By Brittany Bailey / Special to the OB Rag
On Wednesday night, March 27, at the monthly OB Town Council meeting, local community members had the opportunity to hear updates and ask questions directly from their city representative, Councilmember Kevin Faulconer.
Faulconer gave brief updates on the status of the pilot program he is proposing that will restrict the parking of oversized vehicles in the beach areas. Called the Neighborhood Parking Protection or the Oversized Vehicle Ordinance, it proposes to restrict vehicles more than 7 feet tall and 22 feet in length from parking overnight on city streets between the hours of 10pm-6am.
Residents and their guests who wish to park overnight may obtain 72 hour permits to do so. Planning Board member Giovanni Ingolia asked if the ordinance will go to the OB Planning Board for review, and Faulconer stated it is their intention that the OBPB review the ordinance, which is now published online on the City’s website.
Others news from Faulconer’s office include improvements to the Ocean Beach lifeguard station and updates on the OB entryway project. Faulconer has obtained funding to re-paint the lifeguard station [editor: to fund the recent re-paint job], parking lot, and add an automatic gate to restrict thoroughfare through the lifeguard’s parking lot. Prompted by a question from the audience, Faulconer clarified the gate was requested by the lifeguards due to a few close calls. Eventually, Faulconer would like to see a pedestrian walkway alongside the lifeguard station to create a safe path for families to travel without walking through the parking lot.
Regarding the OB entryway, the entryway project is in its design phase and construction is scheduled to begin this Fall.
While not currently in his district, Faulconer was also happy to announce the recent opening of Connections Housing Project located downtown, which provides wraparound services for the homeless, a project for which Faulconer advocated strongly.
In addition, Councilmember Faulconer will be holding a State of the District Address on April 10th at Paradise Point. To RSVP, email email@example.com or call (619) 236-6622.
County Supervisor Ron Roberts’ representative, Sterling McHale, also gave a brief update. Last week, County Supervisors Greg Cox and Ron Roberts put together a board letter regarding the homeless and HUD funding. As you may have recently heard, San Diego has been ranked as having the 3rd largest homeless population in the country, while on ranking 18th in terms of funding received. As McHale explained, the problem is that the funding is based on an archaic formula that doesn’t take into account the hard population numbers.
The County is also having a lawnmower event on May 11th at Qualcomm, where residents can trade in their old lawnmowers and receive a new Black & Decker model, as part of the County’s ongoing efforts to improve the air quality in San Diego, which is at its highest since measurements started 55 years ago.
Shea Benton from Congressman Scott Peter’s office was also present to give a quick update regarding a congressional art contest for high schoolers. Submissions are due to Peters’ office by April 19th. Winners will be chosen by a panel of five local artists and will be displayed in D.C. for one year after the contest. Congressman Peters’ also held a successful Congress On Your Corner event in Coronado a couple weeks ago and his next stop is Ocean Beach on April 20th. A location has not been decided yet.
Deputy City Attorney Paige Hazard was also on hand to remind residents encourage residents to call things in, be good witnesses, and make reports to help their office in their goal of a crime-free neighborhood.
Community Relations Officer David Surwilo was present to make his community report:
- An arrest was made after a woman was assaulted and called for help. Her neighbors heard her and came running out and gave foot chase to the suspect. The neighbors were able to provide a description, the suspect was caught, and was arraigned on 3/26.
- On 3/26 a marijuana-filled boat washed up near Sunset Cliffs and was taken into custody.
- On 3/26, a man tripped and fell down Sunset Cliffs. Police scrambled down and were able to secure him, but the situation was too precarious to put him on a litter and he was life lighted out.
- In response to criticism last Fall that police were not keeping the public informed regarding slate of sexual assaults plaguing the OB community, the police department has created Facebook pages for each division where they aggregate news posts as relevant to each community.
- OB residents are reminded to be good witnesses if you see a crime by getting good descriptions of the perpetrator – clothing, hair, vehicle, tattoos, etc. If you can from a safe vantage point, a picture from your cell phone works as well.
- There will be a Drug Takeback Day on Saturday, April 27th as a safe way to dispose of expired or no longer needed prescription drugs. The County also has a year-round drop box open 8am-5pm, located at their administrative offices at 1600 Pacific Highway.
- To report suspicious activity, please call the police department: 911 – Emergencies or Crimes in Progress, (619)531-2000 – non-emergency line
Officer David Surwilo also introduced Captain Andy Mills, who will be taking over command in this area. Captain Mills is a resident of Bird Rock and has lived in San Diego for thirty years. He is happy to be in a beach community again and states that it is important in this division and community to have a high quality of life. He’ll be taking a look at our neighborhood problems, analyzing them, and coming up with solutions as soon as possible. He’ll be walking through neighborhoods next Tuesdays at 1pm starting at OB Main Street and wants to hear directly from residents and business owners. He wants community members to have direct access to him in order to achieve our common goals of making OB safe. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second Community Garden ?
OBTC also hosted guest speaker Charles Cairns, a local community member currently looking into establishing a second community garden.
Charles is in the beginning phases of his project, discussing options with Parks & Rec. There are many site guidelines to establishing a community garden and he is currently considering a site at the far end of Robb Field. Anyone interested in collaborating should contact Charles at email@example.com.
Committee and Liaison Reports:
- Community Events, Brennan Bazar: There will be a golf tournament on April 28th to benefit Silvergate Elementary, and the Annual Chili Cook Off and Street Fair will be held this year on June 22nd.
- Membership, Gretchen Newsom: This month has seen a spike in new members due to the OB Entryway Sign Contest. Gretchen reports 23 new members in March alone.
- OB Planning Board, Giovanni Ingolia: The OBPB just had their elections and everyone who ran won. The two propositions – regarding the creation of a Maintenance Assessment District and the removal of the police trailer in the pier parking lot – both failed. Councilmember Kevin Faulconer will be attending the next OBPB to give updates.
- Community Enhancement, Jim Musgrove: The placard on the back of the Dog Beach announcement board has been replaced. The OB Entryway Design Contest is still in progress.
- OBCDC, Steve Grosch: The Veterans Plaza project is moving forward. The second public workshop will be held April 30th at 6:30pm.