Politics

Will California Legalize Marijuana in 2016?

June 30, 2016 by Doug Porter

If there’s any group capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in California, it’s marijuana activists.

AUMA 2016By Doug Porter

The polling has never been better. This year 60% of likely California voters are inclined to legalize the consumption of marijuana for recreational use, up from 54% last year.

The political prognosis has never been better. Four states and the District of Columbia have already legalized pot and another eight states are considering giving voter approval to the idea.

So California’s Adult Use of Marijuana Act qualifying for the November ballot should be good news, right? Not so fast. We’ve been here before. In 2010 Proposition 19 started out with strong polling and had decent financial backing, as I recollect.

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Stop Work Order on Emerson Project in Point Loma Issued by City

June 29, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Stop Work Order on Emerson Project in Point Loma Issued by City

Temporary Victory for Roseville – But Hurdles Remain

On Tuesday, June 28th, the City of San Diego issued a Stop Work Order on the controversial 40 foot structure at 3144 Emerson Street, near Evergreen.

Both Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilmember Lorie Zapf issued a joint statement that stated:

Further review of the Municipal Code has determined that this project does not conform to the City’s development regulations.

This is definitely a victory for Roseville, Point Loma and all the neighbors who rose up and demanded action from the City to deal with an obvious violation of the spirit of Proposition D, the 30-foot height limit that passed overwhelming in the 1970’s. Although, it is a temporary victory.

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Hunger Strike Being Organized in San Diego Against Private Prison

June 29, 2016 by Source

Private PrisonOn July 5th activists and community leaders in Southeast San Diego will begin a hunger strike to protest the private prison Corrections Corporation of America (CCA)

By Mark Bartlett

Community Leaders and Local Activists will execute a hunger strike on July 5th at 6pm next to the Oceanview Facility located at 551 S. 35th St. San Diego, CA 92113. The hunger strike will continue until all action items requested by the protest organizers have been satisfied.

Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) is the largest for­-profit prison industry in America and they currently operate three Correctional Facilities across San Diego County.

Two out of the three facilities are located in the heart of Southeast San Diego and Barrio Logan. Both centers are located in residential neighborhoods within close proximity of homes, churches, schools and businesses.

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Angry Point Loma Citizens Fill Town Hall Meeting About Emerson Project

June 28, 2016 by Source

PL Emerson proj meet 6-27-16

By Geoff Page

Last night there was a town hall meeting at the Portuguese Hall in Point Loma that was filled to capacity with a whole bunch of angry citizens.

The meeting was to discuss a project on Evergreen and Emerson in Roseville that is a 40-foot tall thumb in the eye of San Diegans.

But, the issue is much bigger than one project, it concerns all of the area affected by the 30-foot height limit.

Representatives from the mayor’s office, District 2, the City Attorney, and the Development Services Department (DSD) were supposed to be on hand. Not one single City official showed up. Let’s call that thumb in the eye number two.

The issue is the City’s new interpretation as to how the sacred 30-foot height limit is measured.

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Big Win for Women’s Rights! Supreme Court Strikes Down Texas Restrictions on Abortion Provider Law

June 27, 2016 by Doug Porter

supreme court building“Today women across the nation have had their constitutional rights vindicated.” —Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights

By Doug Porter

The Supreme Court’s 5-3 ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt will affect millions of women in several states. The case, arising from a Texas law, is the most important abortion rights case in a generation.

Justice Steven Breyer penned the majority opinion, which said in essence:

Both the admitting privileges and surgical center requirements place a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking a previability abortion, constitute an undue burden on abortion access, and thus violate the Constitution.

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Let Them Eat Rocks

June 27, 2016 by Source

police ticket homeless

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

Last week was a helluva week for those of us helping people without a place to live.

There were plenty of tweets and Facebook posts about the heatwave, as well as the Border fire that was threatening several communities out in East County. But unlike the all-out effort to help residents, pets and livestock in the path of the fire, there was no effort to help the residents of downtown under direct assault from a relentless sun.

Except for access to the library which, for those living on the street, would entail leaving all of your few meager possessions outside, unattended, there was no Health and Human Services program to help them.

The week actually began last Friday for me when my friend Martha Sullivan called asking for help to provide a Cooling Station offering lifesaving hydration and shade for homeless people during the predicted heatwave.

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Point Loma Residents Protest Structure in Violation of 30-Foot Height Limit

June 26, 2016 by Matthew Wood

PL emerson protest 6-25-16 mw 01

Point Lomans Rally in front of Eyesore Building at Emerson and Evergreen

Nearly 100 Point Lomans gathered Saturday morning, June 25th, to protest the development of a pair of duplexes they say violates the area’s 30-foot building limit.

