Beach Residents Rally to ‘Save Bahia Point’

by on April 16, 2018 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach

Rally to Save Bahia Point, April 14, 2018. Photo by Joe DeSanti

More than 60 people rallied near the Bahia Hotel on Sunday, April 15th – protesting Evans Hotels’ plans to nearly double the size of the private resort – by taking public parking and public access to Mission Bay.

For those demonstrating, one of the main issue is the elimination of the main parking lot, which now allows anybody, locals and visitors, direct access to the water. Their fear is the near-doubling of what’s there now will turn Bahia Point into a private beach for hotel guests.

This is the latest grassroots event in what has been an on-going battle over the site.

For background, see these:

There are at least 2 groups that have organized to block the development. The group that organized Sunday’s protest is called the Citizens and Paddlers against the Bahia Hotel land grab on Bahia Point; here’s their facebook page.

The other group is Keep Mission Bay Public and here’s their website. They organized a Bahia Point Paddle and Appreciation Day back in March.

Artist rendering of the New Bahia Point Resort, if constructed. Credit: CBS8.com

The CBS8 local news report on the demonstration quoted several participants. Nick Ingrande said:

“Our family has been coming here since the late ’50s and we come almost every Sunday during the summer. There’s nowhere else to go to have access like this. They say go to Fiesta Island, but that place is a dump. This place here – it’s clean, they have grass.”

Jery Giacalona said:

“If they take this land they’ll be no access for us. … The single parking lot should be a high-rise structure, but they’re not willing to make the investment. They are just grabbing land, which is totally, totally not right.

“It’s not about the people who are vacationing in San Diego, we have to worry about our community. We’re being forced out.””

Current Bahia Point, 3D from google maps.

The Evans Hotels construction plan still must approved by the San Diego City Council and the California Coastal Commission.

CBS8 published a statement from Evans Hotels, an obvious PR ploy to give themselves a favorable spin:

We are excited about the prospect of increasing public access and public amenities as part of our renovation and expansion of the Bahia Resort Hotel. In particular, we will be creating a bike and pedestrian pathway around the entirety of Bahia Point, adding lawn and picnic areas as well as bocce ball courts.

Although we strongly believe that the project will continue to allow access to a wide variety of recreational users, we are sensitive to and mindful of the concerns of some groups. The best way forward is for all interests to continue constructive dialogue and Evans Hotels is committed to that.

And of course, part of their spin are the claims “the project will create around 350 new jobs and generate new revenue for the city.”

CBS8.com

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar triggerfinger April 16, 2018 at 1:25 pm

How would this ever pass Coastal Commission? Beaches in CA are for everyone. Or does that not apply to the bay?

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Avatar K.B. April 17, 2018 at 5:14 am

Once again 4-story buildings are over the 30 foot Coastal Height Limit…that is illegal! Also, how do residents of OB feel about switching that happened to the entrance of OB parkland to Mission Bay parkland land footage to add to the Evans give-away of bay front land since it adds more footage to Mission Bay land. Remember San Diego is very versed in bait-and-switch. It is time to stop giving away our few public land parcels for commercial use to insiders!

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Avatar Michael April 17, 2018 at 9:36 am

The TOT taxes are too much to pass up for the City Council unfortunately. The continued rise or these tax rates and the NIMBY attitude toward building housing for working families leads to these types of initiatives.

Nowadays, the easiest projects to get approved are hotels (tot!) and age targeted communities because retirees don’t drive as much (or at all).

It’s ironic because you’d think raising these taxes would discourage tourism, but it has the opposite effect by increasing supply.

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Avatar kh April 17, 2018 at 11:40 am

If you want to bitch about vacation rentals, then you should be in support of more tourist lodging.

Ok not necessarily at the expense of public beach, but let’s get real about this.

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