At their regular monthly meeting this Wednesday, July 3rd, the OB Planning Board is scheduled to give their feedback and response, as well as offer issues and questions to City staff on the new Draft proposed OB Community Plan Update.
One month ago, City senior planner Maxx Stalheim presented an outline of the update to the Board, handing them each a copy of the 166 page document, and telling them that staff would return on the 3rd for a debate. (It’s unclear whether Stalheim will be at this hearing, as he announced he was retiring during the month of July.) City planners are not looking for approval at that time as the update plan will not have been made officially available to the public by then.
The Board meets sharply at 6pm at the OB Recreation Center, located at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue.
Board Chair Tom Gawronski mistakenly sent out an agenda for Wednesday’s meeting that did not include certain items, that he later corrected in a second version. However, the first version, had this:
Discussion Item #001: Public Hearing to consider the Ocean Beach Community Plan and Local Coastal Program
But the second, corrected version had this:
Action Item #003: Release of the Ocean Beach Community Plan and Local Coastal Program. Vote to recommend approval or denial of release.
On the planners’ website, the following statement is read:
The original published agenda for the July 3, 2013, meeting of the Ocean Beach Planning Board has been amended to reflect additional action to be taken by the Board. …
The meeting is still scheduled for July 3, 2013, at 6 p.m., and will include a public forum on the Draft Community Plan Update. [our emphasis]
Also on the Board’s agenda is approval or denial of an application for a Coastal Development Permit to construct a 3,254 sq ft mixed-use building at 4739 Point Loma Avenue. This project is in the Point Loma Avenue commercial district, and the owner wants to build the project with 1 residential unit and 1 commercial space on a vacant 0.05 acre site.
These are trying times for an OB planner. The City is stepping up with their Update of the original OB Precise Plan, producing a fundamentally new document, after an 11 year process. The Board itself is in a weakened position as it has lost through attrition and term limits many of his seasoned and veteran planners, like Jane Gawronski, Seth Connolly, Landry Watson and Craig Klein.
Many of the planners who are now sitting on the Board are new to the process and are not accustomed to questioning city staff or city motives, or even reading and reviewing planning documents. Six of the Board members are new, and there are currently two vacancies on the Board.
Here is the official agenda for Planning Board: