Class bias dominates OB Planning Board discussions

by on October 7, 2010 · 46 comments

in Economy, Ocean Beach, Popular

OB Planning Board 8-5-09 002-sm

Editor: we apologize - this is an old photo of a planning board meeting in August 2009 - as Dan's photos of the Oct 6th meeting this week didn't turn out well.

The Ocean Beach Planning Board as the steward of the local community plan has been making a grave strategic mistake. Although the October 6th meeting was both informative and entertaining it was also revealing in terms of class perspective.

The meeting started out with the Center City Development Corporation’s report on the efforts to reduce homelessness downtown and segued to our city councilperson’s representative.

When the issue of food vendors operating outside of established limits came up, we began to see a bias towards the conventional and conservative. Retail establishments like Subway and Nico’s appear to fear the competitive advantage offered by the new market economy. Pop-up vendors like Marisco ’s, OB Kanobe’s, the tamale stand and the Brazilian food cart were forced to roll out of town in the name of “balance”.

The removal of our councilperson’s discretionary funding for infrastructure projects foreshadows the death of the firepits while guaranteeing advertising on the lifeguards…and maybe the Brighton Street Comfort Station to be (hopefully) opened by Memorial Day.

The city’s water purification demonstration project left the board flush with questions and terminated the information items of the meeting.

The action items of the meeting were where the rubber hit the road.

The bias toward the governing class was no better represented than in the discussions regarding the medical marijuana dispensaries and affordable housing and sustainable construction. In effect the recommendations made by the medimary task-force would all but eliminate another creation of the new economic system. Watching the board split hairs over definitions while maintaining an intolerant posture all but assured the collectives are going the way of the “roach coach” and tamale stand.

Likewise, bedeviling themselves in the details while approving a draft for the city’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Development Incentive Program is leading our community’s chin toward gentrification and more real estate developments like the Stebbins residence on W. Point Loma Blvd.

Everyone on the board seemed to agree that by not being issued tax certificates as non-profits, the dispensaries were operating illegally. Everyone seemed to agree that by issuing cease and desist orders to the dispensaries while crafting draconian legislation limiting their existence ensures a flurry of law suits and requests for variances in the future. But nobody seemed to care. Only one brave soul in the audience questioned the cultural and class perspective of the board on the subject and its hypocrisy with regards to alcohol outlets in O.B.

If language is any indicator of class perspective then the comments made by board members show us how far our community has strayed from its moral if not civic compass.

Almost immediately the discussion on affordable housing gave way to anecdotes about the “projects” of Boston and Chicago. Their law and order perspective of the medical marijuana issue descended into a ‘fear of other’ in affordable housing. It was only by seeing the proposed incentives program as a Trojan Horse for developer interests did the board turn against it. Instead of confronting the issue on principle however, the board chose the easy road of nit picking a few of the sustainable construction elements of the draft while approving the general thrust of the proposal.

So to conclude, if the board continues to ignore the common spirit of Ocean Beach and instead focuses on well intentioned technicalities, then we are in for some unintended and undesirable consequences.

And that’s my story an’ I’m stickin’ to it!

{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Sunshine October 7, 2010 at 11:39 am

with community attendance as low as i’ve ever seen it at last nights OBPB meeting, it’s not surprising that the board continues its path toward changing the face of OB forever. without representation from the community, the board continues to do whatever it desires. rolling food vendors? ~ nah. dispensaries? ~ nah. affording housing? ~ nah. apparently none of these emerging mobile businesses are welcomed in this community. it appears to be due to their lack of being a viable tax based source of income for the powers that be.

so what is with this clear division between those within walls and those that roll in or travel through town? in this current economy where convention methods and traditional overhead costs prevent start-up investments and/or substancial profit for many, why do those who occupy OB’s termite ridden real estate feel a need to exclude these creative entrepreneurs who have found an unconentional way to make a living?

in other news, there was mention that MTS will detour the bus route off Cable St onto Sunset Cliffs Blvd for 6 months (starting 10/10/10) while the sewer lines on Cable are replaced/repaired. as if Sunset Cliffs doesn’t host enough traffic each day (16,000 cars per day, each direction). lets all get out there and utilize this detoured public transportation to attend the groundbreaking of the OB Entryway later this month.

