The big ticket item on their agenda this month is whether the OB Board should approach the city-wide organization of recognized community planners, called the Community Planners Committee of (CPC), about the fight the Board is having with the City of San Diego over the City’s granting of improper variances.
The fight centers over the 5100 block of West Point Loma Boulevard and how the City is allowing property owners to circumvent the Ocean Beach Precise Plan with these multiple variances.
In a nutshell, the City has of late been granting multiple variances to property owners on that block which allow them to bypass the requirements of the Precise Plan – which since the mid-Seventies has governed building and construction in Ocean Beach. The Board maintains that these variances are improper – even illegal some say – because the City is using them to get around the zoning in that area, a zoning that was established years ago.
By using these variances, some property owners are building 3-story McMansions – which if the trend is allowed to continue – will substantially gentrify and alter that block of West Point Loma and lead to a drastic change to northwest OB – an area that traditionally has allowed for retired folks, students, sailors, and young working people to reside due to the relatively lower rents.
On behalf of the community that we believe is opposed to the wholesale gentrification of Ocean Beach, we urge the Planning Board to approach the Committee of Community Planners and request their review of this conflict with what passes for a planning department these days.
This is a most important, key and historic showdown with the City, for it goes to the very future of Ocean Beach, and whether OB will be developed just like every other beach town on the California coast – where only the rich and well-off will be allowed to reside. It goes to the very heart and soul of OB because it was OB’s exceptionalism to the general rule that only rich people lived at the beach that made it is what it is today.