The San Diego Planning Commission is meeting today, Thursday, May 31st, on a decisive issue regarding the continued efforts at gentrification in Ocean Beach. What’s on their agenda is the Burks residence at 5170 West Point Loma Boulevard in Ocean Beach.
On December 7, 2011, the OB Planning Board unanimously denied the application by the Burks to construct a massive three story McMansion at the site of the old one-story duplex on their property. The Board voted against their application for a variance to not allow the 25% parking requirement to go against the required .75 FAR (floor area ratio), plus there were other issues required under state law that had not been proven by the applicant.
Yet, then on March 14th, this year, a San Diego hearing officer heard the matter. City staff were against the recommendation by OB’s Planning Board, and called for the building’s approval. And this is what the hearing officer did.
This set up the battle – for the Ocean Beach planners have been fighting City staff for months over the issue of the City granting variances to allow home-owners to circumvent the Ocean Beach Precise Plan and its requirements. So, the OBPB is appealing the decision of the hearing officer. City staff, in the person of Sandra Teasley, has again called for the denial of the appeal, which would give a green-light to the developer.
And now, the Planning Commission takes up the issue, today, May 31st, and the item is the first action item on their agenda.
San Diego Planning Commission
9:00 A.M., MAY 31, 2012
City Administration Building
202 C STREET, 12TH FLOOR
Here is what the docket item looks like:
Appeal of Hearing Officer’s decision of March 14, 2012
BURKS RESIDENCE – PROJECT NO. 235485
City Council District: 2 Plan Area: Ocean Beach
Staff: Sandra Teasley
Appeal of the Hearing Officer Decision to approve a Coastal Development Permit/Neighborhood Use Permit and Variance to demolish an existing duplex and construct a 3-story, 1,749-square-foot single family home. The variance is requested to use all of the allowable floor area as habitable space whereas 25% is required to be dedicated to parking and to allow a carport to encroach into the front setback required for carports. The property is located at 5170 W. Point Loma Blvd. in the RM-2-4 Zone in the Ocean Beach Community Plan, Coastal (appealable), Coastal Height Limit, Airport Influence, Airport Approach, FAA Part 77, Parking Impact, Residential Tandem Parking and Council District 2. Report No. – PC-12-055.
TODAY’S ACTION IS:
Process 3. Approve or deny the appeal.
Deny the appeal.
Minutes of December 7, 2011 Meeting of the Ocean Beach Planning Board
Action Item #002 Burk Residence: 5170 West Point Loma Blvd.
Board Member Landry Watson recuses himself in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety and/or conflict of interest.
Project presented by James Scott Fleming-Architect.
Mark Raynes – speaking in favor of the project. Says it will improve Ocean Beach, puts a 21st Century building in a “blighted and decayed” portion of Ocean Beach. He states that the proposed project ‘largely complies with the Municipal Code and the zoning”
Frank Gormlie- speaking against the project; The City is involved in the process because the City will have to grant variances, which violate the OB Precise Plan, The net effect will be a 30 foot high wall of three story buildings, the gentrification of OB.
Board Comments and Questions:
Tom Gawronski: 1. Disputes the assertion that area is blighted. Asserts that if the area is “blighted” , that the property owners in the area are responsible, due to their failure to maintain their properties. States that property owners should not be rewarded for failing to maintain their property. 2. Refers to the proposed project design as an “ugly box”. States that here are other alterative designs. 3. Asserts that the project violates the Municipal Code and Precise Plan (F.A.R. and parking requirements) and does not meet the requirements for a variance.
Craig Klein: Points out that the proposed project is on a substandard size lot and provides opinion that the legal requirements for a variance not met.
Nancy Taylor: Repeats prior concerns re: the s substandard size lot, Concurs in the opinion that the legal requirements for a variance are not met.
Seth Connelly; Expresses concerns regarding the requests for the granting of variances. Asserts that the net effect of the repeated granting of F.A.R. variances is to increase the intensity of development. Concurs that the legal requirements of a variance are not met.
Jane Gawronski: Agrees with comments by Seth Connelly
Giovanni Ingolia: Concurs that the legal requirements of a variance are not met.
Motion by Tom Gawronski to recommend denial of the project as presented. Seconded by Barbara Schmidtknecht. Voteheld on Motion. Motion passes: 9-0-0 (Landry Watson recused)
Here is the City staff report recommending denial of the appeal.