Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

NAVWAR (Naval Information Warfare Systems Command) is responsible for providing the critical networks, sensors, and systems to connect air, surface, subsurface, space, and cyberspace military assets that are vital to the Navy mission and to national security. Information and cyber warfare are now fundamental elements of warfare, an essential concept within the Navy’s strategy, and is recognized as a warfare area on par with the traditional domains of air, sea, land, and space.

NAVWAR is San Diego’s 15th largest employer and contributes 29,000 jobs and $3.5 billion to the regional economy (Fiscal Year 2019) (San Diego Military Advisory Council Economic Impact Study 2019).

The Navy OTC is part of Naval Base Point Loma and houses NAVWAR as its major tenant. The campus comprises 70.5 acres on two sites (OTC Site 1 is 48.7 acres and OTC Site 2 is 21.8 acres). The main buildings consist of World War II-era aircraft manufacturing plants and associated administrative office buildings. OTC Site 1 was used during World War II to manufacture aircraft and has been partially adapted to provide training facilities, administrative office space, and industrial (laboratories, shops, and warehouse) space to support NAVWAR. OTC Site 2 is currently used for warehouse space and parking. The existing space is inefficient and functionally obsolete given the 1940s-era design.

OTC is approximately 1.5 miles from downtown San Diego and a half-mile from the San Diego International Airport. OTC is located in the City of San Diego’s Midway-Pacific Highway Community Planning Area, near Interstate 8 and adjacent to Interstate 5 and Pacific Highway.

The existing OTC facilities are beyond their useful life and their degradation is affecting NAVWAR’s cyber warfare mission, security, and workforce safety. The Navy requires secure, safe, modern, state-of-the-art facilities to meet NAVWAR’s information technology, artificial intelligence, and cyber warfare operational needs. Modernization of OTC would address substandard, inefficient, and obsolete facilities that are incapable of meeting and sustaining NAVWAR’s mission requirements.

Modernization of OTC could include the demolition of existing facilities and construction of new buildings, utilities, and infrastructure to provide mission capable facilities for NAVWAR. This could occur through Navy-funded development of the site or through a public-private development. Public-private options could include mixed-use development, including options with or without a potential transit center element. The Navy prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to analyze the potential environmental effects associated with modernization of OTC, and more information on this process and the content of the Draft EIS can be found under the Environmental Analysis section or on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Process page

All OTC modernization alternatives consider changes and improvements to roadways, sidewalks, utilities, and traffic flow. As the San Diego regional planning agency, SANDAG possesses unique expertise and authorities with respect to environmental impacts associated with land use, viewsheds, transportation, and construction that could result from the proposed modernization of OTC. SANDAG also possesses expertise on the socioeconomic conditions and the transportation and housing needs of the local and regional communities. Because of this expertise, SANDAG serves as a cooperating agency for the development of the EIS pursuant to National Environmental Policy Act and associated regulations. SANDAG and the Navy signed an agreement on September 19, 2019 and a follow-on agreement on January 23, 2020 to define collaboration between the Navy and SANDAG.

In addition, as a result of the Navy’s Request for Interest released in September 2018, which sought to explore public-private redevelopment concepts for OTC that would include new facilities for NAVWAR, SANDAG expressed interest in OTC as a potential location for a transit center. In response to this interest, two action alternatives (Alternatives 4 and 5) include a transit center on OTC. The inclusion of a transit center would be beneficial to efficient travel of NAVWAR employees and visitors to and from OTC. As part of their response to the Request for Interest, SANDAG is also considering OTC as a potential location for a Central Mobility Hub to provide a direct mass transit connection to the San Diego International Airport. SANDAG may decide in the future to develop the transit center into a larger Central Mobility Hub.