The building in question, at the corner of Emerson and Evergreen streets in the Roseville neighborhood, measure upwards of 41 feet.

Opponents of the structure say the developer, Pacific Enterprise General Contractor, is skirting the zoning rules by filling in space between the garage and the end of the property with dirt, then measuring height from that spot.

“The goal is to get a stop order, which can be done,” said Jon Linney, chair of the Point Loma Planning Board and an outspoken opponent of the building.

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Bernie Sanders: “Here’s What We Want”

June 24, 2016 by Source

Bernie Sanders wp shot

By Bernie Sanders / Washington Post – RSN / June 24, 2016

As we head toward the Democratic National Convention, I often hear the question, “What does Bernie want?” Wrong question. The right question is what the 12 million Americans who voted for a political revolution want.

And the answer is: They want real change in this country, they want it now and they are prepared to take on the political cowardice and powerful special interests which have prevented that change from happening.

They understand that the United States is the richest country in the history of the world, and that new technology and innovation make us wealthier every day. What they don’t understand is why the middle class continues to decline, 47 million of us live in poverty and many Americans are forced to work two or three jobs just to cobble together the income they need to survive.

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Overpassing the Value of Public Space

June 24, 2016 by Source

FreewayOverpass Public Space

By Howard M. Blackson III / SanDiego.UrbDeZine.com

“Caltrans does not restrict the right of free speech with handheld banners, but attaching flags or banners is not allowed,” a Caltrans-Spokesman told the San Jose Mercury News.

He added, “We are concerned that people waving handheld banners could cause driver distraction — putting their safety or that of the motoring public at risk.” Today, we have prioritized the ‘motoring public’ over all other aspects of public life.

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The High Costs of Policy Shortfalls in Housing

June 24, 2016 by Source

Close-up View of Garden HoseBy Murtaza Baxamusa / Rooflines

The high cost of housing is one of the most challenging planning issues of our time.

The meager supply of affordable housing is a major contributor to the problem, yet the policy tools to address the shortfall often seem to worsen the problem.

But this is because they ignore the underlying infrastructure and financing to support growth.

Housing affordability is really about two things: income and cost. The building industry is doing very little about the former, oftentimes opposing prevailing wages for construction workers. On the latter, the key question (being debated in California now) is whether deregulation of market rate housing projects will somehow “trickle down” to households, enabling them to afford rising rents and mortgages.

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‘The Emerson and Evergreen Project in Point Loma Is Where We Have to Draw the Battle Line for the 30 Foot Height Limit’

June 23, 2016 by Source

PL Emerson Project gp 05

City Planners Allow Developer to Measure 30 Feet From Top of Retaining Walls – the Call Goes Out to Shut the Project Down

By Geoff Page

This is it folks, this is where we have to draw the battle line for the 30-foot height limit.

Our own city, in the form of the Development Services Department, is leading the assault on the 30-foot limit. They are working for developers, not the citizens who pay their salaries. The project on Evergreen and Emerson in Roseville is a huge raspberry from the DSD to the community and here is why.

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Nuclear Shutdown News June 2016 – Diablo Canyon to Close in Decade

June 22, 2016 by Michael Steinberg
Thumbnail image for Nuclear Shutdown News June 2016 – Diablo Canyon to Close in Decade

By Michael Steinberg / Black Rain Press

Nuclear Shutdown News chronicles the decline and fall of the nuclear power industry at home and abroad, and highlights the efforts of those who are fighting to create a nuclear free future,

California Announces Last Nuclear Plant in State – Diablo Canyon – to Close by 2025

The really big news is that on June 21, PG&E, the utility that owns Diablo Canyon, announced that it had agreed to a proposal endorsed by environmental groups and labor unions to shutter California’s last operating nuclear power plant, Diablo Canyon, by 2025.

This is a major victory for environmentalists – California is going nuclear-free, ending atomic energy’s more than half-century history in the state. For years, anti-nuclear activists had called for the plant’s closure because of safety concerns over its precarious location near several major earthquake fault lines. Friends of the Earth, for example, has been fighting for the plant’s closure since the 1960s.

