After pushback, airport bill gets scrubbed

After pushback, airport bill gets scrubbed
Photo by Shana Thompson

CARLSBAD — Consolidating the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority appears to be off the table.

Last week, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher amended AB 3119 after numerous entities pushed back against the proposed legislation. Prior to the amendment, AB 3119 would have consolidated the SDCRAA into the Port of San Diego.

However, numerous North and East county cities cried foul saying the legislation was an attempt by Gonzalez Fletcher to shift control of regional airports and land use decisions to just five cities — San Diego, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City and El Cajon.

The Voice of San Diego first reported the story.

The new bill removes that prospect and instead creates a seven-member committee who would be charged with improving traffic and sustainability related to San Diego International Airport.

The Carlsbad City Council voted 4-1 last week to send a letter in opposition to Gonzalez Fletcher’s original bill. Much of the council feared AB 3119 in its original form was a “power grab,” Mayor Matt Hall said, in an attempt to wrest what little control the city has over McClellan-Palomar Airport.

San Diego County, meanwhile, operates the airport and is currently in the midst of updating the master plan, which has been a source of contention between residents, the city and county.

Councilman Michael Schumacher said last week it was important for the city to voice its opposition then lobby to amend the bill to ensure local control protections for the cities eliminated in the original bill.

Councilwoman Cori Schumacher (no relation) voted against sending the letter, although she said she didn’t support the legislation. Instead, she said comments made by Gonzalez Fletcher in a March 7 story by the Voice of San Diego indicated an invitation to discuss amending the bill to ensure the status quo or perhaps to gain more control.

To read amended bill AB 3119, please find the link below:

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB3119

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