The process was not intended to lead to a selection of any one respondent, but rather to seek industry input on potential modernization of the site and construction of new Navy facilities. The Navy and SANDAG entered into the September 2019 Agreement to describe a planning process intended to lead to the redevelopment of OTC, to include a potential transit center and the development of Navy facilities. Both parties continue to explore alternatives related to the modernization of OTC, construction of Navy facilities, and transportation facilities. The January 2020 Agreement builds on the September 2019 Agreement.

No, the two projects are not the same. The Navy project is for redevelopment of the 70.5-acre OTC to provide new mission-capable facilities for NAVWAR. In its project, the Navy has five development alternatives it is evaluating, two of which include a transit center on the site. Developing a transit center on the site involves SANDAG. At the same time, SANDAG has a separate project to look for a site for their Central Mobility Hub concept. The OTC is a potential site, but SANDAG is also considering other sites and options.

No. The Agreement is a working framework and sharing arrangement to allow the Navy and SANDAG to continue to explore various options for accomplishing their respective goals, including alternatives in which there is no transit center at OTC. All applicable federal, state, and local requirements including, but not limited to those under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), must be satisfied prior to selecting an alternative from the Final EIS.

Only two of the Navy’s five action alternatives include a transit center. The Navy studied three action alternatives in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that do not include a transit center.

The Navy’s Preferred Alternative is not necessarily the final alternative that will be implemented. The selected alternative is not decided upon until after the Final EIS is completed and the decision is documented in the Record of Decision.

If SANDAG determines in the future that OTC is not the best location for a new transit center after the Navy’s Record of Decision, the Navy’s Preferred Alternative would still allow for a mixed-use development (as analyzed in the Draft EIS) without the transit center. Another option is that the Navy would select another alternative without a transit center in their Record of Decision.

Site Development

The cost of the project would depend on the alternative selected by the Navy at the conclusion of the NEPA process. Alternative 1 (Navy-Only Development) would be entirely funded by the Navy using funds appropriated by Congress, while funding under the other action alternatives would be through a public-private development.

According to the San Diego Military Advisory Council’s 2019 Military Economic Impact Study, the presence of NAVWAR in its existing locale contributes $3.2 billion annually to the San Diego regional economy and employs nearly 5,200 people in the greater San Diego area, with payroll and benefits valued at almost $800 million. NAVWAR’s economic contributions to the region are projected to grow.

Depending on the alternative selected in the EIS Record of Decision, the potential modernization could also bring provide additional economic benefits to the region through the construction and operation of new commercial, residential, and transportation facilities.

This would depend on the EIS alternative selected by the Navy for implementation in the Record of Decision. Under Alternative 1, the Navy would develop the OTC property for Navy-only use. Under the other action alternatives, the site would be developed through a public-private development agreement. For more information on the alternatives being studied in the EIS, see the Environmental Analysis section.

If you are interested in potential future public-private development opportunities for modernization of OTC, continue to visit https://www.NAVWAR-revitalization.com for project updates and sign up for the project’s mailing list.

For Alternative 1, modernized NAVWAR facilities are estimated to have a build-out phase of approximately five years but would depend on the Federal funding process. For Alternatives 2 through 5, new NAVWAR facilities are anticipated to be built first, followed by mixed-use development over an approximate 30-year timeframe. Development under any alternative selected could start as early as 2023, but would ultimately depend on selection of design and land use agreements, if applicable.

Yes, the public provided comment on the preliminary action alternatives and resources to be analyzed during the 30-day public scoping period, which closed on February 24, 2020. The Navy considered all public comments received during the public scoping period as they developed the Draft EIS.

The Draft EIS was released for a 90-day public comment period on May 14, 2021. The public comment period ended on August 12, 2021.The Draft EIS and other project informational materials are posted on the project website. The Final EIS will include an appendix with a response to comments received during the Draft EIS public comment period.

California Coastal Zone/California Coastal Commission

No, the project is not located within the coastal zone.

The project occurs outside of the coastal zone. However, the Navy is assessing the project for impacts to the coastal zone and is working with the California Coastal Commission per the Coastal Zone Management Act [CZMA §307(c)(1) 15 CFR §930.30].

