CHULA VISTA, Calif. — After concerns over a homeless encampment at Harborside Park forced its closure, city officials are now meeting to figure out what to do with it.

Chula Vista city leaders are asking the community to “reimagine” what they want Harborside Park to look like in the future.

Now is the time for concerned community members to have their voices heard in shaping the future of Harborside Park.

“I don’t think there will be no control with all the homeless around here and the drug abuse. People selling drugs left and right. I would like to see a building,” resident Yvette Munoz said. 

The city hosted a community meeting Wednesday to ask the public to share their opinions on possible uses, programs and services they would like to see at a new and improved Harborside.

“I would like to see it turned into a park but controlled by the city. You know, fenced. Gated and closed at a certain time and not have people sleeping over at night,” resident Jose Ybarra said.

The park was shut down after concerns over a homeless encampment attracting illegal activity and drug abuse right next to Harborside Elementary School. 

“From creating a recreation center to fields to housing, you name it. For us again, I go back to the same thing. Whatever the city decides based on stakeholders’ input, as long as it’s safe for our students,” Chula Vista School District Superintendent Dr. Eduardo Reyes said.

The city says the responses gathered here will help guide planning efforts for the site. The survey will also remain open to the public until Oct. 21 while others worry about where else the homeless can go.

“They’re still people. We must take care of the homeless in a humane way,” homeless advocate Rita McIntyre said.