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Ocean Beach and Point Loma News and Notices

June 21, 2016 by Staff

OB OB Pier 50th Art Image
* OB Pier 50th Anniversary Art Show Reception – June 30th
* Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook-Off set for June 25
* Point Loma Neighbors See Violation of 30 Foot Height Rule in New Construction
* Recent Research Showing Cabrillo as Spanish Ignites Local Controversy
* It’s Back! Artwork Cleaned-Up and Returned to Newport Ave.
* Is Amazon Taking Over the Old Midway Post Office?
* Pipeline Repair and Rehab Project Public Meeting – June 22nd
* Woman Rescued After Falling From Sunset Cliffs …
* Bicyclist Injured by SUV in Fleetridge Area of Point Loma
* PB Residents Argue Whether Crime Rates Gauged to Lack of Local Control Over Alcohol Licenses
* Imperial Beach Is Worried About Sea-Level Rise – Shouldn’t OB Be?
* Fiesta Island’s full-on dog party over soon?
* Americana group Dewey Paul Band will perform their Garcia Van Dylan tribute at Winston’s
* Thousands of Books Collected for Kids Summer-

COME INSIDE FOR ALL THE REST ….

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OB People’s Organic Food Market – Worker-Owned Co-op – in the Gig Economy

June 21, 2016 by John Lawrence
Thumbnail image for OB People’s Organic Food Market – Worker-Owned Co-op – in the Gig Economy

The Gig Economy: Okay If the Profits Went to the Giggers

By John Lawrence

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the idea of working a job here and a job there according to the worker’s convenience and other activities.

The problem is that the profits go to some centralized corporation rather than being spread out among all the giggers in proportion to their participation in the system.

gig economy

If Uber or Lyft were a co-op, the profits would go to all the worker/owners instead of a handful of investors.
Then the gig economy would offer not only a technique for working at one’s convenience and fitting into one’s schedule whether that schedule might be educational or child care or surfing or whatever.

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Another Ten Minute Acquittal Against DA Dumanis in Medical Cannabis Trial

June 21, 2016 by Source

By Terrie Best / San Diego Americans for Safe Access

cannabis logoThe thin-as-air manufacturing case against medical cannabis patient and collective operator, Shaun Smith swept so quickly through trial that, before we knew it, Attorney Michael Cindrich had queued up his third cannabis-related not guilty verdict in four months.

The Cindrich winning streak started with defendant John Mazula in El Cajon, moved north to LA and then touched down in San Diego County’s Vista yesterday – surely making waves in District Attorney’s office and changing the landscape for medical cannabis patients.

Shaun’s arrest occurred May 13, 2015, near his Oceanside home. He had been running a small legal cannabis collective out of his residence, providing flower, bubble hash, cannabis butter, tinctures and ointments to his members.

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OB Town Council Meeting – Short Term Vacation Rentals Presentation and Discussion – Wed., June 22nd

June 20, 2016 by Staff

OBTC OB image 6-22-16

Everyone is invited to the OB Town Council meeting on Wednesday, June 22nd, to discuss Short Term Vacation Rentals in Ocean Beach, a very hot topic these days at the coast.

From the OBTC website:

Tourism to our quaint beach town helps our economy thrive, but many residents have been feeling the affect of short-term vacation rentals as fewer homes are available for affordable long-term rental.

Representatives from Save San Diego Neighborhoods will provide an overview on short-term vacation rentals, community impacts, and enforcement of current municipal code. The Town Council wants you to come and share your experience, concerns, and feedback on STVRs during the community discussion.

The meeting begins at 7:00pm at the Masonic Center (1711 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.)

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League of Women Voters Talks Trash to San Diego Rules Committee

June 20, 2016 by Source

trash canBy Anne Haule / San Diego Free Press

Last Wednesday – June 15th – the League of Women Voters of San Diego called for a revote of a hundred year old law.

Representing the League was Beryl Flom, who addressed the city of San Diego’s Rules Committee regarding the overhaul of a law called the People’s Ordinance. She requested the measure be placed on the November ballot.

Originally enacted in 1919, The People’s Ordinance allowed the city to take over food waste and trash collection from a private company that sold it to pig farmers. It was amended in 1986 to prohibit the city from imposing a fee for trash hauling service.

The People’s Ordinance only applies to single-family households who put their bins on public streets — not multi-unit buildings, businesses or commercial establishments — and requires $47 million from the General Fund to operate. Twenty-three percent of the city’s trash is collected from about half of the city’s households through the People’s Ordinance.

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ACLU Endorses ‘Adult Use of Marijuana Act’ Expected on November Ballot

June 20, 2016 by Source

In 2014, 73 percent of misdemeanor marijuana arrests are people under 20. Nearly 70 percent of arrests were people of color.