Reference 16 U.S.C. §1451–1466, Coastal Zone Management Act and 15 CFR Part 930 require the Navy and other federal agencies proposing an action to determine if the action is reasonably likely to directly or indirectly (cumulatively or secondarily) affect any land or water use, or natural or cultural resources within the coastal zone.

The Federal Consistency Unit of the California Coastal Commission implements the federal Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 as it applies to federal activities, development projects, permits and licenses, and support to state and local governments. All federal agency activities (including federal development projects, permits and licenses, and assistance to state and local governments) affecting the coastal zone must be consistent with the enforceable policies of the state’s certified coastal management program.

As defined in Section 304 of the Coastal Zone Management Act, the term “coastal zone” does not include “lands the use of which is by law subject solely to the discretion of or which is held in trust by the Federal Government.” OTC is owned and operated by the Navy and is therefore excluded from the coastal zone. Additionally, OTC is located outside (inland) of the coastal zone boundary and would remain so regardless of future decisions concerning potential land transfers. However, the Coastal Zone Management Act requires that the federal agency proposing any project on federal land that could reasonably affect resources within the coastal zone must provide a federal consistency determination.

A coastal consistency review is conducted by the California Coastal Commission to evaluate if a proposed activity is consistent with established coastal policies and procedures. As part of this review process, the Commission holds public hearings to promote public involvement in decision making regarding approvals of proposed projects potentially affecting coastal resources. The Navy was scheduled to present the OTC Revitalization project to the California Coastal Commission at the public hearing on October 15, 2021, but this was delayed by the Navy until 2022.

After reviewing the California Coastal Commission staff report that addressed the Navy’s Consistency Determination, the Navy asked the Commission to postpone the public hearing to a later date to provide additional time for resolution of issues discussed in the staff report.

The California Coastal Commission staff’s primary issue with the Navy’s Consistency Determination, as stated in the staff report, was “…the Navy has not provided sufficient information to enable the Commission to determine the proposed development’s consistency with … the Coastal Act and the Commission’s Environmental Justice (EJ) Policy.” The Navy is working to determine the best approach for providing available information, as appropriate, to the California Coastal Commission that will support their review process.

As noted in the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed project, because the Proposed Action alternatives are conceptual, project-specific details such as a precise site layout or design are not yet defined. However, the full scope of the project is presented in the EIS, based on an envelope approach representing a theoretical buildout and development density for each action alternative, and the EIS provides sufficient information to support technical evaluation, public involvement, and informed decision making.

The Navy has not yet selected the alternative for implementation. The alternative for implementation will be documented in the Record of Decision, anticipated sometime in 2022. A site plan would be developed after the Navy has decided on the selected alternative.

The Navy intends to continue working with the California Coastal Commission to resolve issues highlighted in the staff report. The Navy has a strong working relationship with the California Coastal Commission and is confident that an appropriate path forward can be identified and implemented.

A coastal consistency review is a tool used by the California Coastal Commission to evaluate a proposed activity per coastal policies and procedures designed to enable appropriate economic development while advancing the protection and preservation of ecological, cultural, historic, recreational, and aesthetic values. The final step of a coastal consistency review is a determination of an activity’s “consistency” with established coastal policies and procedures.

Environmental Analysis

Under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is prepared to provide an analysis of the potential effects a proposed federal action may have on the environment. The EIS process includes public involvement and results in more informed decision-making. Alternatives that meet the purpose of and need for the project are developed and the EIS documents the potential impacts each alternative could have on the environment. In the EIS, measures are developed to avoid or reduce environmental impacts that might result from each of the alternatives. The NEPA process results in the selection of an alternative for implementation as documented in a Record of Decision.

