Campaign Includes Letters and Car Caravan to Huntington Beach Hearing of the Commission on Oct. 6th
Two dozen people gathered on the sidewalk yesterday near the Lifeguard parking lot, and listened intently to speakers explain the problem with the coming construction of a huge 10-unit condo complex, slated for that entire block bordered by Abbott, Saratoga and the beach. (A full set of plans in PDF format are available for download)
It was the “Tour” of the future Ocean Park Villas site thrown together by an ad hoc group of OB planners, merchants, and grassroots activists to educate the community about what is going down – or in this case – what is going up.
New plans had been drawn up, substantially altering the previous plans which had been drawn up by local architect Steven Lombardi. Yet the new plans had not been seen by anyone on the OB planning committee or by anyone else in OB – until yesterday. Patty Jones of the OB Rag had been sent the diagrams; she printed small versions of them out and had taped them to a white board for the Tour. This was the very first time OB has seen them.
The OB Planning Board had been circumvented by the owner of the new plans – plans geared to be approved by the California Coastal Commission next Thursday, October 6th. Unless the Commission changes its mind, or goes against its staff’s recommendations. Which could happen if enough OBcians travel to the Commission’s hearing up in Huntington Beach.
The ad-hoc group has organized a car caravan and is enlisting the support of those who can either drive or join those who are in order to attend. The hearing starts at 9 am on Thursday and is being held at 2000 Main Street in Huntington Beach.
If you can attend, need a ride and/or can drive and take others, contact us at the OB Rag email address: email@example.com and we will pass your name and contact info to those organizing the caravan.
Different speakers addressed different aspects of the over-all dilemma: Landry Watson, Frank Gormlie, Tom Gawronski, Steven Lombardi, Jane Gawronski, Craig Klein – but they all had a similar theme: enough changes had occurred to the original design to warrant the project’s return to San Diego and Ocean Beach.
What united the two dozen or so folks attending the sidewalk “Tour” was the process – that OB had been circumvented entirely, and was about to have a project – unapproved and unseen locally – planted on its ocean front step. Unless the community speaks up and stands up – enough to be heard all the way to the Coastal Commission.
There is a campaign (see accompanying article) to get letters to the Commission. If you can’t attend, please write a letter. There will be more on this, so keep your eyes on this station. Also, a Facebook group has formed for this issue.