Also, be sure to mention to all the homeless folks you see each day that the temporary shelter for the homeless in downtown SD is scheduled to open between Thanksgiving and April 1st. wouldn’t living in a temporary shelter downtown SD be better than a wet bush in Robb Field? While that remains a matter of personal choice for most, some would appreciate a temporary bed and shower on occasion.

As for the new and improved project of “toilet-to-tap” water (there’s got to be a catchier phrase for this cleaned crap water), the question of removing upstream pharmaceuticals still remains unsolved. the $1million needed to build the Advanced Water Purification Facility is already in place (thank you 2008 water rate increase) and the ongoing study is expected to continue till 2013. dumping all this ‘cleaned crap water’ into the San Vicente Reservoir and mixing it with the local runoff & imported water to send to our faucets has yet to be proven as a safe and viable option. let’s hope they figure this out before more crap comes out of the tap.


avatar RB October 7, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Toilet to tap and every other plan is about the water districts selling you your own natural resources. I have reduced my city water by 50% with no changes in lifestyle.
In fact, after the recent rains (1.0″ x 1000 sq ft =600 gallon) my individual reservoir is full. Warning all you junior scientist, rain water should be used as gray water. So, please don’t drink my rainwater!


avatar Frank Gormlie October 7, 2010 at 2:35 pm

RB- check out our previous posts on rainwater collection.


avatar RB October 7, 2010 at 4:14 pm
Yes, good report.


avatar oBak October 7, 2010 at 11:43 am

We had a brazilian food cart?


avatar Danny Morales October 7, 2010 at 2:40 pm

A Brazi pushcart yes!- Chased ’em off the SW corner Cable/Newport- Very short lived existence. Didn’t even see how they were breaking any laws. Didn’t get a chance to sample thier wares either- D.


avatar justmy2cents October 7, 2010 at 3:15 pm

brazilian did somebody say brazilian ??? I would have gone to the stupid meeting if i knew they were discussing brazilians !!!!


avatar Seth October 7, 2010 at 5:48 pm

I tried it… Brazilian hot dogs. I was rooting for them as a business, but I’m just gonna offer my opinion that hands-down, the best of all of these establishments was the Jamaican jerk chicken stand that was briefly open in the new OB Surf and Skate parking lot. Paul and his wife are great people who already run a (mostly) veggie jerk stand at the farmers market. The jerk chicken wraps were ridonkulously good. I was 3 bites in when my wife and son ate the rest of one half, and my mother-in-law ran off with the other half. I had to go back and order a second one. That’s how good it was.


avatar oBak October 8, 2010 at 9:36 am

Man, tell the brazilian cart they can come hang out on narragansett if they have coxinhas.


avatar kenloc October 8, 2010 at 5:49 pm

It was either really good or you need to feed those folks more often)


avatar ss October 7, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Sunshine your wrong, way wrong on the “cleaned crap water” what do you think getting now “pristine rocky mountain spring water” or maybe or maybe fresh sierra run off via the Sacramento delta. You are except every farmer and ever ranch between here and the repective headwaters have used it first to irrigate,, flush toilets, wash cars etc, etc. What we get is whats left.


avatar Tommy October 7, 2010 at 12:40 pm

even better. most of our water comes from the Colorado River. In other words Vegas flushes and we drink.


avatar Marisag October 7, 2010 at 2:39 pm

You forgot to mention Bush Sr.’s radioactive waste dump less than 20- miles from the Colorado River, and all the toxic runoff from pesticides and chemical fertilizers used on those farms that get the Colorado water before we do. Oh yeah, and the corrupt City Council’s “fluoride project” where the city gets paid to take the toxic waste from fertilizer production (fluoride)…what to do with it…. what to do with it… ah! Yes! Ignore the voters who voted NO on any plan to add fluoride to our water and go ahead and do it anyway! mmmm mmm tasty.


avatar OBWarZone October 7, 2010 at 3:43 pm

this community planning management committee BS is becoming a joke. a bunch of old, uptight former hippies afraid of the new………………….