The Navy has prepared an EIS to analyze the potential environmental effects associated with modernization of OTC. Alternatives analyzed in the EIS range from the Navy developing OTC to meet NAVWAR’s current and future needs, to a development alternative that includes construction of new facilities for NAVWAR plus a transit center and high-density commercial/residential development. The potential environmental effects on a variety of resource areas (e.g., air quality, transportation/traffic, visual resources, cultural/historic resources, and others) are assessed individually for each alternative. The EIS addresses provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) as it relates to potential non-federal development within the alternatives. The Navy will undertake any coordination and consultation activities required by the National Historic Preservation Act and other federal laws.

As a federal agency, the Navy conducts environmental analysis on proposed projects in compliance with federal laws including NEPA. Non-federal agencies in California conduct environmental analysis on proposed projects in compliance with state laws including CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act). As the Navy conducted its analysis on the proposed OTC project under NEPA, the Navy also included provisions of CEQA in Appendix A to the Draft EIS. Appendix A analyzed the additional topics required under CEQA. If the Navy transfers property out of federal ownership or selects an alternative in which SANDAG has a role in the private development, the private developer or SANDAG may be able to utilize the EIS to help meet their future CEQA compliance obligations. In the event that future actions taken by the Navy, SANDAG, or a private developer are outside the scope of this EIS, subsequent NEPA or CEQA may be required. The EIS is not a joint NEPA/CEQA document; future CEQA actions would be the responsibility of the appropriate state or local agency or private developer.

Yes. The resource areas analyzed in the Draft EIS addressed similar issues required by CEQA, but there were sometimes different names for the resources or methodologies used for the analysis.

Appendix A of the Draft EIS addressed provisions of CEQA as they relate to non-federal development within the proposed alternatives.

Proposed Action and Purpose and Need

The Proposed Action is to modernize OTC to provide NAVWAR with mission capable facilities. The purpose of the Proposed Action is to modernize facilities to meet design standards for safety and security that will enhance NAVWAR’s operational effectiveness.

The existing OTC facilities are beyond their useful life and their degradation is affecting NAVWAR’s cyber warfare mission, security, and workforce safety. The Navy requires secure, safe, modern, state-of-the-art facilities to meet NAVWAR’s information technology, artificial intelligence, and cyber warfare operational needs.

Two of the alternatives in the EIS include transportation efficiency solutions that are feasible within the project footprint. This consists of a transit center occupying a portion of OTC.

Most of the alternatives in the EIS include a residential development component. The number of residential units varies based on the alternative. At this time, inclusion of affordable housing as part of the alternatives is not known.

Action Alternatives

The Navy’s Draft EIS analyzed modernization alternatives that would enable NAVWAR to achieve its mission at OTC. These action alternatives include:

  • Alternative 1 – NAVWAR-Only Redevelopment
  • Alternative 2 – Public-Private Redevelopment – NAVWAR and Higher Density Mixed Use
  • Alternative 3 – Public-Private Redevelopment – NAVWAR and Lower Density Mixed Use
  • Alternative 4 – Public-Private Redevelopment – NAVWAR and Higher Density Mixed Use with a Transit Center (Preferred Alternative)
  • Alternative 5 – Public-Private Redevelopment – NAVWAR and Lower Density Mixed Use with a Transit Center

The Draft EIS also analyzed the effects of not carrying out the Proposed Action, referred to as the “No Action Alternative.” Under the No Action Alternative, the Navy would continue to maintain and repair the existing facilities at OTC and would continue to operate under poor conditions that negatively impact NAVWAR’s ability to accomplish its mission.

Alternative 1 – NAVWAR-Only Redevelopment consists of modernization of OTC to meet NAVWAR’s facility requirements with Navy-funded capital improvements only.

Alternative 2 – Public-Private Redevelopment – NAVWAR and Higher Density Mixed Use consists of construction of new Navy facilities for NAVWAR on OTC through a public-private development, and the relocation of some warehouse functions to a separate off-site location (a separate action not analyzed as part of the EIS). This alternative includes a potential high density residential and commercial private development component.

