The North Coast Beach Resort Could Be a Reality

Surfing in the California desert? Developer’s plan sparks outrage over water use, drought concerns

The idea of building a luxury beach resort along the famed North Coast is a long-rumored dream for developers.

Now, according to a draft environmental impact report, that dream may be on the verge of becoming a reality.

In 2015, the city of San Diego teamed up with developer AECOM and real estate company Simon Travel to pursue a project that would turn an old Navy base in Coronado into a high-end luxury beach resort.

City officials, eager to create jobs through the project, set aside more than $20 million toward environmental studies to ensure that the development could still be environmentally sound.

Now, new data has revealed a troubling correlation between increased water use and the possibility of a new luxury resort to the north.

Data from NASA’s MODIS instrument shows the project is likely to require some $1.7 million in water per year more than the existing Coronado Naval Air Facility. This project has already raised the ire of local communities, who believe the project is putting more water and air pollution in the ground than is needed.

And when the report is released, city officials will be forced to defend whether the project would be too large to build or whether the new resort would cause more damage than is needed.

The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Investigative Fund has compiled data from NASA’s QuickView satellite imagery for Coronado, Ladera and San Diego State University. It is not a perfect study because the imagery only covers a fraction of the project, but it is an excellent first look at how a North Coast beach resort may alter the quality of life for residents of the area.

The U-T’s data shows that the project would increase water demand by 1.7 million gallons of water per year, or about 9 percent of the year’s estimated 1.1 billion gallons of water supply for the entire project area.

The data also shows the project would increase air pollution by 1.1 million tons of carbon a year,

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