Recreational facilities are typically provided by local governments, such as cities, counties, and special districts, although state and federal governments also operate some of these facilities. These agencies are responsible for ensuring that recreational facilities are adequate to meet existing and foreseeable demands. The adequacy of recreational facilities is typically considered when cities and counties prepare and update their General Plans.
The most notable recreational issues associated with the SDG&E divestiture are those relating to beach, lagoon, and waterfront uses at the two coastal fossil-fueled power plants. The CTs and the 24th Street Marine Terminal are located in industrial areas, many of which are also on military lands, where there is little or no demand for recreational facilities.
Encina Power Plant
Recreational facilities in the vicinity of the Encina Power Plant include a segment of sandy beach along the Pacific Ocean, Carlsbad State Beach, Cannon Park, Agua Hedionda Lagoon, a YMCA Sea Camp, Snug Harbor Marina, and Lego Land (under construction). Cannon Park, the beach segment, the waters and shoreline of Agua Hedionda Lagoon, and the YMCA Sea Camp are located on land owned by SDG&E, but are beyond the secured areas of the power plant and associated facilities.
The Encina Power Plant is located on a low coastal mesa overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Agua Hedionda Lagoon. Carlsbad State Beach is located to the north and to the south of the power plant site, while the coastal bluffs and the beach immediately west of the power plant are owned by SDG&E. There are currently no restrictions to beach access in front of the Encina Power Plant, other than the fenced jetties that protect Encina’s cooling water discharge channel. All other SDG&E fences are located on the east side of Carlsbad Boulevard, surrounding the power plant and related facilities.
The Agua Hedionda Lagoon is owned by SDG&E and is maintained to provide a source of cooling water for the Encina Power Plant (SDG&E, 1997). The shoreline is also owned by SDG&E and leases have been granted to the City of Carlsbad and private corporations for land and aquatic uses ranging from the cultivation of shellfish and a sea bass hatchery to aquatic recreation centers (Dodson, 1998a). Hubbs/Sea World, a marine research division of the Sea World Aquatic Parks, has constructed a sea bass hatchery and research station on the north shore of the outer lagoon. The entire middle and inner basins of the lagoon are leased to the City of Carlsbad for recreational uses as well (Rideout, 1998). A YMCA Sea Camp is located on the middle basin, while Snug Harbor Marina is located on the north shore of the inner basin. Cannon Park is a neighborhood park constructed on SDG&E property that features a swing set, a half-court basketball court, picnic tables, and open grassy areas. This park is leased to the City of Carlsbad for a nominal fee and is maintained by the City (Holzmiller, 1998). Lego Land, a private recreational attraction expected to draw tourists with young children from around the world, is under construction on a coastal ridgeline approximately one mile southeast of the Encina Power Plant.
South Bay Power Plant
Recreational facilities in the vicinity of the South Bay Power Plant include Marina View Park, the J Street Marina, and the Chula Vista Recreational Vehicle Park. Chula Vista’s waterfront redevelopment area and Marina View Park are located immediately north of the SDG&E property and are popular recreation areas. A play structure, picnic tables, and benches are located just beyond the South Bay Power Plant fencing, very near the northerly oil storage tanks. The J Street Marina is a recreational boating center that is also just north of the SDG&E property. In addition to the marina, there is a recreational vehicle park and several recreational marine-oriented businesses located on the waterfront.
With the exception of a small piece of land along the northern property boundary, none of the land at the South Bay Power Plant is used for recreation. The small piece of land used for recreation is located at the intersection of Bay Boulevard West, beyond the fences of the power plant and within the SDG&E electric transmission corridor. SDG&E has leased this land to the City of Chula Vista and it is used for entrance landscaping and signage for Marina View Park (Williams, 1998). The SDG&E land represents a small fraction of the total acreage contained within Marina View Park.