By ACLU San Diego / Imperial

imarijuana.com

Citing the continued widespread criminalization of young people of color through marijuana enforcement, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of California announced it has endorsed the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (“AUMA”) to control, regulate, and tax adult use, sale and cultivation of marijuana in California.

The measure is expected to qualify for the November state ballot.

Low-level marijuana possession was reduced from a misdemeanor to an infraction in California in 2011, but marijuana law enforcement still results in thousands of arrests each year.

In 2011 to 2014, according to the California Department of Justice, law enforcement agencies made 60,000 marijuana arrests statewide. In 2014, young people under the age of 20 accounted for 73 percent of all misdemeanor marijuana arrests in the state. Nearly 70 percent of all marijuana arrests were of people of color.

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Lori Saldana: Ask Mayor Faulconer to Stop Downtown “Cleansing” of Homeless

June 20, 2016 by Source

June 20th Is World Refugee Day and Day Mayor Authorized Sweep of Homeless Possessions

Today – June 20 – is World Refugee Day. It is also the day that Mayor Kevin Faulconer has authorized a massive “sweep” to clear tents, tarps, and other personal belongings from areas downtown.

Whether from economic or political crisis, displaced families with no safe, permanent housing face increased health risks on a daily basis. They are more likely to be victims of violent crime. Women and young people are more vulnerable to rape and sexual assault.

Forcing people away from shelter, and/or to pack up their belongings and move on the hottest day of the year, will add to physical and emotional stress that may result in more emergency responders being called to manage their care. That cost falls on all San Diegans- both in economic and humane ways.

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Baseball’s All-Star Game in San Diego: Rocks for the Homeless?

June 17, 2016 by Doug Porter

anti homelessBy Doug Porter

The infamous rockscaping in and around East Village was installed as part of the city’s preparation for Major League Baseball’s 2016 All-Star game on July 12.

The wishes of the surrounding community, the supposed reason for the installation, were actually not considered.

Even as emails on the situation were made public on Wednesday by Kelly Davis at Voice of San Diego , local gendarmes were rousting homeless people who’d moved to surrounding neighborhoods as a result of the city’s actions.

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Democracy in Action at City Council Rules Committee

June 16, 2016 by John Lawrence

By John Lawrence

City Council Rules CommitteeOn Wednesday, June 15, 2016, there was a well-attended meeting of the Rules Committee of the San Diego City Council.

Many diverse topics were covered, some at exhaustive lengths. The meeting lasted over three hours with a dozen or more speakers pleading their causes.

Most were asking the Rules Committee to take issues to the full City Council for consideration on the November ballot.

There was a discussion of the nature of the voting system.

The way it is right now someone running for office who gets 50% of the vote plus one in the June primary is considered elected.

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The Sordid History of the OB Rag – the First Issue – September 1970

June 15, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Rag cover vol 1 no 1Editor:

Most of the following is a repost of an article published on September 8, 2015, in celebration of the OB Rag’s 45th anniversary.

It was September 1970 when the very first issue of the OB People’s Rag hit the streets of Ocean Beach.
With the banner date of September 17 1970, Volume 1 No. 1 was published on a mimeograph machine, it included 4 pages, back and front, stapled together.

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The San Diego U-T Looks at Short Term Vacation Rentals – and Still Misses Major Point

June 14, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

SD U-T stvr 3

By Frank Gormlie

The San Diego Union-Tribune had veteran reporter Lori Weisberg write an extended piece on short term vacation rentals in Sunday’s “SD In Depth” entitled “Opportunity or Nuisance” (June 12, 2016). Weisberg looked at the impact of short term rentals on San Diego’s housing market and wrote based on her research into who exactly was profiting “from the rise of the home sharing.”

Two of the immediate take-aways from her article are that more and more commercial rental agencies are dominating the short term market and that the available housing stock in San Diego is being affected.

Yet, she still has not focused on one of the key effects of the short term vacation rental industry: the loss of community.

Weisberg’s piece showcases Ryan Scott, who – as Weisberg explained – owns or sublets a dozen STVR dwellings and manages another 10 – many in the beach area and including Ocean Beach.

“The reality is,” he told Weisberg, “you’re leaving money on the table if you’re renting to a long-term tenant.”

