Construction at Voltaire and Catalina: 3-Story Development With 9 Units and One Commercial

by on December 9, 2013 · 44 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, Ocean Beach

Voltaire n Catalina condos2A number of readers have asked us, ‘what’s going on at the corner of Voltaire and Catalina?’  Certainly many have seen the construction.

What’s going on at that busy intersection -is a three-story “mixed-used” development that will include 8 townhomes, one flat, and one commercial space that has nearly 2130 square feet.

Locals will recall that the corner used to have a Chevron gas station up until 1996.  And the site has remained vacant ever since. Then on February 21st of this year, the Peninsula planning board voted unanimously 8 zip to approve the project.

The owner applicants included the Holt Family Trust, the Barnes Family Trust, Russell C Murfey and Scott B Murfey.

The project sits on nearly a third of an acre at 4175 Voltaire Street and is within the Peninsula Community Planning area, in a CC 3-5 Zone. The community plan designates the site as “Neighborhood Commercial”, and “mixed-use development” is considered the good thing to do, and has been a mainstay in San Diego’s planning trends for  years.

This development up to 3 stories will include 2 or 3 bedroom condos with attached 2-car garages.  The flat will be on the second floor with 2 bedrooms and have surface parking in the alley. The commercial condo unit at 2128 square feet will be located along Voltaire.

Bike racks will be provided and the “development has been designed to provide pedestrian orientation along Voltaire Street and Catalina Boulevard”, so says the city staff report that recommended approval.

The development’s other “green” attributes will help it fit in to an otherwise cramped area along Voltaire. The project has been reportedly designed to utilize renewable energy technology, self-generating at least 50-percent or more for the residential units of the projected total energy consumption through solar panels (photovoltaic technology).

If a restaurant eventually goes into that single commercial unit in the new project, it will certainly cement this area as the new “restaurant row” of the Peninsula, just a few blocks from OB. A number of quality eateries are already in the immediate area.

Any new business in this area will also undoubtedly add to the congestion, as the intersection is certainly deeply impacted by traffic.

A little history of the site: there  had been various auto repairs or gas stations there from 1928 through 1996, when the last station, a Chevron closed down.  As mentioned, it has been vacant ever since.  Local observers cynically recall that in those days, the “big guys” – the major oil and gas companies – were able to get legislation passed that set up such stringent requirements, that the “little guys” – the franchises or independents – were driven out of business.  Point Loma and Ocean Beach lost a number of gas stations during this time.

In 1996 the building was demolished and the underground storage tanks were removed in 1996. In 2006, the County Department of Environmental Health issued passed the site having completed a site investigation.

So, here we are, witnesses to the next development at a very busy intersection.

Go here for staff reports, diagrams and other planning documents on this project.

(See the following diagrams:)

Voltaire n Catalina condo draw

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Debra December 9, 2013 at 1:33 pm

How in the world are the prospective residents going to exit and enter their parking areas, during rush-hour traffic? Too bad something less modern-looking that fits in with the area isn’t being built.

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avatar Debbie December 9, 2013 at 7:25 pm

There is an alley in the rear. Probably less traffic than the gas station had so that’s a positive. I hope some new restaurants are added to this area. It’s the beginning of change for this area. Anyone know when Mike Stevens is going to move on his project?

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avatar Frank Gormlie December 10, 2013 at 10:17 am

Yeah, but when the gas station was there, you didn’t have the restaurant traffic that now exists. Until recently this intersection’s only rowdiness came from the Catalina Lounge.

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avatar unWashedWalmartTHONg December 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm

What about some greenery? How about a garden on the roof? One half of roof for solar panels, the other half for residents’ garden. Gotta plan something like this. W/ over 7 billion people on the planet, we have
very little
space
left.

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avatar Dave Rice December 9, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Rooftop gardens – that’s a nice idea. I don’t know that I love the project as it sits, but it could have been a lot worse – see the out-of-character eyesores that have been popping up along the 5100 block of W. Pt. Loam…

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avatar ObJamie December 11, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Complete garbage. My view will be removed, their will be two years of construction, there already is ZERO PARKING ANYWHERE around there. As Debra pointed out, exiting via the alley? They alley that the Dominoes drivers can barely leave during anything resembling “rush hour” ?

Not that a prospective tenant will read, but this is what we have: airplanes, lawn services, sanitation trucks SIX FUCKING DAYS A WEEK INCLUDING SATURDAY MORNING and I will not omit drunks leaving the bars loudly, mentally ill and transients living/shopping in the alleys. Come on in peeps nice and quiet neighborhood.

