Even though there was nothing on last night’s Ocean Beach Planning Board agenda, our roving reporter tells us there was two very interesting things came up during the meeting.
First: Ocean Park Villas Circumvention
Steve Lombardi – local architect – came to the Planning Board to inform them that the entity who had purchased the plans and permits for the Ocean Park Villas project (the Dempsey’s building) has proceeded to make significant changes to the design (his design) and is attempting to proceed with the amendments to the Permit with the Coastal Commission under the concept of “substantial conformance”.
This project should be returning to the Planning panel to present such changes to the community for the Board’s discussion and approval, even if only as a courtesy. What is going on here is a circumvention of the public process and shouldn’t be tolerated. It is unclear what the real gain is to Mr. Lombardi for bringing this to the Board except spite that the owners had not proceeded with his design.
Ocean Park Villas is another example where Councilman Kevin Faulconer sided with developer interest instead of the community. Faulconer voted to have the City vacate the public right of way (the two alleys located there) in order for the project to shove TWO additional living units into the already bulky square box that the original 10 unit design recommended.
It was recommended that the City maintain or improve the right of way so that Saratoga Park would be improved. This was not agreed to.
Second : City says there’s no program to fund memorial benches.
A gentleman named Gene Pound (lives on Udall somewhere) came to the Board night to inform them that he was interested in paying for a memorial bench at Dog Beach for his wife who passed from cancer. He relayed to us that he had inquired with Faulconer’s office and also with Parks/Rec and they told him that there wasn’t currently an existing program that would allow for him to fund a bench.
This absolutely needs some press. A fiscally incompetent City is telling a private citizen he can’t put a memorial bench at the beach because there isn’t enough bureaucrats around to collect money from the process and “supervise”. It’s absurd…
Our reporter says that he or she is ready to put a bench down there and pour the concrete themselves and then tell the City to come down there and try to pull it out!