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Protecting the Grand Canyon During an Era of Anti-Government Extremism

June 14, 2016 by Source

Mather Point, Grand Canyon

By Raul Grijalva / Daily Kos

Mather Point, Grand Canyon (Image: National Park Service)

This week marks the 110th anniversary of the Antiquities Act, a landmark law allowing presidents to designate national monuments on land owned by the federal government. Its signing by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 began the modern era of conservation, allowing Roosevelt to designate nearly twenty national monuments and protect natural and cultural resources that have come to define our country.

Many of the monuments he established, including the Grand Canyon in 1908, are now among our most popular national parks. The Antiquities Act, by any measure, has been a tremendous and popular success.

Despite that, the law is under constant attack by Congressional Republicans who mischaracterize the authority granted by the Act as a “land grab.”

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How Did Ocean Beach and Point Loma Vote in 2016 Primary?

June 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

OB Vote Mayor Primary 2016

How did OB and the Peninsula vote in the Primary held last week? What was the breakdown in the mayoral race in Ocean Beach?

Check out these maps that show the winners in each precinct in OB and Point Loma for the various races.

Go to the original map site, and you can click on individual precincts to see the vote tallies and percentages for each candidates.

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A Bad Climate? The State of Social Justice Efforts in the Labor and Environmental Movements

June 13, 2016 by Jim Miller

no bakkenBy Jim Miller

Among the stories that you may have missed during the stretch run of the primary season was some significantly bad news out of labor on the national front.

Several large unions in the building trades came out against a plan by some of the biggest public sector unions to join forces with environmentalist Tom Steyer in order to fund a major anti-Trump get out the vote operation in the fall. The New York Times noted that:

Two of the Democratic Party’s most loyal constituencies, labor and environmentalists, are clashing over an effort to raise tens of millions of dollars for an ambitious voter turnout operation aimed at defeating Donald J. Trump in the November election.

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City of San Diego Ballot Proposals Promote Police Transparency, Human Services

June 13, 2016 by Anna Daniels

Women Occupy San Diego address Citizens Review Board
on Policy Practices inadequacies (again);

Democratic Woman’s Club advocacy for City of San Diego
Department of Public Health and Social Welfare

Women Occupy San Diego

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

Keep an eye on some of the new ballot proposals that have been filed recently with the San Diego City Clerk.

These proposals reflect focused citizen participation that offer correctives to the city’s Citizen Review Board on Police Practices (CRB) and the county’s meager health and human services. These small “d” democratic efforts also happen to be spearheaded by women.

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New State Bureau that Regulates Medical Cannabis Sounds Like an Advocate

June 10, 2016 by Source
Thumbnail image for New State Bureau that Regulates Medical Cannabis Sounds Like an Advocate

State Medical Marijuana Officials Hold Hearing in San Diego

By Terrie Best /San Diego Americans for Safe Access / June 9, 2016

San Diego, CA – The Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulations held a hearing June 9th as is required when crafting commercial regulations in the State of California. The trio of women who currently make up the bureau had already held events in Oakland, Humboldt and Riverside among other places. They were wrapping it up with San Diego.

The event was called a pre-regulation hearing. There were about 100 people in attendance and newly appointed Chief of the Bureau, Lori Ajax began the meeting at 11:19 in the Garcia Room at the Caltrans building on Taylor St. in Old Town.

The head of Narcotics at the District Attorney’s Office, Steve Walter sat in the front row.

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Sore Loser!

June 10, 2016 by Source

By Jeeni Criscenzo / San Diego Free Press

chess game chanceSore losers! you sneer,
because they question the way the game was played.
Cheaters! they cry,
because it just doesn’t make sense
the way it went down,
compared to what they saw with their very own eyes.
Just politics.
That makes it all OK,
As if this was just a game of chess,
With nothing lost but the round,
unless you waged a bet.

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Options for Neighbors of the Controversial Froude Project

June 9, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for Options for Neighbors of the Controversial Froude Project

Neighbors of the controversial project coming in at 2257 Froude Street and the Peninsula Community Planning Board recently lost an appeal of the project at the San Diego Planning Commission.

Here, then, are some thoughts on the various options that those neighbors have.

  1. Appeal the decision of the Planning Commission; §112.0508 of the San Diego Municipal Code allows for appeals of Process Four decisions of the Planning Commission to the City Council. This is the most likely option to be pursed by the Peninsula planners. Yet we don’t know when or even if an appeal has been made.
  2. Change the zoning in that area of the Peninsula Plan to match or reflect the floor-area-ratio of the adjoining neighborhoods of Ocean Beach, which are 0.70. This could occur through a concerted effort by the neighbors working through the Peninsula Community Plan update process to make those changes.
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