avatar Danny Morales October 7, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Dear Person Who Adapts to Developer Label of North Ocean Beach (N.O.B.)-
Dear NOBber,- How did you arrive at this characterization of the Ocean Beach Planning Board Representatives? Talk to us about your experience(s) with the Board!



avatar OBWarZone October 8, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Ocean Beach Planning Board Representatives. Planning what? Keeping outside business out, keeping the sidewalks on Newport filthy (almost as bad as Bourbon street, at least those get cleaned daily) , shady activity under the pier, homeless harassing visitors, foliage growing over OB entrance sign & entrance palm trees, or just plan something on the two corners that have sat empty on West Point Loma & Voltaire for years. Yes, I see the “fundraising sign” daily… very classy. These are all real, valid concerns for citizens.


avatar Danny Morales October 8, 2010 at 5:08 pm

OBWarZone, You’re apparently clueless. Angry but clueless. Identify the enemy, Stop the spray & pray, set your windage a few clicks to the left and squeeze firmly but gently. OK baby?


avatar OBWarZone October 12, 2010 at 11:29 am

Clueless because I have listed valid concerns about the community expressed by many?

Clueless = having affordable housing two blocks of the beach. Sorry pal, but $900 for a 1 bd/1bath is about as affordable as you can find near the beach.


avatar Danny Morales October 12, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Zonie- Clueless because many of your (and others) concerns are outside of the pervue of the OB Planning Board. I suggest you contact the OB Town Council, Main$treet A$$n., Community Development, the police and our City Council Reps. office. Target an issue, get involved at the street level and quit yelling from the sidelines. By the way, I agree w/u that affordablility is where we find it, not through some formula that would promote gentrification. I suggest looking at where I throw out 30%, $1500, $11oo in my argruments below.- DM


avatar Seth October 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm

I always appreciate Dan’s perspective, but as someone who serves on the OBPB and who was at the meeting last night, I am just going to offer a few thoughts mostly in counterbalance… speaking only for myself as a community member, of course, and not for the OBPB or in that capacity.

First, on the food carts and Mariscos truck… this was not something that came out of the OBPB. There have been mentions of these new businesses during formal meetings, but it has not been visited by the board and no formal opinion has ever been taken. This was all a Neighborhood Code Compliance issue that arose mostly out of local businesses, and again, not the OBPB.

Now if there is a community discussion that needs to happen about whether or not these uses should be accommodated within OB, what that could mean in practice, then let us have that conversation. That is why the OBPB is there, after all. To represent the will and interests of the community-at-large on issues related to land use and development. I think it would be a beneficial conversation, personally.

Dan’s points about how affordable housing was being discussed in *tone* are well-taken, but I believe the content of the conversation was not as harsh as he put it here. The topic was whether or not to support incentivizing residential projects with 100% affordable housing units. It may be said that the conversation sidetracked a bit, but the points I recall made were that, historically, exclusively affordable housing projects have generally failed and become blighted areas, but that this perhaps may not happen when the projects are small-scale and well-integrated into communities. Kind of a wonky and boring discussion, perhaps, but that is pretty much land use planning in a nutshell and the devil is in fact often in the details.

I don’t know that I would take that to mean that the OBPB as a whole is against affordable housing, particularly when there is no one on that board who has ever voted to recommend an FAR variance that would allow homeowners to build larger projects that would allow them to maximize their profits and increase rents and/or property values.

Medicinal marijuana… I too appreciated the gentleman’s comments speaking in favor of medicinal marijuana and especially his point about whether liquor stores are subject to the same distance requirements as what are being proposed for these facilities. That’s a very fair question. When the OBPB voted on whether or not to support the Medicinal Marijuana Task Force’s recommendations for *land use* regulations of these facilities in the City of SD (the board is not charged with determining legalization, decriminalization, or anything to do with the legality of marijuana or these facilities), there was an unanimous vote a few months back to “recommend” the task force’s recommendations — with the additional recommendation that these facilities have a 500-foot buffer zones from schools and churches, and that they should go through a similar permitting process to what liquor stores have to do.