Kearny Construction and Operation Center CTs
The only recreation facility in the vicinity of the Kearny CTs is Missile Park, a private park associated with the General Dynamics Property south of Clairemont Mesa Boulevard. Missile Park is a 28-acre park located several hundred feet south of the CTs. The facilities at Missile Park consist of several buildings, a barbecue and picnic area, and playing fields. The Kearny Mesa General Dynamics facilities have recently been sold and many of the structures have been razed (Seff, 1998). While no specific development plans have been announced, these recreation facilities are unlikely to be preserved.
Naval Training Center CT
The closest recreation facility to the Naval Training Center CT is the U.S. Marine Corps Aquatic Recreation Center. The Marine Corps Recruiting Depot (MCRD) operates an aquatic recreation center for Marines and their families on the San Diego Bay boat channel, north of the Naval Training Center CT. The CT is located on the eastern shore of the boat channel, but does not affect the recreational use of the channel by boaters. The surrounding lands are undeveloped and much of the land is posted as off-limits due to the nesting of the endangered least terns.
Division Substation CT
The only recreational facility near the Division Substation CT is the 32nd Street Naval Golf Course. The Division site is on military property and is surrounded by an asphalt parking lot, the SDG&E Division Substation, Harbor Drive, and train and trolley tracks. The 32nd Street Golf Course is located on Navy property to the north, on the opposite side of Harbor Drive and the parallel train and trolley tracks.
El Cajon Substation CT
There are no recreational facilities in the vicinity of the El Cajon Substation CT.
North Island Naval Air Station CTS
Recreational facilities associated with the North Island Naval Air Station and the City of Coronado within one mile of the two North Island Naval Air Station CTs include Shoreline Park, Bayview Park, and the Sea N Air Golf Course. Shoreline Park and Bayview Park are both small passive use parks owned by the City of Coronado and located immediately east of Gate 2 to the North Island Naval Air Station. Park improvements include landscaping, walkways, and benches. Views of downtown San Diego, San Diego Bay, and the Naval ships are the primary attraction. The Sea N Air Golf Course is a Naval course located on the Air Station, approximately one-half mile south of the CTs.
Miramar Yard CTS
The only recreational facility within a mile of the Miramar CTs is the Miramar Memorial Golf Course, which is located approximately one mile east of the CTs on the Marine Corps (formerly Naval) Air Station Miramar.
Naval Station CT
There are no recreational facilities in close proximity to the Naval Station CT. The only recreational facility within a mile of the turbine is the 32nd Street Naval Golf Course, discussed above for the Division site.
24th Street Terminal Refueling Facility
The only recreational facility in the vicinity of the 24th Street Terminal is R.M. "Pep" Pepper Park, located near the mouth of the Sweetwater River at the southern terminus of Tidelands Avenue, three bocks south of 24th Street. This park includes a boat launch ramp, picnic tables, benches, and lawn areas (Post, 1998). There are no other recreational facilities in the vicinity.
a) Increase the Demand for Neighborhood or Regional Parks or Other Recreational Facilities
Expansion of operations at either of the two power plants or the CTs could directly result in relatively minor increases in employment at the sites. Such employment increases could cause small increases in local population, which could, in turn, increase demand for neighborhood and regional recreation facilities. Any such increases in demand would likely be small and widely dispersed throughout local communities, and would therefore be less than significant.
Because the project would likely result in relatively small and widely dispersed demand for recreational facilities, the impact would be less than significant.
b) Affect Existing Recreational Opportunities
Encina Power Plant
Carlsbad State Beach and the beach on SDG&E property along the power plant site are used for sunbathing, swimming, surfing, and fishing. The continued addition of sand to these beach areas from dredging activities in Agua Hedionda Lagoon is important to maintaining the recreational quality of this beach (Munoz, 1998). Agua Hedionda Lagoon is used for sailing, sailboarding, kayaking, and water skiing, while the trails around it are used for walking, running, hiking, mountain biking and nature study. Cannon Park is used for informal field games, picnics, half-court basketball, and child play.
