Ocean Beach

OB Planning Board: 2 Projects Approved, Concerns on Community Plan Update, Crosswalks and Stop Signs Cometh to OB

July 3, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Ocean Beach planners were certainly busy at their last meeting, held on Wednesday, July 1st. They approved 2 projects, one on Santa Monica and the other on Cape May, they heralded an update on crosswalks and stop signs coming to OB, and they hosted an impromptu debate on the status of OB’s Community Plan Update.

Concerns Raised Over Status of OB Community Plan

Several veterans of OB’s Community Plan update process expressed their concerns over the status of the plan – as it is currently heading to the August meeting of the California Coastal Commission, to be held locally in Chula Vista. Both Mindy Pellissier and Gio Ingolia, co-chairs of the committee that led the update process, were concerned about the timing and any changes to the Plan that city staff were making.

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The “Mallow Out” Campaign for Ocean Beach Continues for July 4th

July 3, 2015 by Source
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OB Town Council: Thanks for Taking Pledge – and Asks for Volunteers for “Peace Patrol” and Day After Clean-Up

Editor: The following message from Gretchen Newsom, Chair of the OB Town Council, is all about the the continuation of the successful “Mallow Out” campaign for the second July 4th in OB in a row.

THANK YOU for taking the pledge to ‘Mallow Out!’ Your solidarity and support will help keep our streets, beaches, and ocean clean, enhance public safety, and help our local economy thrive.

Please invite your friends and neighbors to take the Mallow-Out pledge – (Come inside for the link)

Also, what made a BIG difference last year was all the community volunteers that cleaned up marshmallows immediately after the fireworks, i.e. not waiting until the next morning.

If you are able and available, please join our ‘Peace Patrol’ on the 4th of July. …

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The Abuse of Ocean Beach Tenants on Saratoga

July 2, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

Mark has lived in his small unit on the 4900 block of Saratoga Avenue in Ocean Beach for 14 years. His is one of the front units in the 8-plex, where a sidewalk and a narrow space separate the two buildings that make up a narrow courtyard. A row of garages that face the alley forms a “T” with the buildings.

Mark’s longevity as a tenant is not the only one. A woman neighbor has been there for 17 years and a buddy in one of the back units has been there for ten years.

Everyone got along in his courtyard neighborhood. Everything seemed fine, until about six months ago when the property changed hands. And a new property management team appeared. It was the Torrey Pines Property Management company that took over, as it was one of their clients that had purchased the units.

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After Over 30 Years, OB Planning Board Changes Its Logo Due to Request From Originator

July 1, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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For over 30 years (we believe) the Ocean Beach Planning Board has sported its logo on agendas, letterhead, fliers and other documents.

The logo has the famous OB seagull with the “OB” with the planning board’s name below.

But now, the current Board – run by a bunch of upstarts apparently – has changed the logo into a symbolic “OB” with a parrot. My goodness! A seagull for a parrot. What’s next for OB? Veggie tacos instead of fish tacos? (JK guys, really.)

How could they change it after all these years? you may ask yourself.

But wait, they had a good reason it turns out.

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Is Ocean Beach Number 3 in Vacation Rentals for San Diego? Boasts Meet City’s Strict Law

June 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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There’s a new vacation rental property management company out there that’s boasting that with 12,000 short term vacation rentals, “San Diego is rapidly becoming the fastest growing market in the country.”

And it also claims that of the top 5 key regions in the San Diego area, Ocean Beach is number 3 in terms of potential earnings from property owners turning their units into short term rentals.

The company Pillow just announced that it is officially launching in San Diego, and it has a nifty graphic that shows that short term rental fees from OB make the community the third top community in the San Diego region.The breakdown: La Jolla, Pacific Beach, then OB, then San Diego generally, and fifth is Coronado.

The company is all about enticing homeowners to rent out their digs and has held several workshops around town. It’s already established itself in several other cities. Pillow

Wow! OB is number 3!

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OB Hostel Gets New Name and Improvements

June 30, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Say goodbye to the Ocean Beach International Hostel and hello to USA Hostels Ocean Beach.

That’s the new name of the iconic housing building for those passing through our magical beach community, which was bought last year by USA Hostels.

The company also owns a hostel in downtown San Diego, as well as Los Angeles and San Francisco. It’s part of a number of changes the company is making to improve the guest experience, according to Chief Operating Officer Maria Argyropoulos-Minos.

She said rooms will have a new look, including new flooring, fresh paint and new lockers.

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OB Planners to Review Projects on Santa Monica and Cape May

June 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The OB Planning Board has two projects to review at their next meeting, Wednesday, July 1, over at the OB Rec Center.

