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Port Is Moving Forward on National City Waterfront Improvements

San Diego port district commissioners have approved a review of a long-discussed waterfront park expansion and related business land-use enhancements proposed for National City.

At their April 14 meeting, the Board of Port Commissioners directed staff to proceed with environmental review of a proposed land use plan for rebalancing the National City waterfront, developed with the city of National City, community members and business stakeholders.

Overseen by the port district, the bulk of National City’s waterfront is currently occupied primarily by nonpublic maritime and commercial cargo facilities, including vehicle transport and storage operations of Pasha Automotive Services. Port and city officials said proposals will help National City boost public access to the waterfront while preserving jobs created by the local cargo terminal and other maritime industries.

A port district statement said improvements have been proposed to increase public access and add other recreation and commercial elements. The size of the current Pepper Park could eventually be increased by nearly 50 percent, taking it to 7.69 acres, with other elements that could increase maritime acreage through reconfiguration and street closures.

The proposal would consolidate the cargo terminal site by closing Tidelands Avenue, and also add rail capacity. Plans also call for a permanent Bayshore Bikeway segment.

Changes will require environmental review, slated to take 18 to 24 months, and an amendment to the port district’s master plan.

The port-controlled National City Marina District currently spans approximately 60 acres. In addition to Pepper Park and the Pasha operation, among the largest auto-processing terminals on the West Coast, the district also includes the port’s Pier 32 Marina, which opened in 2008 with a 250-slip marina and restaurant.

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