The sale of the Encina Power Plant could affect the continued access to Carlsbad State Beach, the beach on SDG&E property and the Agua Hedionda Lagoon. While SDG&E has historically allowed access to these areas, a new owner may wish to restrict access (Holzmiller, 1998). Restriction of public access to the beach or lagoon would conflict with established recreational uses and would be potentially significant (City of Carlsbad, 1994). Such a restriction is not likely, though, as SDG&E has leases with the City of Carlsbad and private corporations that would be transferred to the new owner, the existing public access does not interfere with the operation of the power plant, and access restrictions would likely be met with opposition by state and local agencies, environmental organizations, and beachgoers.
The California Coastal Commission maintains authority of the coastal zone in which the Encina Power Plant is located through the implementation of the California Coastal Act of 1976. According to the findings and declarations of the Coastal Act, one of the basic goals of the state for the coastal zone is to maximize public access to and along the coast and maximize public recreational opportunities in the coastal zone consistent with sound resources conservation principles and constitutionally protected rights of private property owners (Section 30001.5[c]) (California Coastal Commission, 1997). The Coastal Act also finds and declares that it may be necessary to locate electrical generating facilities in the coastal zone (Section 30001.2). Thus, the continued operation of the Encina Power Plant and continued access to the Agua Hedionda Lagoon and Carlsbad Beach would be consistent with the Coastal Act.
South Bay Power Plant
The City of Chula Vista has developed park and marina facilities immediately north of the South Bay Power Plant. Long-term plans associated with the Unified Port District and the City of Chula Vista call for an expansion of recreational uses along the waterfront (City of Chula Vista, 1983). Displacement of the small portion of Marina View Park located on SDG&E land would conflict with existing park and recreation uses and would potentially be significant. However, this land is outside of the fenced power plant boundaries and would remain as park land, and the existing lease with the City of Chula Vista would be transferred to the new owner (Dodson, 1998b).
Because no substantial changes are anticipated in the physical features or operational characteristics of the power plant, there would not be any significant impacts to recreational opportunities. The sale of the South Bay Power Plant and its continued operation would, therefore, not have an adverse impact on existing recreational resources and no expansion or new construction would be required.
CTs and 24th Street Terminal Refueling Facility
The CTs and the 24th Street Terminal are industrial facilities surrounded by other industrial or military land uses. Because these facilities do not currently have any affect on recreational facilities, and because no substantial changes to the physical or operational characteristics are proposed, the continued operation of these facilities by a new owner would not have any affect on existing recreational facilities.
The proposed divestiture would not have any measurable impact on the use of existing recreational facilities or the demand for new facilities. The transfer of existing lease agreements to the new owners of the SDG&E facilities would allow continued access to the beach and lagoon at the Encina Power Plant in Carlsbad and to a small portion of Marine View Park in Chula Vista. Therefore, the impact of the project on recreational facilities and resources would be less than significant.
REFERENCES — Recreation
California Coastal Commission, California Coastal Act of 1976 (as amended), January 1997.
Carlsbad, City of, City of Carlsbad General Plan, Parks and Recreation Element, September 6, 1994.
Chula Vista, City of, Chula Vista Bayfront Land Use Plan, September 1983.
Dodson, James R., Attorney, SDG&E, meeting at Encina Power Plant, April 22, 1998a.
Dodson, James R., Attorney, SDG&E, meeting at South Bay Power Plant, April 22, 1998b.
Holzmiller, Michael J., Planning Director, City of Carlsbad, meeting at City of Carlsbad Community Development Department, May 13, 1998.
Munoz, Eric, Senior Planner, City of Carlsbad, meeting at City of Carlsbad Community Development Department, May 13, 1998.
Post, Roger, Planning Director, City of National City, meeting at National City Planning Department, May 13, 1998.
Rideout, Don, Principal Planner, City of Carlsbad, meeting at City of Carlsbad Community Development Department, May 13, 1998.
SDG&E, Proponent’s Environmental Assessment: San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s Proposed Sale of Its Electrical Generation Facilities and Power Contracts, December 19, 1997.
Seff, Marsha Kay, "General Dynamics Property Sold to Commercial Developer, 79.5 Million Paid for Kearny Mesa Site," San Diego Union Tribune, July 24, 1998.
Williams, Bruce, Principal Project Manager, SDG&E, meeting at South Bay Power Plant, April 22, 1998.
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