The first action item is the application for the proposed project at 5040 Santa Monica Avenue. The Project Review Committee gave it their thumbs up when they met on June 17, voting 6 to 2 for approval. The full Board makes the final decision.

Here is the report we filed then:

Commercial and Residential for Santa Monica – the “Last Sand Dune in OB”

The project proposed for 5040 Santa Monica was a scaled-down version of a development that had been approved back in 2006 but never constructed. The developer was going for a ‘substantial compliance review’ with the city, as the site has been dormant for around 10 years. The lot supposedly contains “the last sand dune in OB”.

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Momentum Mounting for 2016 California Marijuana Measure

June 30, 2015 by Source

MJcaliflagBy Phillip Smith / AlterNet

On June 14, more than 200 people gathered at the Sebastopol Grange for a fundraiser and organizing meeting of local pot growers, the Sonoma County Growers Association.

They were being mentored by their northern neighbors from Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties, the Emerald Growers Association, which already has lobbyists in Sacramento and is in the middle of the effort to legalize weed in California next year.

The Emerald Triangle is the largest marijuana growing area in the country’s largest marijuana producing state.

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People Watching at the OB Street Fair – a Photo Gallery

June 29, 2015 by Source
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Here is Albert C Elliott’s black & white photo gallery on people watching at the Ocean Beach Street Fair 2015.

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How to Measure the 30 Foot Height Limit in Ocean Beach and Point Loma

June 29, 2015 by Source
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By Geoff Page

There continues to be confusion as to how to measure a building so that it conforms to the 30-foot height limit. I thought I had a pretty good idea of how this was calculated but learned some things had changed.

I also learned that the Development Services Department (DSD) has started using a twisted interpretation that resulted in a building on Avenida de Portugal being 36 feet high.

I would like to explain what I have learned about how height is to be measured. There are three issues.

The first issue is the question of where on a lot the measurement is taken from. The second issue is wording that the City has brought into the measurement language.

The third issue is the worst one, allowing measurement from future structures on a site, not existing conditions.

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Is Chumming Legal Off the Ocean Beach Pier?

June 26, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB pier fishingIs chumming legal or allowed off the Ocean Beach Pier?

Okay, you ask, what’s “chumming”?

There’s a variety of modern slang-type of definitions, but in relation to fishing, it’s when people fishing off the pier or in the ocean cut up large chucks of bait and throw them over the railings or overboard in hopes of attracting large fish – like tuna – or like sharks.

If the fisherman or fisherwoman is trying to attract sharks while fishing off the OB Pier – or any pier – when there are surfers and swimmers nearby – that makes it an extremely dangerous activity.

It was suspected that chumming may have been partially responsible for attracting the sharks that attacked children off Oak Island in Southern North Carolina back in mid-June, where two kids each lost a limb. The incidents – 2 miles apart – were followed by calls to regulate chumming off a local pier.

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Four-Unit Muir Apartment in Ocean Beach Sold for $1 Million

June 25, 2015 by Staff
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A 4-unit apartment at 4649-4655 Muir Avenue was just sold for $1.06 million.

Built in 1951, the 4 units have between them 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms, and stands on a 5,000-squareófoot lot (assessor’s parcel 448-531-04). Presently, they include 2,246 square feet together.

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OB Town Council: Drought Remedies, Mallow-Out Campaign, Caves, Grants, Vendors and Park Rangers

June 25, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The Ocean Beach Town Council juggled a lot of issues last night at its monthly public meeting – drought solutions, its “Mallow-Out” Campaign, the day after July 4th clean-up, the funding of grants …

It was well over half-way through the meeting when the keynote presentations on the drought and solutions were finally made to the crowd of about forty audience members and a dozen Council members.

Drought Remedies: Native Plants, Rainbarrels, Greywater and Diet

One-by-one several presenters laid out remedies that included learning about native plant gardens, which native plants are good to plant, about installing grey-water systems in your home, and how our diets also contribute to the waste of water.

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Getting Into the Spirit of OB Street Fairs – Looking Back at the Street Fair of 2009

June 24, 2015 by Staff
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We’re getting into the swing of things like street fairs and chili cook-offs. In an effort to get into the spirit of this weekend’s OB Street Fair of 2015, we decided to conjure up the spirits of a Street Fair of yesteryear, the 2009 annual OB festival down Newport.

Six years ago, the OB Rag – in conjunction with the OB Mainstreet Association, published a series of articles about different aspects of the yearly tradition, giving extensive coverage to the musicians, the street vendors, the trolley, the chili cook-off, and where all the money came from and went.

Plus some history – was the OB Street Fair of 2009 the 30th as was officially claimed or was it the 28th as one of the founders of the tradition claimed?