Alternative 3 – Public-Private Redevelopment – NAVWAR and Lower Density Mixed Use would be similar to what will be analyzed for the Public-Private Redevelopment – NAVWAR and Higher Density Mixed Use alternative, but the development scenario for private development would be reduced.

Alternative 4 – Public-Private Redevelopment – NAVWAR and Higher Density Mixed Use with a Transit Center would be similar to what will be analyzed for the Public-Private Redevelopment – NAVWAR and Higher Density Mixed Use alternative, but a portion of OTC would be developed as a transit center.

Alternative 5 – Public-Private Redevelopment – NAVWAR and Lower Density Mixed Use with a Transit Center would be similar to what will be analyzed for the Public-Private Redevelopment – NAVWAR and Lower Density Mixed Use alternative, but a portion of OTC would be developed as a transit center, and the development scenario for private development would be reduced.

NAVWAR’s requirements for modernized facilities on OTC include 1,694,268 square feet (SF) of space, as follows:

  • 845,326 SF of office space;
  • 29,156 SF of secure conference and auditorium space;
  • 24,172 SF of warehouse/storage space;
  • 165,614 SF of laboratory space;
  • 630,000 SF for parking.

In addition to the above, NAVWAR requires an additional 645,187 SF of open storage or laydown space, warehouse, office, and laboratory space that could be accommodated at an off-site location:

  • 3,900 SF of office space;
  • 457,769 SF of warehouse/storage space;
  • 9,251 SF of laboratory space; and
  • 174,267 SF of open storage or laydown space.

The density is related to number of buildings, building heights, and allocations for land uses, such as number of residential dwelling units and commercial and retail space. The EIS considers two alternatives, higher and lower density, without a transit center as well as two alternatives, higher and lower density, with a transit center. With a transit center and transit-oriented development, densities are slightly higher than without a transit center.

At this time, inclusion of affordable housing as part of this project is not known.

In this case, public-private development generally means a development scenario in which the Navy would work with a private developer to build the Navy facilities. The developer would pay for the construction of new Navy facilities on part of the property in exchange for a lease or other rights for the private development of the remaining land.

Both alternatives include a transit center, which could be a beneficial use of OTC for both the San Diego region and Navy employees who not only work at OTC but also at the other military installations in the downtown, Point Loma, and Coronado areas.

Alternative 4 is preferred over Alternative 5 because Alternative 4 would provide a greater framework for future design flexibility for the overall development. In addition, the difference in potential impacts between Alternatives 4 and 5 are minimal and outweighed by the benefit of providing greater flexibility for site design under Alternative 4.

National Environmental Policy Act Process and Public Involvement

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 – often referred to as NEPA – is a federal environmental law. NEPA requires federal agencies to consider the potential environmental impacts of their proposed actions before making a decision. The Navy is complying with NEPA by preparing the EIS.

The NEPA process refers to the various steps to be taken during the development of an environmental planning document (e.g., EIS). It ensures that reasonable alternatives to the proposed action are explored, that potential impacts to the environment are thoroughly analyzed, and that there is an opportunity provided to the public for initial scoping and Draft EIS review and comment.

To comply with NEPA, a Draft EIS is published for public review and comment for a minimum of 45 days. The comment period for this Draft EIS was initially published as 60 days and then extended to 90 days in response to public interest.

After the release of the Final EIS and a 30-day wait period, the Navy will select an alternative and sign a Record of Decision. The Record of Decision provides a public record of the decision, describes the public involvement and agency decision-making process, and presents the commitments to specific mitigation measures to reduce environmental impacts. Availability of the Record of Decision will be published in the Federal Register and local newspapers and will be available to the public.

The Final EIS and the Record of Decision are expected to be completed in 2022.

