City Council Approves De Anza Short-Term Improvement Project in Huge Victory for the Public and the Environment
Residents Turned Out in Overwhelming Support for Project that Cleans Up Environmental Hazards, Improves Affordable Coastal Access and Accelerates Long-Term Revitalization
SAN DIEGO, June 25, 2019 – On Monday, June 24, the San Diego City Council voted in favor of Campland on the Bay’s De Anza short-term clean-up and improvement project, bringing our region one step closer to a cleaner, safer, more accessible Mission Bay. The short-term project, which enhances affordable coastal access and facilitates the removal of environmentally-hazardous, asbestos-filled homes from De Anza Cove, was touted as a huge victory for the public and the environment by the nearly one hundred residents, community leaders and recreation enthusiasts who turned out at the hearing in support of the project.
Statewide, San Diego County has among the lowest inventory of affordable coastal accommodations and access is particularly scarce in the City of San Diego. City access was further put at risk when the operators of the De Anza campground in Mission Bay notified the City they would be terminating their management agreement as of June 30, 2019. In response, Campland on the Bay and the City developed a short-term solution to not only keep these campsites available to the public, but to also clean up the site and improve coastal access in the short-term.
At Monday’s hearing, Campland’s Vice President of Operations Jacob Gelfand and the City’s Real Estate Assets Department presented the De Anza short-term clean-up and improvement project to the City Council, which approved it in front of a packed crowd of supporters.
“The City Council’s approval of this project is a huge victory for our region and a long-awaited step forward for the City, public and environment,” said Jacob Gelfand, Vice President of Operations for Campland on the Bay. “Campland intends to work around the clock to make De Anza cleaner and safer for San Diego families, visitors, and wildlife as the City finalizes its longer-term plans for the area.”
At the hearing, community leaders and residents from across the region voiced overwhelming support for the project.
“I applaud the City Council for advancing a project that helps improve the environment, creates jobs and provides local citizens with safe, affordable coastal access,” said Abdur-Rahim Hameed, President of the National Black Contractors Association. “No matter what long-term plan you support, Campland’s promise to promptly clean-up the dangerous, hazardous asbestos and repair coastal paths will benefit all. I am in full support of this initiative and am excited to see this vision realized.”
Within 24 months of implementation of the project, Campland will remove the abandoned, asbestos-filled homes from the site, accelerating the City’s long-term plans for Northeast Mission Bay. Campland will also repair the waterfront bike and pedestrian paths around the De Anza peninsula and repurpose existing infrastructure to add 150 temporary campsites to the existing 260 campsites at De Anza, expanding affordable access for the City as it finalizes its Mission Bay Park Master Plan update for De Anza.
During the hearing, the City of San Diego staff emphasized that the short-term project would not pre-judge the City’s longer-term plans for wetlands or the future revitalization of De Anza. Councilmember Jennifer Campbell, who represents Council District 2 where the project is located, further emphasized this point after offering the motion to approve the project.
“Our actions today will not prevent or delay the long-term conversation or the conversion of the northeast corner of the bay to marshland,” stated District 2 City Councilmember Jennifer Campbell. “Let’s pass this short-term lease and get this area cleaned up. In the meantime, we will work on the long-term plan. Campland has been a good lessee for 50 years. It has worked to protect Mission Bay, has cleaned it up and has been environmentally-sound.”
City Councilmember Scott Sherman of District 7 seconded Councilmember Campbell’s motion of support.
“Campland allows access to overnight accommodations along the waterfront for those who can’t afford resort-style accommodations or vacation rentals along this side of the Bay – and a lot of people get their love of the environment starting out at Campland,” said District 7 Councilmember Scott Sherman. “This project will help us with some of the costs of dealing with the problems on the site. It’s going to allow more people to access the Bay overnight who maybe were not able to have that experience in that past.”
Local campers at the hearing emphasized the importance of having affordable coastal access to Mission Bay.
“Local families have enjoyed affordable coastal access at De Anza and Campland for generations,” said Terri Campbell, Co-Chair of Friends of Campland, a local coalition formed by Campland supporters. “We are thankful the City Council recognizes the importance of maintaining these affordable opportunities in the short-term for the tens of thousands of San Diego families who rely on camping in Mission Bay to access our coastline each year.”
For more information on Campland on the Bay, please visit www.campland.com to learn more about why it is the most popular campground in San Diego. To learn more about Friends of Campland, an advocacy group composed of volunteers, campers and community members dedicated to preserving waterfront RV camping on Mission Bay, visit www.FriendsofCampland.org, where you can also download a project summary and renderings.