Port Commissioner Frank Urtasun talks with the Coronado City Council on Tuesday, March 21. Staff photo by Madeline Yang.

In a brief 30 minute Coronado City Council meeting on Tuesday, the longest segment was a recap from Port of San Diego Commissioner Frank Urtasun on his agency’s actions the last 14-15 months, including the Coronado Cays controversy.

He noted the Coronado Cays had a bit of a buzz a couple months ago when a new project was announced to turn waterfront land into an RV resort, otherwise known as “Cottages at the Cays”. 

Urtasun mentioned it being an unusual situation because the will of the city and many residents lost in a 4-3 port commission vote. 

“It’s something like I’ve never seen before, and that is that the [San Diego Board of Port Commissioners] would go against the wishes of the city – but it is what it is,” he said on March 21.

Urtasun added that while the process has begun, there is no guarantee that the project will come out successfully.

Urtasun cites that there has been no formal discussion of a potential lease buyout for the current property operators.

“It leaves eight years left on the lease. We’ll see how that plays out, if in fact that’s going to be realistic for the developer to want to proceed with that kind of investment without any guarantee that they’re going to have at least an extension,” Urtasun says. 

Several other facts to note from Urtasun’s presentation:

  • The Port is allocating 20% of its $10 million a year for the city, so Coronado will be receiving $2 million a year for the council and community to decide how that is spent.
  • There are efforts underway for the landscaping at the ferry landing.
  • At least 95% of the design is done for Tidelands Park and will be undergoing construction soon.
  • There was $125,000 allotted to have derelict and abandoned vessels that showed up on the shoreline removed. Nine of these vessels have since been towed. 
  • There are negotiations with a new sub-tenant that they are hopeful for, for a new restaurant project adjacent to El Fornaio.
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Madeline Yang is a reporter for The Coronado News, covering the City of Coronado, the U.S Navy and investigating the Tijuana/Coronado sewage issue. She graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with her Bachelors in Journalism with an emphasis in Visual Storytelling. She loves writing, photography and videography and one day hopes to be a filmmaker. She can be reached by phone at 916-835-5843.

The Coronado News is a 24-hour news website and direct-mail free newspaper to all residents and businesses of Coronado as we cover city government, schools, businesses, entertainment and the Navy.