Urban Planning

Campland on the Bay Lease Extension

In late 2014, the City of San Diego embarked on a community effort to prepare an amendment to the Mission Bay Park Master Plan. The project required necessary changes to Mission Bay’s northern end, commonly known as De Anza Cove. The lease was expiring for an RV campground called “Campland on the Bay” and the adjacent mobile home park on the De Anza Cove peninsula.

The city’s staff hired professionals to coordinate with the community and to facilitate a technical study of the area. Many local organizations formed a coalition for environmental research and to assist in an approach that community leaders desired for a long-term sustainable outcome. The coalition established Rewild Mission Bay to address these issues. The Rewild Mission Bay initiative included San Diego’s most notable environmental organizations, including the San Diego Audubon Society, San Diego Coastkeeper, Surfrider Foundation, Sierra Club San Diego and Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C3).The organization received research funding and assistance from the Coastal Conservancy, Recourses Legal Fund and from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Their task was to prepare a feasibility study for an environmental solution for the De Anza Cove.

The scientific research and planning formulated the “ReWild Mission Bay: Wetlands Restoration Feasibility Study Report.”

The main concepts that were considered were—“wild”, “wilder,” and “wildest,” with the “wildest” plan chosen as the preferred option, as it served the community in the best possible way.

Despite the united community outcry, the city opted to largely ignore the communities recommendations and gave Campland on the Bay a 5 year extension for their facilities adjacent to the sensitive wetlands of the Kendall-Frost Marsh reserve.  Today and into the foreseeable  future, Campland by the Bay utilizes an incredibly rich regional resource for very expensive and environmentally irresponsible RV camping. While this use meets an objective of low cost coastal front lodging, the community overwhelmingly believes that this area is too environmentally important to be diminished by RV camping.  It should also be noted that that Campland is actively utilizing about 5.5 acres of this valuable San Diego real estate for for-profit RV storage which is compatible with neither the Mission Bay Master Plan or the California Coastal Commission’s charter for appropriate waterfront uses.  For the city’s lack of concern for the community or the environment on Mission Bay and Campland’s lease extension, the City of San Diego should be called out with an Onion.  This is an opportunity to say that the community of San Diego deserves better, we should be leaders and stewards of the environment, Mission Bay park’s conception was the vision of leaders but sub-standard, over-priced, RV campgrounds and storage is simply NOT acceptable to us as a community and a society at large.

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  • Onion Nominee

  • Project Address:

    2211 Pacific Beach Dr., San Diego

    Project Owner/Developer:

    Michael Gelfand

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