 comments

in Culture, Environment, History, Life Events, Ocean Beach, Politics, San Diego, Sports

Fiesta Island map

Originally posted July 28, 2016

By Jean Spengel , FIDO Boardmember

I would just like to reply to Ms. Swink’s editorial, ‘Improvements Needed to Expand Access’

She obviously thinks that people enjoying the beach with their off-leash dogs do not matter,- they should be replaced by other users she wants to bring into the area.

This is in spite of the fact that the 90 acre fenced off-leash area is the most heavily used space in all of Mission Bay Park.

Every day, 365 days a year, hundreds to thousands of tax paying citizens use this area to exercise with their dogs.

While there are over 40,000 acres of parkland in San Diego only about 40 of those acres (not including Fiesta Island) are available for off-leash use. That is about 1% of the public parkland.

Considering the fact that there are almost 800,000 dogs in San Diego County and almost 40% of all households have a dog, isn’t it fair and equitable for dog owners to have a space?

Obviously Ms. Swink doesn’t think so.

Even more important is the fact that this 90 acre area is a HUMAN exercise area. If she went to the area she would see people walking, running and biking with their dogs. She would also see people without dogs enjoying the area, one of the few open and undeveloped areas within the city.

This will soon end if the current proposed plan is implemented as it includes roads, parking lots, fencing, an amphitheater, a tot lot,- all replacing open, undeveloped space.

As to her claim that the rest of the island outside of the fenced off-leash area will remain off-leash,- that is highly doubtful.

Fiesta Island Dog Owners (FIDO), representing the users of the fenced area, had acknowledged this and as a compromise, years ago decided that if we could retain the existing 90 acres, we would give up off-leash use on the rest of Fiesta Island.

It is possible that the city may work with other dog organization representatives on keeping off-leash use on some unfenced areas. FIDO believes there is plenty of room in Mission Bay for everyone. The only difference is that dog owners have no other place to go while all other users have options.

Jean Spengel
FIDO Boardmember

Other posts on this debate over the future of Fiesta Island:

It’s not just dog owners who want to keep Fiesta Island ‘wild’

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Andy July 30, 2016 at 3:59 pm

The Fiesta Island Dog Run is also one of the few remaining spots left for some migratory birds. At least 130 bird species use the dog run, including several species of longspurs that can’t be easily seen elsewhere in the county:

Before handing the island over to developers, the city should do an environmental impact report that accounts for these birds.


Dog_Paw July 30, 2016 at 7:39 pm

I think Fiesta Island at least should have a historical designation as the birthplace of the Triathlon. (see: . Fiesta Island also has the distinction
being the site where great French rider – Jeannie Longo set her 33KM Time Trial Record.


micporte May 8, 2019 at 5:36 am

some people who have petty power just can’t leave a good thing alone, and the city planning department should all be fired for trying to concrete the beach/bay/anything,
same for the proposed massive concrete structure slated for destroying an acre of north PB beach, the “north PB lifeguard station”, still on the budget, despite citizen outrage since 2011, $7 million for two lifeguards and no apparent need, only public safety fraud in their massive exaggeration of beach attendant numbers since 2002, and the cowardice of the local PB planning group, a bunch of petty power mongers…I protest


Clarke Graves May 10, 2019 at 11:35 am

I would dove to see FIDO share this space that was designated for water recreation with water enthusiasts. The plan calls for conceding a very small portion of the dog park to allow water access. Seems very discouraging that we can’t share this space.


Clarke Graves May 10, 2019 at 11:42 am

I suggest folks watch this recent planning meeting (about 90 minutes in) if they want to REALLY understand what is REALLY being proposed.

Planning Commission April 11, Click “Video”
Item #5 is this related item, and it starts at roughly 1:36:30.



nostalgic May 11, 2019 at 7:07 am

“Landscaping will consist of removing non-native and invasive plants, and planting native vegetation. There also are habitat areas that would remain closed to use but other areas would open up for use.” — Swink Article. So Fiesta Island will look like Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, right?


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