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avatar Debbie December 11, 2013 at 5:14 pm

I totally understand where you are coming from on the noise issue…..you forgot barking dogs. I am sure the beep beep beep of the construction equipment is driving everyone nuts.

I understand more housing was approved years ago for this area. Anyone know when they are planned for construction? People love to live close to the beach so the demand is there for housing. But as you pointed out…parking and noise come with the housing as do conveniences like restaurants, shopping etc.

Does anyone know why the parking lot at Dominos is allowed to store boats, trailers, etc. looks like Santee or Lakeside not something that is permitted for a commercially focused area.

OBJamie, Sorry you are loosing your view…maybe you will find a better one :-)

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avatar Geoff Page December 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm

The City is allowing the alley to be changed to a one -way alley, something I’ve never seen before. It’s another example of the city granting concessions and variances to accommodate a project that won’t fit otherwise. Three more of these are planned in the same area, one where the vacant lot is next to the former House of Hui that includes that building, one across the street at the old Dominos location, and one where Sunshine Liquor is. Imagine the traffic if all four are built.

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avatar Debra December 12, 2013 at 12:50 pm

True about the traffic, it’s bad enough now, as it is. And does anyone involved in approving these projects, ever think about where visitors or repair/delivery persons are supposed to park either?

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avatar fstued December 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm

nice to see that area finally getting developed It has been an eye sore for some time. Maybe the house of hui will go and the whole area can get spruced up. Coconut Peet seems to be doing well. Maybe he can make something happen on the south side

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avatar obecean December 11, 2013 at 9:26 pm

One-way alleys up and down both sides Mission Beach.

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avatar SaneVoice December 12, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Right there with ya, OBJamie. I wonder how much of a kickback the Peninsula planning board got. I don’t recall any advance notice or input requested from people who live in the area.

And in a top-notch move, the landlord of our complex decided to raise our rents a week before the construction started. Of course, I’d love to pay more for noise, dirt and parking issues !!!

I’m sure also that once these condos are complete, the rent or purchase price will be fair for the area. And if you believe that part, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell ya.

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avatar da john December 13, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Wow, I cant believe people are complaining about this! This piece of land was listed at just under a million dollars. At that price a fairly large development is needed to even justify the purchase price. look at pat’s liquor for the effect of sky high real estate prices. No one with “good” intentions could ever afford to buy any of this land and something other than pack it with boxes. As for parking, the municipal code dictated they use the alley for entering, no new curb cuts are allowed in any beach impact parking zones. Also each unit has a two car garage as required by the municipal code. No one I know has two garage spots in these parts. I also see 4 spaces out back on the site plan for the commercial spaces, this is exactly what is required by the municipal code for commercial parking near the beach, 2 spots per 1000 sf.

The fact that our area is seeing a lot of these gas stations shutting down and leaving us with us with underdeveloped property is a good sign. We as a society are starting to become less dependent on fossil fuels. Isn’t the best way to keep up the trend by re-developing these dinosaurs of the suburban age and pushing the envelope of density?

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avatar cjxmas December 13, 2013 at 2:10 pm

We are complaining because 1. there is already zero parking for people that live around that neighborhood. We already have visitors for the shops on the street parking on our tiny street during the day, leaving us no where to park; 2. have you tried to drive down Voltaire when the schools are all getting out? Takes forever to get anywhere in all that traffic. It’s going to be an absolute mess…

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avatar ObJamie December 13, 2013 at 1:50 pm

@ Debra- never saw any vehicles like that in my five years in this apartment. That parking lot is so tiny no vehicle like that would fit..

PS- The curb leaving behind the Dominoes: Cars get stuck on this thing all the time. Especially large SUV’s of the type the patrons of the Cafe at the Point seem to prefer.

@daJohn- you think our dependence on fossil fuels is dropping? Thanks for the laugh. Economically non-viable non corporate gas stations do not close due to lack of need. In fact- rereading the back of your post almost makes me believe you are or work for the developer of this crackerjack apartment/condo “luxury”.

One thing I forgot to ad-

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avatar da john December 13, 2013 at 3:24 pm

OB Jamie, so what’s your solution? Add family owned gas stations to these derelict gas station sites on Voltaire? Let them sit vacant and have their topsoil continuously contaminating our stormwater?

