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In my last blog post on the September 7 Unified Port District Board of Port Commissioner’s meeting, I inadvertently misquoted Commissioner Steve Cushman.
After being asked by Commissioner Mike Bixler if the Port had ever approved the original NEVP with an oval park in it, Cushman said “We put the oval park in. We printed it, whether you like it or not, it’s history that we did do it. So let’s not run away from – I don’t care what anyone says, we printed it, we published it, we can show it to you. So, it is what it is.”
Writing about the same meeting, CityBeat quoted Commissioner Lee Burdick as saying that Cushman said, “The park was promised, it was in the plans, it was approved — live with it.”
When I drafted my last post on the board meeting, I mistakenly folded the Burdick quote in with Cushman’s. I’ve since been told that Commissioner Burdick has said she may have misunderstood exactly what Cushman said.
After listening to the audit files again, that error has been corrected in the current version of my blog.
So where does all that leave us? The myth that the Port never approved the original NEVP plan with an oval park in it has been unraveled, and it is now understood that the current Port Master Plan, into which the original NEVP was incorporated in June of 2000, calls for the Port to build a new Broadway Landing Park at the foot of Broadway. But it is also understood that trucks and buses serving cruise ships that may tie up at the Broadway Pier would use the intersection of Harbor Drive and Broadway to get to and from the cruise ships, thereby rendering the idea of a new bayfront park at that same intersection unfeasible.
Now it is up to the Port, the Coastal Commission and the other parties to explore other options that would fully mitigate for the lose of a large public park at the foot of Broadway, with the understanding that the Coastal Commission has directed the Port to come up with a new park plan in basically the same location that would be functionally equivalent to the original Broadway Landing Park concept. So far what Port staff and their consultants don’t begin to approach that standard, but things are fluid, so stay tuned.
• Last week port President Charles Wurster turned in his resignation, and I am sure that there will be more surprises as things evolve.
• A coalition of civic groups is planning to hold a community waterfront “revisioning” event on Saturday, October 23. Tentative cosponsors include the Navy Broadway Complex Coalition, Citizen’s Coordinate for Century 3, the local chapter of the League of Women Voters, People for Livable Spaces, and several other prominent civic planning groups. Please hold that date on your calendars, and come get updates on what is happening on your downtown waterfront.
In addition to his other affiliations, Don Wood is also a member of the Navy Broadway Complex Coalition, an alliance of local civic organizations dedicated to preserving and enhancing public access to downtown San Diego’s waterfront, which is currently involved in ongoing litigation with the port over its alleged failure to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act when it approved the proposal to build the new structure on the Broadway Pier.