The Chula Vista Bayfront redevelopment project represents one of the largest waterfront developments in Southern California. KTUA and its team of consultants have been working with the Port of San Diego and the City of Chula Vista since 2016 on the master planning, programming and design of the two waterfront park sites associated with the project. Harbor Park (21 acres) provides signature amenities, an improved and enhanced beach, recreational opportunities, and special event spaces to the new Gaylord resort hotel and convention center. Sweetwater Park (62 acres) connects visitors with the unique ecosystem of San Diego Bay, enhances and protects sensitive habitat resources, and provides nature-based exploration and family-oriented recreation.
With a history of land uses including gunpowder production, defense aviation, and agriculture, the vision for Sweetwater Park is to rehabilitate this area of the Bayfront and create a resource-based park that embraces the natural beauty and environment of the South Bay. An extensive path system will wind through the park providing walking, jogging, and bicycling opportunities and connecting park users to natural recreational features such as grassy mounds, a dune adventure area, an open meadow, bird blind viewing areas, and several elevated earth-form overlooks with sweeping views to the bay. A total of 3.5 miles of trails and paths are proposed in Sweetwater Park. Interpretive elements and programs will be interwoven amongst the park features to inform and enrich all park users. A public art program will also be developed within the park. The public artist(s) selection process is slated to begin fall of 2020.
Public engagement was a critical component to the development of the park concept and design. KTUA implemented a wide-reaching and inclusive outreach program that included three hands-on workshops, public presentations, site walks, and on-line surveys. With almost 800 public survey responses received, the outreach process ensured the community’s desires and concerns informed the design of park. In addition to public workshops, KTUA worked closely with Port of San Diego oversight committees including the Wildlife Advisory Group, Bay Cultural and Design Committee as well as California Coastal Commission Staff to ensure compliance with Chula Vista Bayfront and Coastal development policies.
KTUA was also successful in collaborating with the Port of San Diego to secure a $5M California Natural Resources Agency Urban Greening Grant for the Sweetwater Bicycle Path and Promenade project. The grant addressed community connectivity, urban greening, carbon sequestration goals, and natural resource conservation.
In April, 2020, the Board of Port Commissioners approved a coastal development permit for the passive park, setting the stage for a ground breaking in 2022. Read more about this story.