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The misleading editorial in today’s Union Tribune looks as if it were penned by San Diego Unified Port District staff.

The editorial suggests that the Coastal Commission let the port build a public park on Navy Pier as mitigation for the loss of the promised Broadway Landing Park at the foot of Broadway, ignoring the fact that the Navy Pier Park was mandated by the Coastal Commission in 2001 as mitigation for allowing the historic aircraft carrier Midway to be berthed at the Navy Pier.

The port has refused to build the mandated park since it took over title to the Navy Pier in August of 2003. Unfortunately, the Coastal Commission has done nothing to enforce its mandate for the last 7 years. For the UT to now propose that building a “new” public park on Navy Pier be accepted as mitigation for the loss of the Broadway Landing Park is misleading and disingenuous.

The UT editorial goes on to argue that the port should not be required to indemnify the Coastal Commission for the costs of any legal actions associated with the approval of the NEVP Phase 1 Coastal Development Permit (CDP). Both the Coastal Commisssion and the port know that if the Coastal Commission approves the port’s proposed CDP without any conditions, there will be a lawsuit.  

Through its media mouthpiece, the UT, the port is demanding that the Coastal Commission take an action that is sure to get it sued, but goes on to say that taxpayers, not the port, should pay the cost of those lawsuits.

Let’s hope that the Coastal Commission is smart enough to add clear conditions requiring that both the required alternate Waterfront Destination Park and the Navy Pier Public Park be built without delay, with clear deadlines and sanctions against the port if it refuses to meet these deadlines, before it considers approving the Port’s proposed CDP; and doesn’t let the port off the hook for the costs of any lawsuits against the commission resulting from the CDP approval.

–DON WOOD

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