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OB Town Council Takes on The Drought – Meets Wed., June 24

June 23, 2015 by Staff
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The Ocean Beach Town Council is taking on The Drought at their next public meeting, this Wednesday, June 24th.

The OBTC wants the village to focus on the drought and does OB respond to it as a community and as a collection of individuals. In their newsletter, the OBTC states:

California’s drought is on everyone’s mind – from ‘drip pinching’ to help your pocket book, to being part of an eco-H2O savvy community, to joining the ‘dirty car club’ – we’ll all trying to do our part. Join us to learn about community and individual solutions to the drought!

They’ve assembled a panel of speakers for the meeting, due to begin at at 7pm at the Masonic Hall, 1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd – and they include: …

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News Around Ocean Beach – Late June 2015

June 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Cheswick Bartender Memorial “Ride Out” for Shay Whitman Shay Whitman, a bartender at Cheswicks on Newport, was killed in an accident on June 4th,

BBQ House Expansion The expansion of OB’s BBQ House is really picking up pace.

OB Hookah Lounge Now Wants to Serve Food and Drink The hookah lounge at 4851 Newport Ave,

Voltaire Brewery Progress There has been progress on the brewery slated to open on Voltaire Street.

Sunset Plaza Towers Over Intersection It’s now clear just how large the building at the corner of Sunset Cliffs and Voltaire will be.

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“Ocean Beach Plaza” Planned for Cable and Santa Monica

June 22, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Demolition of Former Medical Buildings and Construction of Mixed-Use Commercial Buildings Planned

The owner of the large lot at the southeast corner of Cable and Santa Monica – whose buildings have for decades housed medical and dental offices – has applied for a permit to demolish the buildings and construct something he’s calling “Ocean Beach Plaza“.

The new planned project for the site – owned by well-known OB property-owner John Small – is for two commercial and mixed-used buildings, including a section with 2 stories, totaling 10,453 square feet. The lot is .45 acres and currently has a large parking lot in the rear of the building with alley access off Cable and street access off Santa Monica.

All the medical and dental offices have been emptied at this point, with only the dry cleaning business right on the alley still going. The property is addressed 1929 Cable Street and this is the address for the permit to demolish and build anew.

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Water Quality Report Card: Dog Beach Gets an “F” and OB Pier Gets an “A+”

June 19, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Drought Helps Water Quality at San Diego and Other California Beaches

The group, Heal the Bay, just released their annual report card on water quality. They assign a letter grade to beaches and coastal areas up and down the West Coast in three categories, the dry season from April to October, dry periods from November through March, and during wet weather.

Perhaps paradoxically, it appears the drought actually is helping water quality and the vast majority of San Diego County beaches reached A or B’s.

But not Dog Beach.

The San Diego River outlet at Dog Beach was one of the locations that received F grades — during wet weather. This is not that surprising, is it?

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Take Part in OB Rag Poll: What kind of device do you use to view the OB Rag?

June 18, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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We’re running a poll to see what kind of device our readers use most when they view the OB Rag.

Is it a personal computer or some kind of a mobile device?

We ran a poll last week on the exact same question, but began wondering whether some of our friends who read on certain mobile devices could access or even see the poll.

So, please – help us out and take part in this. Come on in ….

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OB Planners Reject Out-of-Compliance Condo Project Slated for Abbott and Muir

June 18, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Condo Project Failed to Meet OB’s FAR; 2 Other Projects Approved

The OB Project Review Committee, as a sub-committee of the full Planning Board, previews any construction projects that come before the official volunteer group, and it usually decides to either make a recommendation for approval or denial of the project.

And at last night’s meeting of the Project Review Committee, it unanimously rejected a proposed project slated for the large empty lot at the southwest corner at Abbott and Muir. By a vote of 8 to 0, the sub-committee voted to recommend denial of the project for the full Board, which next meets on July 1.

The sub-committee did vote to recommend approval for 2 other projects on their agenda, one on the 4900 block of Cape May and the other on the 5000 block of Santa Monica.

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A Small Restoration Is a Big Deal in Mission Bay

June 18, 2015 by Source
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By Robert Little

There is a lot of action at the corner of Pacific Beach Drive and Crown Point Drive in Pacific Beach these days. The visible construction of grading for a small restoration project behind the marsh fence started in May of this year but the preparations started more than two years ago and the covering of the bare sandy soil will take at least six months to complete. The work is restricted to the portion of the marsh owned by the University of California and managed by UCSD.

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San Diego Medical Examiner: Anne Gillin’s Death Caused By Accidental Drowning

June 17, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The San Diego County Medical Examiner has determined that Anne Gillin – a well-known transient person who frequented Ocean Beach and Shelter Island – died by accidental drowning.

