Kevin Faulconer, it seems, is okay with gentrification in Ocean Beach. The District 2 City Councilman for Ocean Beach responded to a letter sent to him by members of the OB Planning Board protesting how the City was granting variances to property owners in the 5100 block of West Point Loma. In his response, Faulconer dismissed the concerns of our local planners about that block.
The controversy surrounding that block stems from property owners of the single-story duplexes being granted variances to allow them to build outside the zoning and parking requirements of the OB Precise Plan. The Planning Board – which has the authority to uphold the Precise Plan’s blueprint for the community – had called the granting of these variances by the City “improper”.
If property owners of the duplexes on that particular stretch of West Point Loma are continually able to obtain variances and build large, 3-story single-family residences, views, beach access, and quality of life will be detrimentally affected, and significantly changing the types of people who reside in that area – which is gentrification by definition.
In a recent article in the Peninsula Beacon by Tony De Garate, Faulconer is reportedly “satisfied the variances have been properly approved”, Faulconer aide Michael Patton told the Planning Board during their August 3rd monthly meeting.
The Beacon reported Patton saying: “You guys aren’t going to like what [Faulconer] has to say, because he is fine with what they [property owners] are doing.”
The Planners had sent the protest letter to the Mayor, Faulconer, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, Development Services director Kelly Broughton and councilmembers Sherri Lightner, Todd Gloria and David Alvarez. To date, Faulconer is the only City official who has responded.
In their letter, the Board claims the City variances “constitute … rezoning of these lots without adhering to city procedures for rezoning. It should be noted that all the lots in question are and have been perfectly buildable without variances. … Ocean views are called out in the Ocean Beach precise plan revision and should be preserved.
The Beacon quotes OB board member Tom Gawronski responding to Faulconer’s position:
“We intend to fight this. If Councilmember Faulconer wants to be on the other side of this battle, okay.”