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Home » Announcements » Announcements CCHOA » City of Coronado Opposes Cottages at the Cays Project

Announcements

City of Coronado Opposes Cottages at the Cays Project


1/5/2023

December 23, 2022

Chairman Malcolm and Members of the Board of Port Commissioners Port of San Diego

3165 Pacific Highway San Diego, CA 92101

RE: Letter of Opposition to Cottages at the Cays Development Project Proposal Dear Chairman Malcolm and Commissioners:

On behalf of the City Council and the community, am writing to convey the City of Coronado's strong opposition to the proposed Cottage sat the Cays project on the North Grand Caribe Isle in the Coronado CaysIt is our understanding that your Board will consider whether to accept this development proposal for entitlement processing at your January2023 meeting. This letter is tendered as comment.

The Coronado City Council took a unanimous vote on December 6, 2022 stating their opposition to the proposed Cottages at the Cays Project. The Coronado Cays Homeowner's Association has also registered their strong opposition to this project which includes over 800 signatures gathered from community members in opposition to the project as well. We believe that any development proposed for this location should seek broad support from the community. However, this project does not reflect the will of the community or the Coronado City Council.

The development proposal, at its essence, represents a reversal of your Board's commitments and goals for North Grand Caribe Isle. In 2020 ,the Port Master Plan Update (PMPU) was refined by your Board to expressly disallow the development of more hotel rooms and to convert the land use designation to Recreational Open Space, which preserves the area for environmental preservation and complete public access. These policies were forged after years of engagement between the Port and the community.

The project, if approved ,would result in the development of a large portion of North Grand Caribe Isle and would create 41 two-bedroom units with 6 guests per unit. These actions would disregard your Board's prior goals and community agreements to preserve this land for public enjoyment and environmental preservation.

The City Council shares many of the same concerns about the impacts of the proposed project that the public has also recently voiced. At its heart, the Cottages at the Cays project will create a hotel use which is not compatible with the surrounding residential area.

Due to the geography of the Cays, there is only one entrance to the entire community that would be utilized by the visitors to the Cottages at the Cays project and shared with the approximately 1,200 homes located in the area. The project will pose traffic impacts on the community

resulting in safety concerns with the adjacent Cays Park the City's largest park. The park is highly programmed with youth soccer, pickleball, tennis and a dog park. Cays Park must be

traversed to access the Cottage sat the Cays project, which would create additional traffic impacts without any associated benefit to the community.

Rather than support the Cottages at the Cays, we would suggest that a more compatible and desirable use for North Grand Caribe Isle would be development of a passive park in order to fully respect the nature of the property and the desires of the surrounding community. Development of a passive park would also increase the public's access to Port Tidelands at all income levels, providing free access that would have the added benefit of protecting wildlife and the surrounding environment.

Conservation of this property would adhere to the Port Master Plan Update's commitment to protection and management of natural resources that best reflect environmental stewardship for present and future generations. The PMPU document states that Port development seeks to minimize substantial adverse environmental impacts and to and provide for a full array of beneficial activities including recreation and wildlife habitat uses. Additionally, the property is highly vulnerable to sea level rise and is projected to be significantly impacted in decades to come.

The Cottages at the Cays Project does little to expand access or provide low cost visitor accommodations, but instead provides preferential access to those that can afford what will most likely be costly room rates similar to other rental rates in the area. The project also has the potential to adversely impact another Port tenant, the Coronado Cays Yacht Club, due the removal of parking access serving their facility.

Preservation of the property as passive recreational open space guarantees future access to San Diego County residents that would otherwise have to pay to stay at the Cottages at the Cays. Protection of the property as passive open space would ensure public access with more compatible uses, including nature outlooks, picnic areas, and/ort rails, and interpretive/ educational opportunities. It is a vision that would be eagerly embraced by the community.

In conclusion, we would encourage the Port Board of Commissioners to reject the applicant's request to proceed with entitlement and environmental processing due to its inconsistency with the PMPU, the many detrimental impacts on the community and instead commit to future preservation of this environmentally sensitive property for the broader enjoyment of the public. This will ensure the protection of our local wildlife and tidelands. Please reaffirm your designation of this property as Recreational Open Space and reaffirm your commitment to no hotel rooms on this property.

We thank the Board of Commissioners for its consideration and look forward to working together as a partner to create a future public passive open space that closely aligns with the PMPU, the values of our City and also serves the public interest by expanding access to Port Tidelands while simultaneously protecting our vital natural resources and wildlife.

Respectfully,


Richard Bailey Mayor of Coronado