The reported concluded:

Based on the autopsy findings and the circumstances surrounding the death, as currently understood, the cause of death is drowning, and the manner of death is accident.

There was no evidence of foul play. Investigator Sandra Joseph also found that Gillin suffered from diabetes.

Gillin was reportedly last seen by a friend on the wading beach at Shelter Island on either April 27 or 28.

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Non-Profit Sponsor Is Huge Step for Point Loma Park at End of Avenida de Portugal

June 17, 2015 by Source
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By Jon Linney and Don Sevrens / Special to the OB Rag

Our walk-in park at the upper end of Avenida de Portugal is moving forward. Big time.

We have a nonprofit sponsor. United Portuguese S.E.S., by a vote of the board of directors, has agreed to take on that role. What’s more, they will be our financial custodian, processing all private donations through a segregated account.

The agreement is a milestone on our path to success. It fulfills a city requirement that we have a nonprofit sponsor and means all donations are tax-deductible. Further, with UPSES serving also as the financial custodian, every penny of every donation will go directly to the park. There will be no administrative fees.

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OB Historical Society Presents: “San Diego Legends” – Thurs., June 18

June 17, 2015 by Source

OBHS Poster 6-18-15

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Full Plate for OB Planners: 3 Projects for Total of 10 Units and 26 Parking Spaces

June 16, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Review Committee to Meet Wed., June 17 at OB Rec Center

We often do not cover the OB Planning Board’s Project Review Committee meetings because most the projects end up for a final decision at the regular Board monthly meeting anyhow.

Not this month. For it definitely appears that the Project Review Committee – a sub-committee of the full Board – has a full plate for it June 17th meeting.

It has 3 projects to review – for a total of 10 new units and 26 parking spaces.

Interestingly, all the proposed projects are for empty lots in north Ocean Beach, including the very last large vacant lot at the intersection of Muir and Abbott.

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Panel on Homelessness at Midway Planners’ Meet – Wed. June 17

June 16, 2015 by Source
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By Tony de Garate

Oh no — not another meeting about homelessness?

No doubt that’s what some will say about the panel assembled by the office of District 2 San Diego City Councilor Lorie Zapf for a discussion on the topic at the monthly meeting of the Midway Community Planning Group June 17 at 3 p.m. in Room 205 of the San Diego Community College, West City Campus, 3249 Fordham St.

If anyone should be skeptical about efforts to address homeless issues in the Midway community, it’s Melanie Nickel, the planning group’s longtime chair. No other issue has been as chronic, pervasive and seemingly unsolvable in the 12 years she’s served with the group.

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June in Your Garden: Time for Early Summer Planting

June 16, 2015 by Source

survivalsherpa.wordpress.com

By Susan Taylor

San Diegans get half an inch of rain… and they become mad planters!

Yes, it did rain and everyone rushed to plant more seeds and summer veggies in the refreshed soil. What a good idea! While it rained I browsed yet another article on companion planting. Although we did cover this topic last year I think it bears consideration.

Companion planting means planting certain garden plants together for intended benefits.

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The Old OB Hippie: Jogging for the Revolution

June 15, 2015 by Source

Old Hippie ob timeIt’s OB Time

The Old OB Hippie Claims He Was the First OB Jogger and Says: Concrete Is Not Good for Knees

By the Old OB Hippie

When I left the college campus with a degree, it was during the heady days of the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement. There had been protests and demonstrations galore against the war for years and they were getting more intense and militant as each year went by. The country was being torn up by the war and how the Pentagon got its way. Students and young people were being turned into radicals. ‘Revolution was in the air.’

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It’s Not Right: San Diego Life Guards Do Not Receive the Same Health Coverage as Firefighters

June 15, 2015 by Source
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Lifeguards Deserve Presumptive Coverage

By Ed Harris / Special to the OB Rag

When a San Diego Firefighter or Police officer is injured or contracts an illness while performing their job, the City provides them with presumptive health coverage. Presumptive coverage includes meningitis, tuberculosis and hepatitis, to name a few.

Since San Diego Lifeguards are part of the San Diego Fire Department, one would think they’d be provided that same presumptive coverage. They are not.

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6-Unit OB Apartment on Long Branch Sold for $1.2 Million

June 15, 2015 by Staff
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A six-unit apartment on Long Branch – less than a half block from the beach – has been sold for $1.2 million. Built in 1963, the two-story complex at 5163 Long Branch Avenue has 3 studio apartments, one 1-bedroom unit and two 2-bedroom apartments.

The current building is on a 4,000 square foot lot and includes 3,439 square feet of rentable space (assessor’s parcel 448-033-29). The building is vacant as the new owner plans on doing a substantial rehab job.

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