Last night, new recommendations were reviewed from the Land Use and Housing Committee that would have effectively eliminated the possibility of these facilities existing within OB. The item was tabled until the board can receive clarification on the practical definition of some terms, such as a church, school or park. Again, boring hair-splitting, but these regulations have to be clearly defined, as they will determine whether or not these facilities can exists within OB without having to get an expensive and perhaps difficult-to-obtain variance. In any event, this conversation is still ongoing, so people should feel welcome to attend these meetings to hear and be heard.

My two final points are the most relevant, I believe.

First, Sunshine is right that these meetings absolutely need more attendance and public input. OB is stronger when that happens. I personally see the board as representatives of the community, not governors of it. So show up and hold me accountable. I’m listening, and I don’t doubt others are as well.

Second, with that said, what I hear when I listen is essentially to “keep OB OB”. When Danny says that the OBPB is afraid of change and opposed to the “common spirit” of OB, that’s rather debatable, IMO. Preserving things as they are may just be exactly what the community wants in many cases.

Either way, let’s talk about it.


avatar Danny Morales October 7, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Seth, We can talk about it till the cows come home but until people again begin to be involved in a meaningful way its just talk. I stand by what I say until PROVEN wrong!


avatar kenloc October 8, 2010 at 5:32 pm

Affordable housing projects in Ocean Beach. Seriously? Step back from our little slice of paradise for a moment and think about how ridiculous that sounds to everyone else in the country. Affordable housing projects,2 blocks from the beach in San Diego. If you want affordable housing MOVE INLAND.Housing is more affordable there.Funny how that works.
Medical MJ shop right down the street from an elementary school? I’m not against marijuana smokers or those who use the excuse it is medicinal to smoke it, just keep the shop away from the kiddies.Liquor stores should be included in that as well.Really doesn’t sound like draconian legislation.
Want to sell food to people to earn a living? Play by the same rules every other eating establishment plays by.Get permits, make sure your ass is covered from all angles and sell your food.Don’t whine when you shortcut the process and things fall apart for you.


avatar Danny Morales October 8, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Kenloc- According to the Census one unit of affordability is 30% of area median income. Area is defined as the County of San Diego. (You do the math). The median income for the three census tracts that comprise Ocean Beach is considerably lower. So before you get your teabags in a twist think about your proposals.
Did you read the recomendations of the Medical Marijuana Task Force to the City of San Diego? There is a huge difference in the way alcohol is treated from the recomendations. Hence the term draconian. Or how would you like it if there were 2 alcohol outlets allowed in OB and outside of the commercial districts to boot!
Food outlets? I can’t legally defend them but I’m not going to attack them from a position of ignorant self interest either.

Good luck w/all that!- Danny


avatar Kenloc October 8, 2010 at 9:31 pm

My proposal is you put affordable housing projects someplace else other than a beach area in San Diego.I know you are so far left you feel entitled to low cost housing on the beach but perhaps you should think about YOUR proposals.I know in a perfect OB rag world the property values here would remain what they were in the 60s but in the real world beach property in San Diego is running low and they aren’t building any more beach,thus the rise in property value. The reason the low income level in OB is the primary age group here is 20s to mid 30s.Not a high earner group.A common theme in areas the rest of the world vacations in.Low income,high cost of living.Low income folks can’t own beach property and can’t afford rent near the beach.Common Sense.You move to an area you can afford,you don’t try and make expensive areas cheaper so you can afford to live there.(Well,maybe YOU do,but the rest of the world doesn’t)
Why is alcohol treated differently than MEDICAL marijuana.Do you need a prescription to buy alcohol?Is it illegal under federal law?Is it illegal in most states?That’s why.Not saying I agree with these things,just stating facts.I smoke on occasion,doesn’t mean Im for having dipensaries close to schools..I don’t see how you can argue that med marijuana facilities should be near schools and places kids congregate.
Food Outlets. Who’s attacking them and what self interest do you feel I had in their dimise?(and what about that makes me ignorant?)Again,stating facts.Do it right or don’t do it all.If you own a shoe store and someone sits outside your place on the sidewalk and sells shoes for less because he pays no taxes,has no business license,etc. that’s not fair to you is it?
On your teabag line,I vote Democrat.Always have.I’m not way out in left as most are here but I agree with alot of what’s said.When I agree I say so,when I don’t I say so.When you make comments like that one it diminishes your point.You don’t need to go into attack mode when you disagree with someone everytime,do you?
I have been here a decade and perhaps I just see things a bit differently than the progressive group that frequents this site.I guess that makes me and many of your other neighbors who think a bit differently than you wrong all the time.
Good Luck with all that!


