San Diego

Bahia Hotel's Plan to Expand Approved by Parks and Rec Board

Bahia Point on Mission Bay is a popular spot for kayakers, paddleboarders and other outdoor lovers, but the Bahia Resort Hotel's plan for expansion has some worried their access to the space will be restricted.

Opponents of the Bahia Development Plan say the project would take away 170 prime parking spaces along the water.

The hotel's partner, Bill Evans, said the spaces wouldn't be eliminated but reconfigured.

“I think for the kayakers, it’s not going to be an issue of access," Evans said. "It’s only an issue about if they have to walk another 30 feet.”

Critics say moving those spaces would put a burden on people who are disabled or people who cannot easily reach that part of the bay. They also say that they didn't learn about the plan until recently and were caught off guard.

Opponents have organized an official group, Citizens and Paddlers Against the Bahia Hotel Land Grab on Bahia Point, to try and combat the project. Many showed up to the San Diego Parks and Recreation Board meeting Thursday.

"A lot of people have a lot of anger. They're suprised," Mission Bay resident Greg Knight said. "They didn't know that this was coming, so it kind of felt like a good sucker punch when it happened."

Evans argues the new plan will make the bay more accessible to a greater number of people.

The Mission Bay Park Committee signed off on the plan on Jan. 2, saying the project falls within the parameters of the city's master plan. The Citizens and Paddlers group argues that plan is outdated.

There are still many steps that need to be taken before the plan becomes official. Evans' plan will need to pass through the City Council and, lastly, the Coastal Commission.

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