About the Project

Fiesta Island plays a unique role in the City of San Diego's Mission Bay Park. The Mission Bay Park Master Plan identifies Fiesta Island as a place where City residents and visitors alike should find refuge from urban congestion, noise and visual clutter and should be a place for celebrations, sports, sunshine, nature and especially for aquatic recreation.

The proposed Fiesta Island – Mission Bay Park Master Plan Amendment project and its objectives build from a previous Fiesta Island design effort in 2007. That effort concluded with support of a Concept Plan by the Mission Bay Park Committee. The current Fiesta Island – Mission Bay Park Master Plan Amendment project proposes two concept plan options, which includes the 2007 Concept Plan. The program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will evaluate both options at the same level of detail for consideration and adoption of one concept plan by City Council.

The two Options encompass the entire island, leaving existing uses such as the Least Tern habitat, Over-the-Line sand recreation area, and the Fiesta Island Youth Camp largely unaffected. Proposed roadway changes and formal parking areas along Fiesta Island Road are intended to improve the quality of stormwater runoff. New bike and pedestrian facilities including a multi-use path around most of the island and trails would significantly improve safety and comfort for users of all ages. Paved parking areas are proposed along Fiesta Island Road at various locations in addition to continuation of existing roadway and beach parking. Increased pedestrian access to the interior of the island through the creation of trails is also planned.

The project identifies the island by four areas: Northern, Central, and Southwester Island areas. The intent of the two options is to provide recreational activities as proposed by the current Mission Bay Master Plan including camping, sand maintenance and storage, sand recreation (Over-The-Line), beach access, natural recreation areas, and developed parks. The two options differ within the Southwestern Island Area. Current City ordinances allow for dog-off leash use of the island until a formal plan has been adopted. Both options support the intent of the ordinances for dog-off leash use of portions of the island, as well as formally designating a fenced primary off-leash dog area.

Except for the Southwestern Island Area, all other operational and design aspects of the island would be the same.

Project Location

Draft Options

In the current Master Plan Concept Plan for Fiesta Island, a roadway would be extended along Hidden Anchorage “cove”, in the southwest area of the Island, with swimming proposed in the channel area south of the island, dredging along the western edge, termination of the Least Tern preserve area at Stony Point.

Option A proposes:

  • Extension of Fiesta Island Road to an area south of Hidden Anchorage
  • Two parking areas for a total of 312 parking spaces/with trailer spaces
  • Paddling facility, storage and launch area
  • Dock and designated supervised swimming area
  • Leash free swimming area
  • Developed park with a children’s play area
  • Restrooms
  • New eel grass habitat
  • Least Tern Habitat
  • Multi-use trails
  • Native/non-native grassland dog off-leash play area/with turfed special event area
  • Small dog fenced leash free area

Option B proposes:

  • Two centralized parking areas for a total of 213 parking spaces
  • Trails (running trail)
  • Native/non-native vegetation dog off-leash play area
  • Small dog fenced leash free area
  • View pavilion
  • View plaza
  • Leash free swimming beach
  • New eel grass habitat
  • Least Tern Habitat
  • Picnic tables/benches

Project Schedule

The following is the anticipated schedule for project completion:

Spring 2017

CEQA Notice of Preparation (NOP) and Scoping Meeting

Spring/Early Summer 2017

Prepare Mission Bay Park Master Plan Amendment for Fiesta Island

Summer 2017

Mission Bay Park Committee and Park and Recreation Board Briefings

Winter 2018

Public Review of Draft EIR (City Council and California Coastal Commission)

Spring 2018

Mission Bay Park Committee and Park and Recreation Board Recommendations

Summer 2018

Estimated Adoption of Mission Bay Park Master Plan Amendment for Fiesta Island and EIR (City Council and California Coastal Commission)

Environmental Impact Report

A Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) is a comprehensive assessment of the environmental effects that could result from implementation of the proposed Master Plan Amendment. It is prepared in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act. In addition to addressing potential impacts related to community concerns such as aesthetics, biological resources, recreation, traffic, and infrastructure, the EIR will also identify mitigation to reduce or avoid significant impacts.

Project Team

City of San Diego

Park Planning, Planning Department
  • Jeff Murphy, Director, Planning Department
  • Manages the Planning Department
  • Alyssa Muto, Deputy Director, Planning Department
  • Manages the Environmental & Policy Analysis Division of the Planning Department
  • Robin Shifflet, Development Project Manager III
  • Manages the Park Planning Section of the Planning Department
  • Clark Taylor, Park Designer
  • Project Manager for the Mission Bay Park Master Plan Amendment/Fiesta Island

Other Team Members

  • PlaceWorks, Planning, Design, and Environmental - Lead Consultant: As the name suggests, PlaceWorks is all about places and how they work at multiple levels—geographically, environmentally, functionally, aesthetically, and culturally. PlaceWorks creates actionable plans for healthier and more sustainable neighborhoods, workplaces, and schools using a wide array of diagnostic and planning tools. Its services and practice areas meet the latest economic and societal changes and the increasing complexity of environmental health and regulation. PlaceWorks will lead the overall plan amendment effort, preparing the master plan amendments and environmental review documents.
  • STC Traffic, Transportation/Traffic: STC Traffic, Inc., is a full service traffic engineering firm that specializes in the design, implementation, and operation of high-tech Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and Traffic Engineering and Control Applications. STC Traffic projects range from improvement studies for isolated intersections to system design and implementation of regional transportation systems. STC will participate in preparing conceptual plans for the project and complete a traffic impact analysis for the preferred alternative for the environmental review.
  • Nasland Engineering, Engineering/Infrastructure/Water Quality: Nasland Engineering is a full-service civil engineering, surveying and land-planning firm serving all of Southern California that will prepare a water quality technical and hydrology report in support of the environmental document.
  • Merkel & Associates, Marine Biological Resources: Merkel & Associates is a biological resources firm that specializes in marine biology. Merkel & Associates has been conducting studies in San Diego and Mission Bay in particular for many years. Merkel will conduct marine biological and wetlands and other waters technical analyses in support of the environmental document.
  • Alden Environmental, Biological Resources: Alden Environmental’s primary services include biological surveys, habitat restoration, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) support, environmental compliance monitoring, jurisdictional delineations, agency coordination, natural resource planning, and aquatic resources permitting. Alden will prepare a vegetation map and biological report in support of the environmental document, and may also analyze wetland marine resources.
  • Terra Costa Consulting Group, Geotechnical/Shoreline: TerraCosta provides geotechnical and civil engineering services related to water, land, and the interactions between these fundamental elements. Terra Costa draws upon its vast experience to understand these elements and provide solutions for the benefit of the community. Terra Costa will prepare a site-specific geologic/geotechnical study and a study of sea level rise for the environmental analysis.