The NEPA process for the OTC Revitalization Project provides an opportunity for public input, which helps to ensure all relevant issues are identified and appropriately addressed in the EIS. During the public scoping period held in early 2020, the public participated by sharing their ideas, thoughts, and concerns about the project. This helped the Navy to identify the scope of analysis including environmental resource areas that should be addressed and helped create potential alternatives to be analyzed in the EIS. The Draft EIS was released on May 14, 2021 for a 90-day public comment period, which ended on August 12, 2021. The Final EIS and Record of Decision are expected to be completed in 2022. The Final EIS will include an appendix with a response to comments received during the Draft EIS public comment period.

Yes. Public input is an important factor in the development of an EIS. Public participation helps the Navy understand different viewpoints from the community, which improves the analysis and helps the Navy make informed decisions. The Draft EIS was released on May 14, 2021 for a 90-day public comment period that ended on August 12, 2021.

After the Final EIS is published, including responses to substantive comments received on the Draft EIS, the EIS process ends with the Record of Decision. The Record of Decision documents the Navy’s decision and 1) explains the Navy’s decision and alternative selected for implementation, 2) describes the alternatives the Navy considered, and 3) discusses the Navy’s plans for mitigation and monitoring to reduce potential impacts from the project.

The Record of Decision is signed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment.

These details are currently unknown. The Navy has existing statutory authority to effectuate a lease or to execute a fee transfer. Under all alternatives, the Navy plans to retain ownership of the property that would be used for Navy facilities and may or may not retain ownership of the property used for other uses such as housing, office space, etc.; further details on the disposition of the remaining property under Alternatives 2 – 5 would be determined during the project’s development planning stage.

Public Scoping Period (January 24, 2020 – February 24, 2020)

During the scoping period, the Navy received more than 120 written comments about the proposed OTC Revitalization Project. These comments are considered in development of the Draft EIS. Scoping comments generally highlighted many of the resource areas the Navy was already committed to analyzing as part of the EIS, such as transportation/traffic, visual quality (including building height), cultural/historic significance of the existing structures, hazardous waste (contaminated site cleanup), and security.

The Scoping Summary Report is available for download. It summarizes the key topics raised by the public during scoping and the Navy’s approach for addressing these topics in the Draft EIS.

Key Topics

Yes, the Environmental Restoration Program (ERP) is the U.S. Navy’s initiative to identify, investigate and clean up former hazardous substance release sites on Navy property.

At OTC, the Navy is managing sites contaminated by former use of the property as an aircraft manufacturing facility. The sites are currently suitable for industrial use; however, some contaminants remain in soil and groundwater that require investigation and remediation to continue. A description of remaining contaminated sites and an analysis of these clean-up efforts is in the Draft EIS. Detailed information is readily available on the Navy’s ERP public website.

The data was collected before the pandemic, in January 2020.

If the Navy selects Alternative 2, 3, 4, or 5 for implementation in the Record of Decision, the Navy intends to work with stakeholders to identify a process for the implementation of NEPA mitigation in connection with the potential transfer of OTC property interests. This process could take the form of a development agreement with SANDAG or the City of San Diego, provisions included directly in the lease or other transfer agreement requiring the transferee to accomplish mitigation, or another appropriate process. For Alternatives 2-5, when site development details are known, it is anticipated the selected developer(s), and in the case of Alternatives 4 or 5 the transit agencies, would work directly with the City of San Diego or other appropriate local agencies on the implementation of, or fair-share contribution to, mitigation measures related to traffic impacts.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) are two separate laws. The EIS is part of the NEPA process and looks at potential impacts to historic properties. The NHPA is the law that includes a process for how adverse impacts to historic properties should be addressed. The NHPA consultation process is expected to be complete by the Final EIS and appropriate findings would be included in the NEPA Record of Decision.

Additional Information

For more information, please visit other pages of this website. Inquiries may be submitted via the project email address, info@NAVWAR-revitalization.com, or project phone number, (888) OTC-NAVY / (888) 682-6289. The phone number is a recorded line, but your call will be returned within approximately two to three business days.

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