I don’t work for anyone involved with this project, I looked at the plans available via the link provided, and looked at the city parking requirements anyone with an internet connection can see. If you don’t want to hear you neighbors “SIX FUCKING DAYS A WEEK INCLUDING SATURDAY MORNING” move to somewhere where you don’t have neighbors. Seriously, if everyone with a “view” got their own special way, nothing new would ever go up within a mile of the ocean.

I don’t know about luxury, but i know that the city gives density bonus’ for developers who sign commitments towards affordable housing. And I personally think that is a step in the right direction from a community stand point. What else can we do as citizens?

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avatar ObJamie December 17, 2013 at 10:54 am

Oh how could I forget the best one! Thanks for pushing me to think DJohn.

Did any local resident know, that the Dominoes accepts its delivers between 1-3am two or three times a week? You will be treated to the sounds of 18 wheelers parking, moving, opening cargo doors, pallets being rolled up, doors opened and slammed, cartons slammed etc…Yep , 2-3 times a week, 1-3am.

Da John- Sanitation trucks, Recycling trucks, lawn crews, and drunk visitors are not my neighbors. They are loud rude visitors.

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avatar ObJamie December 17, 2013 at 10:54 am

Did any local resident know, that the Dominoes accepts its delivers between 1-3am two or three times a week? You will be treated to the sounds of 18 wheelers parking, moving, opening cargo doors, pallets being rolled up, doors opened and slammed, cartons slammed etc…Yep , 2-3 times a week, 1-3am.

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avatar DaJohn December 17, 2013 at 11:30 am

This is the 8th biggest city in the country. If you expect everyone to be sleeping between midnight and 7 am then I really think you ought to consider moving out of the CITY!

Seriously that whole street is zoned commercial, everything on either side of it on Voltaire is occupied by a commercial entity. If anything you should be happy they included a majority of residential units, all located to the the back of the property which will no doubt be quieter than some restaurant surrounded by a parking lot. Also these will be brand new residences, probably with a decent amount of insulation in the walls and ceiling. probably some nice new dual pane windows. Oh I almost forgot,the planes taking off from the airport are insanely loud over there, don’t worry I bet the developers aren’t as foolish, I’m sure sound proofing was part of the design.

On another note, “A man was carjacked in Point Loma Heights by a young woman he met online ” Should we ban the internet in Point Loma along with new developments?

BTW I’ve been by this intersection a few times in the last week and every time there has been a parking spot on the street up catalina within a few hundred feet of the intersection. You should come over the hill to OB one night and try and find a spot.

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avatar ObJamie December 17, 2013 at 9:31 pm

DaJohn,

“If anything you should be happy they included a majority of residential units, all located to the the back of the property which will no doubt be quieter than some restaurant surrounded by a parking lot.”

The back of the property? 3 story monstrosity on a very small lot. Front/back? I can throw a nerf football with either hand over any boundary of the property from any boundary.

“Also these will be brand new residences, probably with a decent amount of insulation in the walls and ceiling. probably some nice new dual pane windows. Oh I almost forgot,the planes taking off from the airport are insanely loud over there, don’t worry I bet the developers aren’t as foolish, I’m sure sound proofing was part of the design.”

Really? New construction uses new parts? Sweet! Does this speak to the developers lack of interest in recyclables? haha got you j/k. There is no amount of soundproofing in the world gonna stop you from hearing the Fed Ex plane at 4 am violate the air space.

“On another note, “A man was carjacked in Point Loma Heights by a young woman he met online ” Should we ban the internet in Point Loma along with new developments? ” Did you not see where it happened? I am merely pointing out what a nice neighborhood it is for prospective half mil buyers!

“BTW I’ve been by this intersection a few times in the last week and every time there has been a parking spot on the street up catalina within a few hundred feet of the intersection. You should come over the hill to OB one night and try and find a spot.” When, 11am? I have lived here over five years and come back at anytime after 5pm and tell me about parking on Catalina. Eye Roll. ZERO NONE ZILCH. As to OB it is exact same problem, developer $$$ speaks the loudest in SD and ALWAYS HAS.

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avatar da john December 17, 2013 at 10:11 pm

The kind of person to move next to the airport and complain about noise, figures.

Nuf ced.

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avatar ObJamie December 21, 2013 at 1:07 am

Your reply here, is as they say, weak sauce.

Oh, The airport is a 3 mile walk, min. from my intersection.

Good Day, Da John.

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avatar ObJamie December 17, 2013 at 10:51 am

Man carjacked in Point Loma Heights by woman he met online and male accomplice

SanDiego6

A man was carjacked in Point Loma Heights by a young woman he met online and a gun-wielding male accomplice, a police officer said.

