On Wednesday night, August 4th, the Ocean Beach Planning Board will consider requests by San Diego City Planners to loosen construction restrictions that apply to OB multi-unit properties. The City is interested in eliminating the more restrictive requirements for floor area ratios (FAR) and for parking. Currently, OB properties are limited to a .7 FAR with 25% of the floor area reserved for parking.
Both FARs and parking requirements were responses to problems exhibited in apartments being constructed during the Sixties and Seventies at the beach. Apartments being built then were little more than giant boxes and had little requirements to include parking in the plans. These lack of restrictions ushered in a wave of curb cuts – less street parking – and required little space for landscaping or other outside amenities.
The OB Planning Board is hoping local residents and property owners will come out and express their opinions of the City’s plans to lift these decades-old restrictions in OB and Point Loma constructions. The Board will meet Wed, August 4th, at 6pm in the OB Rec Center, located at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. Here is a link to their agenda.
City planners notified the Board with the following:
One item that was submitted is a potential change to Land Development Code Section 131.0431 to address applicable development regulations for properties in the RM-2-4 zone in the Ocean Beach and Peninsula community plan areas. Currently, properties in these two plan areas are treated differently than RM-2-4 properties in other community plan areas citywide. Ocean Beach properties in the RM-2-4 zone are limited to a .7 FAR with 25 % of that floor area reserved for parking. This existing floor area restriction applicable to multi dwelling unit properties is more restrictive than many single dwelling unit properties, and as a result is a requirement where deviations are commonly requested and granted with no opposition. The Planning Commission had previously asked staff to address this issue.
In response, staff has been looking at various options including either eliminating the (Table 131-04G footnote 29) requirement in section 131.0431 to instead apply the same FAR to all RM-2-4 properties, or to modify 131.0446(e) and the footnote to eliminate the requirement that at least 25 percent of the floor area ratio be reserved for parking.
Staff is interested in community input on this issue so that we can determine whether this item should be included with the 7th Update project.
(From Amanda Lee, Senior Planner, Development Services Department, Land Development Code Section.)