Port Commissioner Frank Urtasun on Aug. 15 city council meeting. Staff photo by Madeline Yang.

The Coronado City Council meeting on Aug. 15 had a major focus on the Port of San Diego with Port Commissioner Frank Urtasun providing an update on the Port’s master plan. 

The Port Master Plan is “a water and land use plan that designates specific areas of San Diego Bay and the surrounding waterfront for maritime, fishing, visitor-serving commercial, recreational, conservation, and institutional uses,” according to the Port’s website. It also helps determine where hotels and restaurants may be built. 

During his presentation, he noted that the Tidelands Park landscaping project is at around 95% completed.

I think it’s going to be a major improvement for our city, and I think that’s something that we’re going to be quite proud of.”

-Port of San Diego Commissioner Frank Urtasun on Tidelands Park landscaping.

“I think it’s going to be a major improvement for our city, and I think that’s something that we’re going to be quite proud of,” Urtasun said, stating various tree species that were planted that were specifically chosen to be grown in this climate. 

Ferry Landing

He also said the Ferry Landing Landscaping in Centennial Park was completed in June, but the Ferry Landing Redevelopment Project is still under way. 

That project has been submitted to the Port and is estimated to go before the Board of Commissioners around October, according to Urtasun.

Urtasun also said the Ferry Landing Restaurant Pad has a new group looking to build on the vacant lot, and they are the owners of the Monarch Ocean Pub in Del Mar. 

Urtasun has also been in communication with the Coronado Yacht Club about public access at the facility, a controversy The Coronado News investigated a few months ago. 

“For obvious reasons, the yacht club doesn’t want the public just to be walking right through,” Urtasun said. 

The Coronado News found that the Coronado Yacht Club’s Clubhouse was set to be replaced years ago, but it technically couldn’t due to the Coastal Commission’s requirements of allowing public access at the facility. 

In order for the yacht club to replace the clubhouse, they would need to enter in a long term lease agreement with the Port, which would require them to allow the public access through the facility. 

Due to not wanting public access, the yacht club has been in several short term leases since 2011 to avoid this requirement.

Longtime Coronado resident and lawyer Matthew Herron is picking a legal fight with the Coronado Yacht Club for not allowing public access to the facility. Staff photo by Craig Harris. 

“To get a long-term lease, you have to commit to a substantial improvement. In this instance, the improvement was a replacement of the clubhouse,” said Matthew Herron, a Coronado resident who filed a petition against the yacht club for exclusivity earlier this year. “And that’s when the Coastal Commission said it triggered the need to allow the public access, at least through the property.”

However, it seems now that Urtasun, in connection with the yacht club, has found a way around this.

“We devised some new plans that I know will be introduced to Coastal (Commission) this week, and I’m hoping that we’re able to get some movement on that,” Urtasun said. 

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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.