Tuesday, March 1, 2016

San Diego Port Completes Land Exchange

By Mark Edward Nero

The California State Lands Commission and Port of San Diego have closed escrow on a land exchange where the port traded about 35 acres within the Harbor District of the Chula Vista Bayfront for about 97 acres within the environmentally sensitive Sweetwater District of the Chula Vista Bayfront.

Escrow closed Feb. 18.

The land exchange shifts high-density residential land uses away from the Sweetwater District, which is adjacent to the National Wildlife Refuge and the Living Coast Discovery Center, to the centrally located Harbor District. In addition, part of the 97-acre site will be dedicated to a 400-foot-wide buffer between the RV Park and National Wildlife Refuge.

The land exchange is part of the ongoing redevelopment of the Chula Vista Bayfront, gradually replacing former industrial sites with new development providing a balance of jobs, environmental buffers, housing and recreation.

The port site is designated for a park, some commercial development, and an RV park.

“The public trust lands obtained by the Port of San Diego in this exchange will provide a critical buffer that protects habitat while enhancing public access to an underutilized waterfront,” said California Controller Betty Yee, the state’s chief fiscal officer. “This is a win for the environment, for community residents, and for the local economy.”

“The land exchange is an integral component of the Chula Vista Bayfront because it places residential uses where they are most appropriate,” said Ann Moore, who represents the City of Chula Vista on the seven-member Board of Port Commissioners. “The future residential project will serve as an economic catalyst for the overall bayfront.”