On Jan. 11, the City of San Diego released an updated proposal for the redevelopment of De Anza Cove in the northeastern corner of Mission Bay Park and is asking San Diegans to weigh in on the plan.
The revised proposal, titled De Anza Natural, would be an amendment to the Mission Bay Park Master Plan and envisions a balance of land uses that serves local and regional recreational needs, while also restoring natural habitats and preparing for the impacts of climate change.
The City released its initial design proposal for the De Anza Cove area in 2018. After integrating recommendations from the public, the revised 2022 proposal includes more wetlands and ensures consistency with the recently adopted Climate Resilient SD plan, which lays out strategies to address climate change. For example, De Anza Natural focuses on nature-based solutions for sea-level rise.
“Planning for climate resiliency in De Anza Cove provides incredible opportunities for expanded wetlands, as well as treasured recreational experiences,” said Interim Planning Director Heidi Vonblum. “De Anza Natural demonstrates how we can thrive in a changing climate by improving the habitat and providing opportunities for carbon sequestration, while also planning safe and enjoyable coastal access for all residents.”
De Anza Natural looks to enhance recreational activities in the area with new facilities, such as an extensive multi-use waterfront trail and a small non-motorized boat lease area for the cove. The area would also remain a recreational hotspot offering a variety of active sports and recreation facilities, as well as passive regional parkland for public use.
The proposal also includes significant space for low-cost visitor accommodations like camping and recreational vehicle facilities that would be accessible to all visitors of Mission Bay Park. These spaces, set amid expanded and restored coastal wetlands, would provide new opportunities for eco-tourism and environmental education.
To restart the amendment process, the City released a Notice of Preparation (NOP) for a Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR). The notice provides a high-level project description and kicks off the environmental review process by requesting public comment on the scope of the report. This report will analyze the potential environmental impacts associated with the amendment.
Before drafting the PEIR, City staff will hold a meeting on Zoom on Monday, Jan. 24, from 4-5:30 p.m., to gather public input on significant environmental issues, reasonable alternatives and mitigation measures that should be explored and analyzed in the draft PEIR. To access the meeting, residents can visit the De Anza Cove Amendment webpage. People can also email their comments to PlanningCEQA@sandiego.gov with “De Anza Natural” in the subject line or submit written comments to City of San Diego Planning Department, 9485 Aero Drive, MS 413, San Diego, CA 92123.
Residents have until Thursday, Feb. 10, to submit comments on the scope of the PEIR. City staff will then draft a PEIR based on the comments received. There will be additional opportunities for public input, including commenting on the draft PEIR before it is finalized, as well as the De Anza Natural amendment itself, as the plan moves through the public hearing process.
City staff anticipate the De Anza Natural amendment will be brought to City Council for approval in 2023.