A Plea to Ocean Beach Planners Against the Coming of CVS Pharmacy

by on November 4, 2013 · 19 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, Ocean Beach

Editor’s Note: the author of this post – John Ambert – requested us to take it down as it was mistakenly sent to the OB Rag as an attachment to the agenda of the OBPB that is regularly sent to us as a notice – which we regularly post.  We have taken down the – which, by the way, makes a tremendous argument we think to not grant the alcohol selling permit to CVS Pharmacy if they move into the former Apple Tree market.

In addition, there had been an active and thriving discussion on the topic – and we wish to allow that to continue.  (John Ambert is a District 1 representative on the OB Planning Board.)

Please check out the discussion in the comments.



{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar michael realpeople November 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I concur.. the addition of another “Big Box” store makes no sense to a large group of adult Professionals that call Ocean Beach home.

One of the allure of living in Ob, WAS the rounded access to most products and services; losing Appletree was a major hit for most of us that are proud to live in the neighborhood. No longer can we walk to the store and get food, household items and other items that make our lives easier. The last thing we need is another alcohol store, and that is what it would eventually be; no produce, no basic food, just more budget alcohol and catch-niche items to create more trash. It is sad enough that we lost our local recycling center a few weeks back and now we can begin to see the bottles stack up in the alley, we don’t need more.

I am a fairly well known B/W photo artist that lives in Ob; myself, my partner and numerous neighbors have all had discussions of moving out of the neighborhood and if CVS does come, we will plan our exit and listen to the neighborhood drop.

Ob is not a neighborhood anymore without a local Grocery store.

Michael Realpeople


avatar nostalgic November 4, 2013 at 8:08 pm

I would rather have a drugstore than a mixed-use La Jolla Blvd-style condo development. With Tuscan colors and granite countertops. Is there a way to limit alcohol sales?


avatar kenloc November 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm

You have to be joking!Look at all of the bars,liquor stores,and restaurants that have been given free rein to open,expand,and serve whatever here,and you’re going to take up the issue of CVS serving alcohol, in a spot that has always had an establishment that has served alcohol, to try and block it?Appletree sold alcohol ages!
Where is the outrage when a new eatery or bar opens? All that whining about crime while bars,breweries and liquor stores open all over town and not a peep.Now you’re worried CVS is going to contribute to crime and homelessness? give me a friggin break……


avatar Tyler November 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Unless the community plans to deny an alcohol permit to ANY potential business at this location, I find this incredibly petty. I don’t think many of us prefer CVS going in here, but that’s not the way to go about it. I can almost guarantee that if a local grocery store was to open there, no one would object to an alcohol permit.


avatar gregg sullivan November 5, 2013 at 5:57 am

It should be a mixed use project as I stated in a previous article. A well thought out and well designed project would be an asset not a detriment to OB!


avatar Debbie November 5, 2013 at 8:07 am

Ditto to Kenloc, Tyler, Gregg.


avatar Frank Gormlie November 5, 2013 at 10:18 am

If any resident or media rep wants to contact the OB Planning Board or its members, start here at their website. http://www.oceanbeachpb.com/index.html


avatar michael realpeople November 5, 2013 at 10:52 am

Let me clarify my original statement…

Ob needs a local market that can service the masses at a decent cost, that is what part of the draw to Ob is.. cost efficiency and access. Yes, I know that almost any Retail entity would also sell alcohol, but to clarify my original statement, other than smaller items and a Pharmacy, alcohol is the only other product that CVS would provide and we already have Rite-Aid.

A large condo project would take away from the neighborhood feel of Ob, let’s let Pb have that..

We need a grocery outlet to service the locals that have lived and loved Ob for what it is… a neighborhood..



avatar CC November 5, 2013 at 11:41 am

I really really really wish it was a Sprouts. OB Needs a grocery store so bad its not even funny. Sprouts is the perfect balance between mom and pop and corporate.

most importantly they sell healthy foods.


avatar Tyler November 5, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Seriously? Sprouts is awful. I’ve had bad produce and proteins from them so many times. How are they a balance between mom and pop and corporate? They are a publicly traded company.


avatar Debbie November 5, 2013 at 11:49 am

That position could be applied to any business….no more bars needs since others already sell alcohol, no more burger joints since Hodad’s is here, no other BBQ food since the BBQ House is here etc. etc.


avatar Seth Connolly November 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm

This argument is self-defeating. Yes, we need a grocery story, and yes, the Board’s purpose is to represent the best interests of the community, but it must do so within the context of existing policies, codes and laws that are applied to everyone uniformly and fairly.

To deny a permit simply because you don’t like the tenant is a non-starter, and would never stand up upon appeal. In retrospect, the better path would have been to engage the property owner and elected officials much earlier on to see if there was some way to incentivize the owner renting to a grocery store, rather than (essentially) mandating it through the selection application of a double standard.


avatar TRUTH November 5, 2013 at 1:41 pm

The INCENTIVE you mention is 50k a month in rent. To much for Peoples. To much for most businesses. Except of course a corporate drug dealer that has the facts on the baby boomer gen.


avatar Obecian November 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm

The best argument against CVS is that we don’t need one. Rite Aid has it covered. By denying CVS we buy more time for a better option to present itself. Most would agree a small grocery store would be ideal. The longer the owner of sees the property sitting empty the better. It will only make them more willing they will be to find something more acceptable to the neighborhood.


avatar Obecian November 5, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Oops! Leave out the “they will be” in the last sentence and always remember to proofread.


avatar gregg sullivan November 5, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Why doesn’t anyone think along the lines of mixed use. After all it’s zoned for mixed use. Seems like everybody hates anything that changes OB as if “development” was a dirty word. I am not at all a proponent of corporate businesses in OB (I oppose the CVS), that’s what’s ruining this country. I’m for the mom and pop at the same time I’m for some gentrification but I also want a place where people of different socio economic mixes live, work and play together. If you want OB to be a great place to live it needs grow and change (somewhat anyways). Well…off my soap box.

This is what I said in a previous article:
The site would have been best suited as a mixed use site of retail/commercial, office and housing with housing being a mix of socio-economic groups. Low income to high income. The old grocery building is a fine example of mid century modern architecture and should be kept. I like the style. Best use for the building would be a healthy food store as the community has indicated is needed. It could also have been used as a community center but would be more difficult to do because public subsidies would more than likely be needed. It all could have been tied together with a public open space (we can always use and need more open space) of a park/plaza. Parking could go underground. That’s what I think should have been done to the site! I wish I could afford to do it!


avatar Debbie November 5, 2013 at 1:45 pm

Mixed use a great idea…Underground parking, commercial businesses on ground floor (a grocery store would be great) and, senior housing on top floors. It’s on a bus route so having seniors without cars would be okie dokie.


avatar kenloc November 5, 2013 at 1:50 pm

It should have been a Hooters!
Everyone knows where there is a Rite Aid, there is a CVS)
If Subway had a line out the wazoo like Rite aid usually does,there would be a Panera Bread or TOGOs here as well.
Starbucks is kind of busy.I feel a Peets coffee and tea coming on…..
A bowling alley would have been awesome.
Or a Phils BBQ) Im sure it would be packed every day


avatar Susie November 8, 2013 at 1:18 pm

No Phil’s, ugh. That’s for sure. Much ado about


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