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San Diego City Council unanimously approves plan for future of De Anza Cove

A sense of compromise among different speakers felt during public comments.
Posted at 11:19 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-15 02:22:56-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Up to 90 people attended San Diego City Council to explain their issues, concerns, and support for Mission Bay’s next steps in developing a master plan for the area, specifically De Anza Cove.

Some environmentalists are calling for more wetland space and protection for wildlife in the area, among other things.

“Our coalition of 89 member organizations is pushing the City to go big on wetland restoration as the best use of public property. We need wetland restoration because it cleans water, because it’s resistant to sea level rise, and it helps sequester carbon,” Andrew Meyer, ReWild Mission Bay Program Manager, said.

Others are in the camp hoping to ensure campgrounds stay on the bay.

“We want to see the wetlands enhanced. We don’t believe that needs to come at the expense of camping, of public access, at the expense of recreational and athletic field uses,” Jacob Gelfand, a camp land supporter, said.

The City Council heard from the public about the plan being considered, which would set the long-term future for visitors and locals.

In the plan, De Anza Cove would be split into three areas: low-cost camping, expanded wetlands, and an area for recreation.

Eventually, the Council voted unanimously to move forward with the amendment to the master plan.

"The unanimous approval of the De Anza Natural amendment marks a significant milestone in our years-long effort to preserve and enhance one of San Diego's most beloved recreational areas," Mayor Todd Gloria said in a release from the City. "This plan will not only restore vital wetland habitats, but also ensure that De Anza Cove remains a vibrant space for recreation, low-cost visitor accommodations and environmental education for generations to come."

Despite varying stances on the issue, the different groups inside the council chambers felt a sense of compromise as they spoke during public comment.

Many who spoke supported the Council's move forward with the plan so it could move one step closer to implementation.

“What we’ve been advocating for, the City just accomplished about 80 percent of it; a little over 80 percent of what we asked for and showed was feasible. Pretty good. But we need to work on that last 20 percent to ensure that is in the park as time passes,” Meyer said.

“I think that the citizens of San Diego really demanded a compromise and a commonsense solution to all of these different needs. Because everyone in San Diego has an interest in seeing recreation being preserved for families,” Gelfand said. “And we all benefit from the natural environment.”

The next step for the plan is to present it to the Coastal Commission, which would have to certify it.