San Diegans Challenge Waterfront Restaurant

     SAN DIEGO (CN) – Community groups sued the state, the Port of San Diego and a developer, claiming a planned waterfront restaurant in San Diego Bay violates environmental law.
     San Diegans for Open Government and the San Diego Navy Broadway Complex Coalition claim that the Sunroad Enterprises development will create a “wall of buildings” that obstruct views of the skyline and block public access to San Diego Bay.
     The groups sued the California Coastal Commission, the Unified Port of San Diego, Sunroad Enterprises, and Sunroad Harbor Island, under the California Environmental Quality Act and California Coastal Act.
     “The project includes demolition of an existing 4-deck, approximately 20,000 square-foot restaurant located on a floating barge; relocation of the barge to entirely within the pierhead line; reconstruction of 4,800 square feet of primarily unenclosed space on the barge; construction of a new one-story restaurant building on land adjacent to the barge consisting of approximately 12,220 square feet of enclosed floor area; 15,285 square feet of exterior spaces and decks for outside dining venues and lounge space; and the reconfiguration of existing 308 space parking lot to 306 spaces, including 10 tandem spaces and removal/replacement of parking lot trees,” according to the federal complaint.
     The Coastal Commission approved the project on June 12, though it “will result in inconsistencies with the port master plan,” the complaint states.
     That master plan calls the construction site “‘vacant'” and makes no mention of the project, the groups claim.
     “On June 12, 2013, the Coastal Commission determined the project does not qualify as exempt but approved the Project and issued a coastal development permit subject to special conditions,” the complaint states.
     “Approval of the project will result in inconsistencies with the Port Master Plan.
     “Respondents approved the project while failing to analyze all impacts of the project, failing to analyze all feasible alternatives to the project, and failing to consider feasible mitigation measures for the project’s impacts.”
     The developer has received approval to build a Sunroad Harbor Island Hotel on East Harbor Island.
     Harbor Island is a manmade peninsula in San Diego Bay, created in 1961 from dredge material.
     The plaintiffs are represented by Cory Briggs of Upland.
     The Port of San Diego did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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