avatar Danny Morales October 9, 2010 at 7:18 am

Kenloc- I apologize for offending your democratic sensibilities when I advised you to refrain from getting your panties in a twist or something like that. As Mom always said, ” If the shoe fits…wear it!” Now to the matter of: If reason is on your side/argue reasonably, if the facts are on your side/argue the facts, If neither/pound on the table. Please understand that these are issues that effect peoples lives and livelihoods. These issues that are bigger than me or your perception of me, deserve to be treated with the same respect and honesty that you would give to yourself. Our families, our communities as well as our planet and all of humanity are no less worthy. Don’t you agree?


avatar Kenloc October 9, 2010 at 9:33 am

Hmmmmmm don’t see where a table was pounded,just points being made. But again,you said it so it must be true.Lame brain ideas like putting affordable housing projects on the beach in san diego is nothing more than fuel for conservatives to use against the democratic party.Left wingers that feel that entitiled give the mainstream democratic party a bad name and cost us elections.I grew up poor.I never expected to find cheap housing at the beach in san diego.Keep calling people that don’t agree with you tea baggers or conservatives or whatever,as others do on this site, instead of backing up your thinking.I don’t see how it is a detriment to all humanity that there is limited affordable housing in vacation land.I think the planet will survive without a marijuana shop down the street from my kids elementary school.The community will go on without taco trucks or hot dog stands on every available street corner.Please don’t respond with another”your a conservative”post.It gets old.If you’d like to make legitimate points backing up your thinking I’m all ears.


avatar Sunshine October 9, 2010 at 10:32 am

hey kenloc, sounds to me like you are splitting hairs … and buying right into their game to draw the focus off the main points being discussed here.

affordable housing is just that ~ affordable. i take exception to your perspective that only those who earn higher income should be the ones that get to live at the beach. real estate market be what it may (and lord knows i don’t know the details of this market driven industry), those who earn less money ~ for whatever reason ~ should not broadly be excluded from living near the beach.

There are many health benefits of living within walking distance of the ocean, benefits that would truly help those who have less discresionary income to spend. why do you believe only the well off should be the ones to afford this? privledge of the rich? you can’t be that uppity, can you?

in my lifes experiences, when the rich sweep away those with less income so they don’t have to see how they struggle to survive, they lose perspective on community reality.

here’s a suggestion…try living on social security for a year, then come back and tell me how your lifes shaping up. hope your parents are fairing better.


avatar kenloc October 9, 2010 at 11:35 am

Define affordable.It sounds to me like your talking low income housing. OBis a pretty affordable place to live as far as beaches go, isnt it?Do you see a bunch of rich folks around here?Are there a bunch of vacancies because rents are too high?That would mean it was unaffordable.
If your talking low income then yes,I don’t feel people who are on a fixed low income(social security,welfare,etc.) are entitled to a beach pad.That is for basic living,not a beach pad with 2 tvs.I grew up poor in NYC.Our family was on welfare.We used WIC checks,food stamps,etc.We gathered wood to build a fire for heat and hot water. Don’t give me the “try and live poor”speech because I’ve been there and done that.In a neighborhood with low income housing.We never thought we were entitled to a beach pad or a house in the Hamptons.If there were a program for low income people to get cars it would seem ridiculous if they were getting Corvettes,wouldn’t it?Or would you be upset at the notion that Corvettes are only for people who could afford them and not people on a fixed income.
As for living on ss for a year,i work,i save,i plan so i won’t have to do that ever again.SS won’t be here when I retire.If it does turn out I’m poor when I retire I certainly won’t feel cheated because the government wont give me a place with cheap rent next to the beach on some of the most valued real estate in the country.


avatar Frank Gormlie October 9, 2010 at 11:56 am

It may surprise you, but there’s affordable housing right around the corner from OB, along W Pt Loma, north of Nimitz. Actually I believe it’s in the OB Planning Area. Built in the Eighties.


avatar kenloc October 9, 2010 at 12:12 pm

It doesn’t surprise me.I have a friend who used to live there.He hated it and moved out as quickly as possible.


avatar Frank Gormlie October 9, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Okay, just wanted to ensure you knew about those units, and like I said, I believe they are “legally” in OB.


avatar Shane Finneran October 10, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Kenloc, I’m not well-versed on the subject, but I think the idea behind putting some low-income housing in neighborhoods like OB is that it’s a better approach than putting all the low-income housing in the same place. I think that’s what the OBPB was getting at in its discussion, if I’m reading the reports from Danny and Seth correctly.

