National City’s waterfront park space and vehicle import volumes could both double under a “balanced” land use plan supported by city and Port of San Diego officials.
Port commissioners discussed the plan for three hours last week and ultimately directed staff to put together a project that would add 2 to 3 acres onto the existing Pepper Park, add commercial businesses to the area and accommodate growing auto importer-exporter Pasha Automotive, the port’s largest tenant and operator of the National City Marine Terminal.
“Now is the time and place, after so many years, to strike a grand bargain,” said Port Vice Chairman Marshall Merrifield.
“We are extremely relieved that this land debate appears to be nearly settled due to the sincere efforts of the city of National City and the Port,” said John Pasha, senior vice president of Pasha Automotive.
The tension between Pasha’s burgeoning maritime business and limited public amenities along National City’s coast has existed for decades and resurfaced this summer after a maritime consultant recommended the port give Pasha everything it could to meet demand and increase Port revenues by millions.
Port Commissioner Bob Nelson has called Pasha’s continued growth critical to the Port’s overall operational success. The Port gets a check for every vehicle Pasha brings in or ships out and Pasha’s National City operations alone brought in $12 million in revenue in 2014.