The Ocean Beach Planning Board is embroiled in a fight with the City of San Diego. And it’s a fight that goes to the very essence of what it means to be an OBcean, a resident of OB – a community about to celebrate its 125th anniversary. The City right now has been granting variances that improperly allow developers to build beyond what is allowed under local rules.
By doing this, the City is over-riding the Ocean Beach Precise Plan – the governing document that directs development in OB – a Plan that was won by OBceans nearly forty years ago. And by over-riding the Precise Plan with the granting of improper variances that allow for beachfront McMansions – new development on the front lines of the efforts to gentrify northwest Ocean Beach – the City is over-riding Ocean Beach – once again.
But now the OB Planners are taking the fight and the issues they have with the City to the committee of planning board chairs who are holding their next meeting this Tuesday, Feb. 28th. The OB Board members are hoping that the city-wide group will agree to sponsor an investigation into the variances that the City has been granting to property owners who wish to throw up three-story houses on West Point Loma Boulevard.
The Committee of Planning Committees is holding their meeting Tuesday night, February 28th, 7:00-9:00 p.m., at their Kearny Mesa location, the Metropolitan Operations Center II Auditorium, located at 9192 Topaz Way, Kearny Mesa.
OB Planning Board members are car-pooling to the meeting and are urging OBceans to join them in support and solidarity by attending the meeting – at least that part that involves OB, which is scheduled on the agenda for 8:25 p.m. People who are interested can join up at the OB Rec Center and likewise carpool.
The entire agenda for the CPC is shown below. The OB agenda section is listed as this:
ITEM #8 – 8:25
CLARIFICATION OF CITY POLICY REGARDING MULTIPLE VARIANCES POTENTIALLY INCONSISTENT WITH APPLICABLE ZONING: Possible Action Item
In an area of Ocean Beach, six variances have been approved that allow development projects to be built that are potentially inconsistent with underlying zoning. The Ocean Beach Planning Group seeks clarification whether this type of serial variance is appropriate; or whether a rezone should take place permitting the development projects.
OB Planners have been resisting the City’s efforts to grant floor-area-ratio (FAR) variances – variances that go against the OB Precise Plan requirements for new single-family development. And their resistance and efforts to force the City to abide by the community’s own blue-print, a blue-print that has governed the Planning Board since 1976 – 36 years ago, has been documented in our posts. (See here, here, here, and here.)
The gentrification of Ocean Beach has its front line on that stretch of West Point Loma Boulevard that bends around near North Beach, and where properties butt up against the beach park. Part of that stretch includes over a dozen one-story older duplexes that are slowly being torn down, and property owner after property owner has been gaining variances that allow them to build out and up, violating the requirements of the Precise Plan.
The OB Planners hope that the CPC – chaired by Leo Wilson from the Uptown Planners – will create a committee to further investigate the issue and further force the City towards a public hearing on the matter where the impacts of the variances can truly be discussed and hopefully resolved. By creating a committee to conduct this investigation, the Board from OB will have managed to escalate the issue to the CPC level and will have forced the City to deal with the issue on a citywide basis, as opposed to just dismissing the issue at the community level, which is what the Planners feel that City has been doing.
A show of solidarity by OBceans Tuesday is critical to demonstrate that the community stands behind the Planners. And they believe that there will eventually be a hearing at City Council level on the issue, where again the village will need to be rallied.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012 – 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Metropolitan Operations Center II Auditorium
9192 Topaz Way, Kearny Mesa
Here is the full agenda for the CPC meeting: