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Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008 | As a resident of Chula Vista and specifically of the bayfront in Chula Vista, I am distressed by the depiction of the waterfront in Chula Vista as:

assorted plots of open land, warehouses and factories, and an aging power plant into more development,” and a “barren, industrial, inaccessible waterfront.”

This deprecation done to prime the reader to accept that large development must be our savior and rescue.

 If you visit the waterfront in Chula Vista you will find:

1) A wonderful nature center celebrating the last of the Southern California salt marshes with a diversity of wildlife, some of which are endangered with this undeveloped spot being their only last home.  This is a lab for education and a chance for the citizens to discover at hand an important eco-environment.

2) A busy boatyard, servicing vessels of all ilk and partnering with the Port Authority to manage the increasing problem of abandoned vessels in the bay.

3) A world class RV resort, running with almost 100 percent capacity, hosting RV groups from all over America and one of the prettiest, nicest, best run resorts in the state.

4) Two fine marinas with approximately 500 yachts berthed in a clean basin.  Much ignored, this is also the residence of a couple hundred taxpaying citizens.

5) Two restaurants, a chandlery, a couple of gift stores, a yacht brokerage, and other small businesses.

6) One of the oldest yacht clubs in San Diego, formed the same decade as the San Diego Yacht Club.

7) A strip of waterfront parks and a launch ramp that are ALWAYS full of Chula Vista citizens and visitors.

8) An abandoned parking lot that is now a training ground for drivers (motorcycle and truck).

9) A company, Goodrich, continuing as one of the well-paying industries in the area.

10) A “must-run” power plant also providing sanctuary to a diverse endangered wildlife:  foxes, turtles, least turns, etc.

11) A bay, with an island, salt ponds, and calm waters, that is great for exploration and recreation via kayak, canoe, sailboard, sailboat, etc. with few of the high-speed jet-skis, and motorboats that fill Mission Bay.

I fear much of the negative focus on the bayfront is done to justify a grab by developers looking to make lots of money at the expense of the people, rather than a growth providing services and better living for the people.  The city and the Port did a credible job with their focus groups involving all the interested parties in designing a plan for the bayfront. But I think that in the rush to design and build a grand plan, the planners forget the power of the individual entrepreneur, the small businessman and the community group.  In the pain of a recession/depression, we MUST look to our roots and build from the individual community. Building anything that would primarily benefit a rich corporation or sports club with the thought that the riches would trickle down to the people is not a good plan. We don’t need a get rich quick solutions, we need to build small businesses that can percolate wealth and prosperity up into the community.

Quoting from a fine community leader:  “We’ve been trickled on too long.”

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