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San Diego Planning Commission hears passionate public input on De Anza Cove's future

Posted at 1:05 PM, Dec 07, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Public discussion on the potential future of De Anza Cove began Thursday at San Diego City Hall.

The “De Anza Natural” proposal will determine what will happen with the cove, as part of the larger Mission Bay Park Master Plan.

The San Diego Planning Commission meeting drew a large turnout on Thursday, with many of the attendees wearing yellow T-shirts that read “Campland Forever.”

The meeting started off with a review of the environmental impacts of De Anza Natural and how the land is primed and ready for an array of opportunities. The proposal included dark green areas of De Anza Cove where wetlands would be and pink areas of where “low-cost” visitor accommodations would be.

The proposal states it will expand wetlands and “create an iconic recreation destination,” among other things.

During public comment, Pacific Beach resident Scott Chipman said he wanted current recreational facilities to be updated, and he added that it would especially benefit the military youth.

"Recent events have emphasized the importance of recreation, particularly outdoor recreation, for the physical and mental health of our society," Chipman said. "We urge this planning commission make a firm statement regarding this plan. That it will ensure and follow its own language to protect, expand, and enhance the existing recreational facilities and add those that are lacking."

Other San Diegans like Jacob Gelfand, the chief operating officer at Terra Vista Management, expressed how he believes the master plans need more language to be added to ensure the land will be environmentally preserved, while also still allowing for affordable camping access to those who cannot afford hotels on Mission Bay.

"The number one priority the public expressed was the preservation and enhancement of waterfront camping," Gelfand said. "This plan would result in an unprecedented reduction of camping access by 50 percent or more. We feel strongly that this deserves further study so that the impacts could be better understood and mitigated."

After Thursday’s meeting and discussion, the San Diego Planning Commission is expected to decide whether to recommend the De Anza Natural amendment to the full City Council.