Rafael Castellanos – 4/14/15

Did you know 400,000 automobiles are delivered through the Port of San Diego every year? That is 10% of the imported automobiles which enter the United States each year!

Port Commissioner Rafael Castellanos, appointed by the City of San Diego, visited the Tuesday morning Optimists breakfast to give us an update on activities involving the Port of San Diego. The fast paced tour of San Diego Port projects included the obvious (like North Harbor Drive improvements, the Lane Field Park and hotel development and the Marriott Marquis remodel). He also discussed upcoming opportunities (like the new 535 acre Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan and the Airport Rental Car relocation).

Commissioner Castellanos then gave us an insight in the new Port Master Plan update. This process started over one year ago and has included a public and stakeholders visioning process and the creation of a Vision Statement and set of Guiding Principles to guide the Master Plan update. The goal for the update is a new Master Plan that will be fully approved by the CA Coastal Commission, while maintaining flexibility to entertain new ideas on Port land use.

An interesting item on today’s Port Commissioners Agenda is the potential acquisition of 29,000 acres of submerged lands by the Port, from the State Lands Commission. This area is also known as the “donut hole” in San Diego Bay. It includes the non-Port jurisdiction waterway and channel of San Diego Bay. The benefit to the Port is the ability to deal exclusively with Port tenants wishing to enlarge their current operations and to expand environmental mitigation lands. This process has just begun with the public and the State.

Have you noticed the Dole Banana ship in the harbor? It arrives on Sunday and leaves on Tuesday. Almost 2 billion bananas are delivered every year through San Diego. That is over 500 containers per week off-loaded, which results in 100 containers per week being trucked out of the Tenth Avenue Terminal complex. Last week, a Princess Cruise boat was closely following the Dole Banana boat out of the harbor … there’s gotta be a great caption for that picture!

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