‘Juggernaut Port vs. People of Point Loma’

by on August 29, 2019 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Cholly

The standing room only meeting of 600 or so concerned citizens at Portuguese Hall Wednesday, Aug. 28, opened with introductions and laudatory remarks by the Port’s chief planner Lesley Nishihira. Nishihira praised the Public Outreach Program of the Port – which it was claimed included “more than 250 interviews with key stakeholders and partner agencies, 13 open houses and community meetings, 36 public board workshops and two online surveys with a combined total of more than 6,300 respondents.”

Introductions included the three attending Port Commissioners:

  • Marshall Merrifield, (a former member of Mayor Jerry Sanders’ Economic Advisory Council),
  • Ann Moore, (Vice Chair of the Port Commissioners; former City Attorney of Chula Vista), and
  • Rear Admiral Garry J. Bonelli, (U.S. Navy SEAL and former executive staff member of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).

Each of the Commissioners was an extremely friendly, polished, finely-honed and exceptionally street-wise orator. Just the type you’d eagerly buy a car from. Commissioner Merrifield repeatedly reassured the audience of the Port’s sincerity and desire to work together with the locals to make San Diego a better and more wonderful place, as well as the importance of working together as a team.

Merrifield intimated that the residents might even join forces with the Port in convincing the California Coastal Commission of the error of their ways in demolishing the 3 historic piers along the Bayside Trail and La Playa Cove.

However not everyone in the audience was buying it.

One young lady from the La Playa Trail Association rather sarcastically asked the Commissioners just exactly who the 250 stake holders were and another inquired as to why with the Port’s state of the art Public Outreach Program that nobody in Point Loma knew anything at all about the PMPU until this past July.

A couple of loquacious souls denounced the whole affair as nothing more than a masterfully camouflaged land grab and questioned the morality, if not the legality, of having un-elected and non-resident “commissioners” mandate land use policies affecting the Point Loma Peninsula.

Each query was met with wild applause and hoots from the gallery.  Nishihara made it clear that they would take the audiences comments back to the commissioners, and that they will be aired at a PUBLIC meeting at the Port’s headquarters, -3165 Pacific Highway-, on Monday, September 16, 2019 at 1 PM.

The program was orchestrated by Patricia Tennyson of Katz & Associates, a big-league West Coast public relations firm, specializing in mitigating large construction projects with the affected communities.  Ms. Tennyson walked up and down the aisles with a microphone soliciting comments from the audience. The comments were abstracted onto a computer by Ms. Emma and will be available to the public at portofsandiego.org /“integrated planning”

The overwhelming expressed concern was with the fate of the piers along La Playa Cove and the Bayside Trail.  It was suggested by a member of the audience that everyone in favor of saving the piers stand up and each and every last one of the 600+ concerned residents rose up and joyfully high-fived each other.

As concerns the piers, it was repeatedly pointed out that by allowing the piers to be open 24/7 the Port would be opening themselves to a barrage of possibility lawsuits.  The public access status of the docks at Coronado Cays was also broached.

An attorney-sailor noted that as there are plenty of docks in the Balboa Newport Region, Los Alamitos Bay, (Long Beach) and the pier at Paradise Cove, (Malibu), why in the name of all that’s holy is the Coastal Commission picking on La Playa Cove?

Other concerns included what designs that the Port has on the open space surrounding the La Playa Trail Association’s monument to the Chinese Abalone Fishermen located at the northern terminus of the Bayside Trail, and designed by noted Point Loma architect Ned Dougherty.  One resident questioned the logic of a piece of another piece public “Art Work” muscling in on the almost Buddhist-like tranquility engendered by the Chinese monument.

The proposed remake of Shelter Island was addressed with a variety of concerns primarily with the perceived changes to the 30-foot height limit which has been an object of contention since it’s passing into law in November of 1972, almost 50 years ago.

Nobody seemed happy about any of the proposed changes to Shelter Island.

Representatives of the outboard Motor Club felt that they are being shortchanged on several fronts’ the Marlin Club was concerned with the month to month lease, while most others get multi-year leases, as well as the Port’s repeated refusal to allow historic status for 90-year-old club.   Additional concerns were raised over the fate of the Japanese-Yokohama Friendship Bell and the wildly popular Shelter Island Promenade and adjoining parkland.

Among the most cogent concerns was the fact that the La Playa Cove and the Bayside Trail are lumped together with Shelter Island and the resultant confusion and lack of transparency.

Port Commissioner Merrifield probably summed it up most succinctly, in requesting that people who feel strongly about the piers and any other specific concerns with the Port Master Plan Update write and email the California Coastal Commission.

Karl Schwing
District Director, San Diego Coast and South Coast, Orange County
7575 Metropolitan Avenue
San Diego, California 92108(562) 590-5071

Remember 600+ people can’t be wrong.

Editordude: More on the meeting from Times of San Diego.


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

micporte August 30, 2019 at 6:14 am

this is what is happening in PB, that you in OB don’t seem to care about or have ears and eyes on, but we are fronting a takeover by rich restauranteurs, recently arrived after the depression of 2008, I could cite them, but I’m sure the local council person, whatshername, knows them and is in bed with already…and her hired guns, students who helped on the campaign, and now run the office, and who don’t know where the phrase “taxation without representation” comes from, after a knotted thought process, this stagiaire/office manger said, ‘the civil war?’ I said, “close, the revolutionary war” this is our youth…and the ones sucking up to the peeps who show up at meetings, with time and money, like Kristen victor, of “beautiful PB, with Chris Olsen, a nice guy but, and Ramirez of the Duck Dive and Gina of the the Patio and new owner of Saskas in MB..who have a new 501c3 “C3” (Century 3) to pump more funding from the government for useless stuff, in the beach area, but probably mostly themselves and collaborators, and I use that word collaborators in the same sense that the French used it during WWII, dealing with the white supremacist nazis ( nazis were the national socialists, in case you forgot) and more bureacracy that no one can pay for to “sweet talk” the people, “the ones that do all the working and paying ” into , whatever they can talk or $pay them into… development on the coastal front that we shouldn’t do, defense of the defense industry, don’t know, can’t tell, but be super careful and vote NO out of precaution of the takeover by the sly talkers of the military/mafia developers/restauranteers/casino mongers… our beach is on the line, and they are lined up, with money…and lobbyists in all the meetings, same old same old….beware of false prophets


Bearded OBcean September 4, 2019 at 10:37 am

Uh…this is a Wendy’s.


micporte August 30, 2019 at 7:22 am

restaurants are a great money laundering/defiscalization opportunity, the best, ask any hollywood celebrity, or sports celebrity, or any tax accountant..;


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