The Chula Vista Public Library Civic Center branch will host the second of three public design workshops for the creation of Sweetwater Park at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20.
The workshop will give residents of Chula Vista an opportunity to review how their initial suggestions, made at the first meeting in September of 2018, look drawn out.
Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas said it is important that members of the public continue to provide input.
“It’s their park, it’s as simple as that,” she said. “One of the things we want to ensure when you have the development of the bayfront, is that it remains an asset for the people who live in the area and they’re not excluded from really enjoying the park for all its beauty and all its potential.”
Sweetwater Park is just one piece of Chula Vista’s Bayfront Master Plan, which, working with the Port of San Diego, aims to transform 535 acres of vacant space on the city’s waterfront.
The plan overview, which can be found on the Port of San Diego’s official website, is to turn the space into “a thriving recreational, residential and resort destination.”
Additionally, the anticipation is that an estimated 20,000 new jobs will open up and $2.1 billion will come into the region each year as a result of the redesigned space.
Salas said she expects the economic impact to leak out and expand beyond Chula Vista.
“I think that it will be an economic driver, not only of those 20,000 jobs that are on the bayfront, but all the spin-off business like supply chains that service the hotel and convention center,” she said. “I think it’s going to be good for the economy of this whole South Bay region.”
Sweetwater Park, along with Harbor Park, will take up more than half of the project’s park space, according to the Port of San Diego website, and each has its own flair.
Sweetwater Park is meant to be family friendly and centered around nature, while Harbor Park will be more active and lively with room for events.
Ann Moore, the Port of San Diego commissioner representing Chula Vista, said there are rules put in place which must be followed to ensure each park stays true to its creative vision.
“The Sweetwater park is sort of more natural,” she said. “It’s supposed to be able to blend more into the surroundings because it is surrounded by habitat and more sensitive public open spaces.”
The Sweetwater park is being designed by KTUA, an award-winning local landscape architecture firm which, along with Peterson Studio (designing Harbor Park), was chosen from a total of 13 firms which responded to a nationwide public solicitation from the city.
“They were both selected because of the extensive experience they have in creative urban parks and waterfront design experience,” Moore said. “They’re both highly regarded, really top of the line firms.”
The Bayfront Master Plan is more than a decade in the making, and was formally approved by the California Coastal Commission in 2012.
Moore said residents should be excited that the plan, which involved more than 100 public forums in the lead-up to the proposal, is finally starting to find its legs.
“We are getting closer with each thing we do to actually having this become a reality,” she said. “This is just a really exciting time to be a Chula Vista resident.”