Makes sense to me.


avatar Danny Morales October 11, 2010 at 4:23 am

Shane- The problem arose when the Board Discussion degenerated into anecdotes about “low income housing projects” versus incentives for affordable housing. Hence the point about class perspective. The current standard of affordablility in San Diego County is around$1500 per unit and the level of affordability in Ocean Beach is around $1100 per unit. Only when some members of the board (Craig Kline etc.) saw the proposed incentives as another wolf (see Doug P.’s Prop.22 Rag Article) did some ‘sembleance of reason prevail. As you can see from the current discussion we still have a long way to go. – Danny


avatar Seth October 11, 2010 at 11:07 am

Shane, no doubt. The main clarification I would make here, on both the affordable housing/sustainable development program and medicinal marijuana regulations, is that they are citywide proposals where the OBPB is being asked to throw in their two cents.

And yes, I know that the point I raised myself was that affordable housing projects can work well if they are small-scale, dispersed and integrated into communities. The possible impacts within OB of the City incentivizing projects to contain 100% affordable housing was still fair to question, in my opinion. It’s why the board is there, as you know.


avatar Shane Finneran October 11, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Thanks for the additional clarification, Seth. And thanks for your reports on OBPB matters in general… your insights are always informative, not to mention intelligently written. Please keep ’em coming!


avatar Seth October 12, 2010 at 10:54 am

Thank you, Shane. That’s appreciated. And likewise.


avatar Danny Morales October 9, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Kenloc-Gathering wood in NYC for heat and hot water? Yeah and I used to dig the peat bogs out on the island to power my still. C’mon man don’t insult our intelligence with a phony “I’m a self made person” rationale. Stick to the facts a quit making stuff up to build your credibility. Just some advise Mr. Draw Myself Up By The Bootsraps-It doesn’t work on the rest of us. You know nothing about what went on at the Planning Board meeting Oct.6 and you’re proud of it. You know nothing of my commitment to the Democratic Party. And you apparently know nothing about respecting our families, our communities, our planet and all of humanity (as per my rhetorical question above)-So begone troll, you are hereby dismissed.- Danny


avatar OBWarZone October 12, 2010 at 11:32 am

Is this guy serious?? /\/\/\/\/\/\



avatar Brenda McFarlane October 13, 2010 at 8:02 am

Dan, thank you for you insight. I always find the complex mix of of politics and personal agendas difficult to write about. I’m so glad you can articulate this issue. I believe class bias is real problem, not just in OB but throughout the United States and Canada. I don’t know what to do about people who think they already know what is right and wrong and good and bad for everyone and instantly reject difficult or challenging ideas. Sigh. How can we grow if we’re not comfortable questioning our own comfort level?


avatar OBWarZone October 13, 2010 at 12:21 pm

OB Planning Board, OB Town Council, OB Mainstreet Association, Community Development, Ocean Beach Restaurant and Entertainment Group….. WTF is going on here?!?! For such small community, are all of these REALLY needed? NO. Lots of groups…ZERO action.

Of these issues…where do I need to go?

Why keep outside business out?
Why the sidewalks on Newport filthy (almost as bad as Bourbon street, at least those get cleaned daily)?
Why all the shady activity under the pier?
Why are homeless harassing visitors?
Why is there foliage growing over OB entrance sign & entrance palm trees?
Why have the two corners sat empty on West Point Loma & Voltaire for years?
Why the dump of a police station in our Pier parking lot?
Why sell dedication tiles if they aren’t taken care of, dirty or broken?


avatar Frank Gormlie October 13, 2010 at 12:32 pm

OBWarZone – let me ask you for starters: how long have you lived in OB? The reason I ask is because many of the issues that you list have been around for a long, long time, and others have not. For instance, if you are familiar with OB’s “war zone” you would know that what you call “shady activity under the pier” has been going on since I was in college in the late sixties.

