By Barbara Zaragoza
CV City Council Promises $1.2 million annually for Bayfront
The Chula Vista City Council has promised $1.2 million annually from the city’s general fund to back its agreement with the Port of San Diego on the Bayfront Master Plan project. The vote took place on Nov. 15. The San Diego Union Tribune elaborated on the details.
The Tribune quoted CV Port Commissioner Ann Moore as saying, “This action demonstrates the city’s continued commitment to this project, which will generate revenue and create the top-tier destination that Chula Vista deserves.”
The Editorial Board of the UT also wrote about Chula Vista this week, citing that the second most populous city is experiencing exciting times, particularly with an agreement to turn the 535-acre industrial site into a residential and resort destination (the Bayfront project). The editors did ask where the money might come from to build such an expensive project.
The community group Crossroads II sent out a November News Brief giving it’s opinion on the project. They wrote:
…and now negotiations are under way to develop a Definitive Agreement that would be a major step toward actual construction. The limit on the hotel will be 20 stories and about 1,000 rooms. The final numbers will be part of the negotiations. The convention center may be a maximum of 415,000 square feet.
What happened at the last Chula Vista Council meeting involved the financing of the Bayfront. First of all, the City and Port District are responsible for financing the Convention Center. In addition, they are also responsible for financing much or all of the infrastructure that the new Bayfront Plan will eventually require.
The main sources of funds for these purposes were originally to come from ground lease revenues paid by the various hotels, RV park, restaurants, and so forth; the Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT) generated by hotel visitors; Tourism Marketing District Assessments; Park Fees; and Development Impact Fees.
The only bayfront revenues that were not to be retained for the Bayfront Plan were the above revenue sources now being earned from existing businesses, and sales tax revenues.
At the last Council Meeting, Item #16 was approved which all these revenues in the Bayfront Plan. That means a reduction of revenues that now go to the city’s General Fund. In essence, none of the City/Port revenues earned in the Bayfront Plan will cross Interstate 5. And, everything else being equal, the City’s General Fund will be a little less than it otherwise would have been…
Normally, of every dollar you pay in property taxes, about 15¢ comes to the city of Chula Vista. The rest goes to school districts, the county government, etc. However, if the development occurs in a Redevelopment area, then about 40¢ of every dollar comes to Chula Vista for a number of years. As you know, Governor Brown killed the Redevelopment program, so the bayfront will not get that money as originally expected.
Also in Chula Vista:
- Southwestern Community College picks a new superintendent and president this Monday. The San Diego Union Tribune has more, including about the contenders.
- Armando Farias holds the lead in the Chula Vista Elementary school board race. Votes are still being counted, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.
- Crossroads II reported that the CV Police Department refused an alcohol permit for the 99 cent store on Third and Moss. The store has appealed to the City Council. The hearing will be held at 6pm on December 6th. Crossroads explains you can call and give your opinion on the alcohol permit at (619) 691-5044 or email your council members.
SANDAG’s $129 million South Bay Rapid Transit service continues construction
SANDAG gave a report in their November newsletter about South Bay’s Rapid Progress. (This is the $128 million project that will include 12 stations along a 26-mile route from Otay Mesa Port of Entry to Downtown San Diego via eastern Chula Vista.)
They informed us, “Crews are beginning the next stage of construction of the new Rapid transit service in South County between Olympic Parkway and Birch Road in Chula Vista. This month, preliminary work started between View Park Way and Magdalena Avenue with construction of the dedicated transit bridge over State Route 125 set to begin in December 2016. After construction is complete, trees, water-wise shrubs, and groundcover will be planted. Rock-lined storm water management bioswales will be built along the bridge structure to create a pedestrian-friendly environment.”
Developers don’t want to build in National City?
The San Diego Union Tribune published an article about affordable housing in San Diego, showing that the number of low-income housing units shutting down is higher than the units being created. James Dehaven did a thorough investigation.
The topic matters to the South Bay because, as Maya Srikrishnan reported for Voice of San Diego, while National City tries to create a developer-friendly environment in hopes of increasing density and affordable housing, developers “can make more money building in other parts of the county.” As a consequence, even though National City adopted a blueprint for its downtown in hopes of having 5,500 new housing units, only about 300 have been built so far.
Also in National City:
- An ongoing protest in National City’s Bonita Plaza shopping mall is being staged by animal-welfare activists who want to put pressure on government officials over importing dogs from “puppy mill” animal-breeding factories. (San Diego Reader)
New Hotel for Imperial Beach
A community meeting discussed details of a new hotel. Of interest — the hotel might generate approximately $350,000 for the Community General Fund. Linda Heath reported for Dig Imperial Beach.
The City of IB in its newsletter gave a traffic advisory for the intersection of 7th and Palm until construction is complete (anticipated for February). A large number of accidents and on-site observations means that now:
- Eastbound Old Palm will be closed at Rainbow Avenue. All traffic heading east will be diverted to SR 75 along Rainbow Drive.
- Eastbound Old Palm will also be closed to right hand turns on 7th Street.
- A temporary stop sign will be placed at 7th and Donax (southbound) to control left-hand turns from 7th onto Donax. This is a detour route and speeds have been excessive for a residential neighborhood.
San Ysidro’s New Mural
The San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce’s Border Public Art Committee unveiled its mural San Ysidro: The Place Where Soles Meet. Created by Sacha Boutros, the binational effort ended with a red carpet event and speakers from both sides of the border. The San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce has the details as well as many delightful pictures.
- On Tuesday, November 29th a broken pipe in Tijuana spilled clean water into Goat Canyon (located in the Tijuana River Valley). Mexican authorities got it repaired. Marty Graham at the San Diego Reader explains more.
- Alex Zaragoza covered a new Haitian restaurant in Tijuana for NPR. She wrote, “Lonchería Dulce is the first Haitian restaurant to open in the border city. About a month ago, the tiny, somewhat dilapidated luncheonette switched from a standard Mexican menu of foods like pozole and quesadillas to serving all-Haitian fare. It’s a taste of home for the hundreds of Haitian refugees — and counting — currently living in Tijuana.”
- Mexico has grown into a manufacturing powerhouse ever since the signing of NAFTA 22 years ago. In fact, close to 2.7 million people are employed across Mexico in the country’s maquiladoras. However, leaders of the industry are now wondering how the incoming administration of Donald Trump will impact them. Sandra Dibble at the San Diego Union Tribune reported the facts and concerns from an annual two-day convention in Tijuana.
- Enrique Morones of Border Angels facilitated another opening of the door between the U.S.-Mexico border at Friendship Park. The Chula Vista Star News reported the heartbreaking scene of a separated family hugging for a few minutes.
- And for those who read a little Spanish, the front page of El Latino San Diego this week featured Muslim Latinas in San Diego and their reaction to the election of Donald Trump.
- ‘Tis the season! Chula Vista celebrates its 5th annual Holiday in the Village on Saturday, Dec. 3. Here’s more. The Starlight Parade — starting at 6pm on Third Avenue — is always the highlight.
- The Imperial Beach Chamber of Commerce hosts its 15th annual Christmas Comes to I.B. on Saturday, Dec. 3. Santa will visit too! Check this website for more.
- On Sunday, Dec. 4, Millenia hosts a free Winder Wonderland from 12pm-7pm, replete with 80 tons of snow. Check it out.
This Week’s “What You Can Do”
For decades Casa Familiar has been at the forefront of bringing affordable housing to San Ysidro. Now, they have launched a Holiday Charity Challenge of raising enough money to renovate their Los Granados Senior Supportive & Shared Housing. Get more information and consider a donation here.