South County Economic Development Council Announces Decision on Pond 20 Action
Jul 16, 2015 01:00PM
● By Paul Spear
Cindy Gompper-Graves, President & CEO of the South County Economic Development Council (SCEDC) released a statement today regarding the development of Pond 20. The undeveloped salt flat of of Palm Ave.
Here is Cindy's statement:
Today I am extremely proud of our South County EDC Members. At the July Annual meeting South County EDC members were asked to vote on action regarding Pond 20, an abandoned salt flat that borders the cities of Imperial Beach and San Diego on Palm Avenue. The Port was considering putting this site into a mitigation bank despite previous promises of the site being saved for economic development efforts. The Port heard the issue yesterday and I wanted to share the outcome with you and also take this opportunity to thank those who have dedicated a lot of time toward this effort.
SCEDC had requested that the Port determine which portions of the site were developable and move aggressively to get those developed. Additionally, SCEDC requested net funds derived from the sale of land for mitigation purposes be placed in a separate fund and dedicated to economic development efforts in Imperial Beach and the City of San Diego’s portion of the Palm Avenue area.
At yesterday’s hearing the Port recognized that there are 2 small sites that are available for development, and requested the majority of Pond 20 be placed into a mitigation bank. Additionally, as part of the same motion made by Commissioner Malcom and seconded by Commissioner Nelson, the Port unanimously agreed to set aside net funds from the mitigation bank and direct those funds toward economic development efforts in Imperial Beach and District 8 in San Diego. They also asked staff to return with a policy that directed the Port on use of those funds. Most amazing was to hear South County EDC members AND environmental agencies agree funds should be set aside for economic development efforts.
SCEDC members have worked long and hard on Pond 20. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge Jim Janney and Doug Pau who have lead the charge over the last 4 years for SCEDC. And Port Commissioner Maclom has worked on Pond 20 since he was a Councilmember in the late 90’s.
Yesterday our members did a fantastic job of conveying what the SCEDC Board wanted and our thanks go out to them. Those members included: Monica Montano, Xema Jacobson, Miguel Aguirre, Doug Kerner, Doug Paul, Jim Janney, Tony McCune, Clarissa Falcon, Marcela Escobar-Eck. Marcela also communicated SCEDC’s position to the Wildlife Advisory Board where she serves as the SCEDC representative. And our partners at the San Diego Regional EDC sent over Shey who did an equally great job of testifying in support of our requested action. A huge thank you to all who stressed the importance of BALANCE in a community—and that balance must include economic development. You were heard yesterday. You made a difference yesterday. And, thank you for making a better tomorrow.