Your other issues/ questions do deserve some answers: the two empty corners – see our posts about how World Oil in collusion with the City and police destroyed a park that OBGO had developed at the corner of Sunset Cliffs and Voltaire. They were unceremoniously granted the okay to build at that corner by the Planning Board but have not – maybe the economy is keeping them back. Same with the other empty corner, in that its development into an entry way into Robb Field has been waiting on money. The “dump of a police station” in the Pier lot has been the scorge of a sector of the community for at least ten years now. It is used solely by meter maids and masters. It is removed for Oktoberfests and such. The OBMA likes it.


avatar Frank Gormlie October 13, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Also, OBWarzone – would you like to write a “reader rant” for us, expanding on your list? Let me know via our blog email address:


avatar OBWarZone October 13, 2010 at 2:35 pm

I have lived in the community for only 5 years, have visited for since I was 13 . I have brought many friends and relatives from throughout the country to visit this wonderful beach town, which I hold dearly. As someone who is under 30, these are concerns with a large portion of community in my age group. A group that spends a large chunk of change here.

The fact that these have been long standing issues makes since you were in high school makes me REALLY wonder what is being done with these planning groups/clubs/social/hangout/cool kid clubs. Sounds like a whole lot of talking and thats about it.

Example: Throw a few cameras under the pier & move the Police trailer under it to deter any activity cruising that way with a few flood lights. The news ran a few story this past summer, but not much outrage here. Funny part is many of the aggressive panhandlers are the same crew under the pier.

How about taking some of the Street Fair/October Fest/Xmas Parade/Farmers Market income and finish, or even START some of the projects on vacant lots, tree trimming, sidewalk cleaning and such. Why not accept donations from bars/restaurants and such? “Help OB Day”….certain percentage of sales goes to helping OB clean up.

And who is in charge of up keeping the tile memorials along Newport. I had hopes of getting one for a lost loved one, but chose not to after seeing how they were taken care of.

Who enforces codes on building upkeep? See: Apt building and old pool next to pier, old Hodad’s building (both) They are eyesores for the community and nobody seems to care.

Maybe those involved in the boards have been here so long that they are used to the problems, and that they don’t see them as actually problems anymore.

While Ocean Beach has it’s charm, it’s fading fast. While I do enjoy living here, I couldn’t see myself raising a family here anytime soon.


avatar Sarah October 13, 2010 at 3:04 pm

I have an anwer to the problem under the pier. I came up with it at one o:clock this morning when I called the police for the third time this week.

We, (with “we” being the upstanding, non-trollish) citizens of OB need to put together a task force of people willing and able to occupy of the area under the pier. We’ll take it stealthily, bring in a card table and some chairs and just stay there. We’ll have cameras and cell phones and if anyone does anything illegal, why we’ll call the cops!

Anyone up for it?



avatar bodysurferbob October 13, 2010 at 3:49 pm

sarah, ok i’ll bite: what was going on under the pier at 1 am? and what was the response by sdpd?

do not play poker on that card table – you know that’s illegal. and please don’t drink anything in a glass – that’s illegal. and don’t of course have any alcohol – that’s illegal, and don’t have anyone with you under 18 – that’s illegal. do not have your dog with you – that’s illegal. and … here’s the really bad one: do not smoke cigarettes while you’re waiting under the pier – that’s illegal too. gee, i was going to join you, but with all that illegal stuff happening at your party, i won’t be there.


avatar Sarah October 13, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Oh, someone just must have gotten the bad acid… lots of screaming of curse words and yelling and stopping up and down the steps threatening one another’s lives.

Mostly they were just loud and keeping us awake. The cops came about the time they quieted down. I’ve been told there isn’t enough money to have the under the pier area properly patrolled.

If I had neighbors that couldn’t control the noise I’d have legal recourse, but I guess since our neighbor is technically the city we have nowhere to go with the complaint.

I wasn’t planning on any illegal activities during my occupation of PierLand. I thought we’d play a little crazy 8’s and sip coffee.


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