Report From the OB Project Review Hearing: CVS Pharmacy, Verizon, BBQ House

by on October 17, 2013 · 27 comments

in Economy, Environment, Health, Ocean Beach

OB Plan Bd panel 10-16-13 sd 01

The Planning Board’s Project Review Committee at work, Oct. 16, 2013. (Photos by Steph Denton)

Editor: The following is a report of the October 16 meeting of the Project Review Committee, a sub-committee of the OB Planning Board, chaired by Peter Ruscitti.

By Stephanie Denton / Special to the OB Rag

CVS Pharmacy Alcohol License

Tonight the OB Planning Board’s Project Review Committee agreed to recommend approval to the board of CVS’s ABC License Type 21 application at the proposed location at Santa Monica and Cable – the old Apple Tree Market location.

This came about not without debate however as board members were not unanimously in favor of a second pharmacy entering the Ocean Beach community. The recommended approval was strictly regarding the ABC License however and was nominated for a recommendation at a 3 yays to 2 nays vote.

Board members expressed that a second pharmacy in a few block radius of OB is not a necessary or primary need in the community.  The CVS representative retorted, “In the American market there is more and more demand for pharmacies.”

The board pointed out that what the community needs at the moment is a market with fresh produce and other foods, which is the crux of the situation for the community. With a Rite Aide Pharmacy up the street and another CVS within a short driving distance, the purpose of this property could be better used for other immediate needs of the community. Concern was also expressed for local businesses with the opening of another corporate local one stop shop sort of establishment.

CVS: No Changes to Architecture of Former Apple Tree

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CVS rep and plans.

CVS vowed that they have no current intention to alter the architecture of the building, that the corporate heads on the project “absolutely love the building and do not intend to change its structure at all.” This is important to the neighborhood as the former Apple Tree Market on Santa Monica is a candidate to join the landmark registry. (Editor’s note: the former Apple Tree also used to be a Von’s and before that a Safeway.)

Whether or not this pharmacy will be a 24 hour facility is yet to be known. The lease will be in the 30 year range and is still under negation. The lease will include the 82 parking spots on the property and CVS will be responsible for the upkeep of the parking lot. Currently the lot is open as a paid public parking lot but CVS will not know if they will be renting these spaces out until the hours of operation are identified.

There will be security provided by CVS throughout the property with special attention paid to the alcoholic beverage aisles.

On November 6th CVS will be presenting its application for the ABC License to the full board. And naturally, the public is welcome to attend. At the November 6th meeting CVS will be able to provide the number of jobs which will be created through this development, right now it is an estimated 15-20.


Verizon Wireless was recommended for approval to the board on both of their applications to upgrade their wireless facilities to encompass new LTE technology for their wireless customers. With respect to the integrity of the standing structures both proposals passed the boards review.

As communication technology evolves aesthetic design has to evolve as well. Verizon reported that the newer LTE antennae’s have brought forth challenges in masking their presence and that “there has been a lot of work to modify the visual” in this project.

The bottom line is that the planning board made sure that the integrity of the buildings remained intact and made a point to state that from here on out if other wireless companies upgrade their own antennae’s that they will have to follow Verizon’s precedence and design to accommodate the structure as it is.

BBQ House Expansion

Lastly, the BBQ House has requested approval for their expansion project entitled “The End Zone” which will take over the old Cow store in order to double the current size of our favorite local BBQ House, plus include a full bar with patio.

The expansion will include 13 parking spaces in the back for customers and employees. The BBQ House will be adding trees and shrubs to the parking lot to help beautify the space as well.

There will not be much change to the menu, the service style may change a bit though the owners are considering table service once the customer has ordered at the register. There is hope that the new patio will be dog friendly as the BBQ House has always welcomed pets, the details are being worked out by their design team to make this a possibility.

The façade of the BBQ House will not be changing according to the current plan, and despite the doubling of the size of the restaurant the kitchen will not be receiving an expansion but will be remodeled.

Recommendation for approval to the board of the BBQ House expansion was the only unanimous approval by the Project Review Committee this evening.

All approved recommendations from tonight’s OBPB meeting will be presented to the full board at their next monthly meeting on November 6th.

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