The victim went to meet the 19-year-old woman shortly after 3:30 a.m. in the 4200 block of Voltaire Street near Catalina Boulevard, and she got into his car, San Diego police Officer Dino Delimitros said.

Shortly after, the woman let the armed man into the car and they ordered the victim out, Delimitros said. The pair then sped away in the victim’s car, the officer said.

The male suspect was described as white, about 20 years old, and around 5 feet 10 with a thin build

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avatar fstued December 17, 2013 at 11:21 am

expected to see the nimbys pop out about this project. Only comment its better than a vacant lot and it is urban infill which is better than suburban fill

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avatar Geoff Page December 18, 2013 at 10:25 am

The problem is that this new push for “mixed use” is just a way to increase density. Now, instead of residential OR commercial, it’s now residential AND commercial.
There are plans for this same thing along the south side of Newport, which will turn Newport into a canyon. But,the infrastructure, roads, water and sewer lines, etc., are not being upgraded. Add these projects to the City continually granting permits for guest quarters and companion units that are not supposed to be rented out but are because the City does not enforce the prohibition, and you begin to have a density that will affect life in Pt. Loma. We fought the project that was supposed to be built at theCoconut Pete’s site all the way and lost. We suggested the developer just build something that suited the lot instead of the massive excavation, parking structure, and large number of units and businesses to no avail. If it is legal under the City’s Municipal Code, many developers will build as high, wide, and deep as the letter of the law allows because they don’t live where they build. This whole corridor is in for a mess.

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avatar Debra December 18, 2013 at 11:08 am

I agree.

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avatar DaJohn December 18, 2013 at 11:09 am

What’s wrong with density? Isn’t the whole benefit of living in a city the proximity to services? I can see getting up in arms about building 4,000 S.F. 1 family mansions, but I don’t really see the problem with mixed use in a commercial zone.

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avatar ObJamie December 21, 2013 at 1:08 am

One of these is going in where Coco Pete’s is?

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avatar Geoff Page December 23, 2013 at 9:51 am

Yes, the biggest of all of the four.

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avatar Geoff Page December 19, 2013 at 8:35 am

DaJohn, That is an odd question. Density means more people, more cars, more trash, more noise ,need I go on? Pt. Loma is unique, it is a community within a larger city and it is mainly residential. The quality of life is something worth fighting for. If I wanted to live in a city environment, I’d live downtown but I don’t.

By the way, your comments on parking and traffic are way off the mark. I spent several hours over several days taking pictures of the traffic morning, noon, and evening and created aPower Point presentation that I showed the City Council in our effort to do something about the proposal for the former Dominoes site that fell on deaf ears. I’d be happy to send you that if you like. I’ve been in the construction industry for 40 years and the arguments for this kind of project usually come from folks involved in development. What do you do, care to share?

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avatar DaJohn December 19, 2013 at 10:14 am

Geoff,

So Point Loma should be set aside for people who can afford to buy a house only? I rent and personally I think increasing the density increases access to the area. If the only development that happens in the San Diego is massive communist style apartment towers downtown, all the proletariat poor will be segregated there just like the soviet union, that really worked out awesome!

Personally I don’t think there should be an incentive to people with cars to drive everywhere. If a little congestion means people think twice about their commuting habits so be it, we’ll all be better off.

As for me, I work in architecture. 100% of my work is adaptive re-use of, mostly commercial spaces, that means not a single inch of new development. As for being in the construction industry for 40 years, I believe it. Most of the older people I work with think CALgreen requirements and Sustainability initiatives are a waste of time. I think experience is vital to construction, sadly I see people most veterans of the field believing “green” building just means more cost for no benefit.

Take a look at the LEED rating system, it is basically the biggest rating category for sustainable building development in the world. One of the major components is site selection, with preference toward building on previously developed sites with decent connection to local services, sounds familiar.

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avatar Geoff Page December 19, 2013 at 11:00 am

DaJohn,

No one said anything about setting aside Pt Loma but there do need to be areas that people aspire to live in for desirable reasons. I do not agree that every area has to be available to everyone if that means ruining what is desirable about a place. You mentioned communism, this idea that the whole world must be open to all smacks a little of that.

Allowing a problem to develop as a way of solving a problem never made sense to me and never will. Besides, we already have enough congestion especially in this area, and the traffic is not just folks who live in the area, these are two main collector streets that carry a lot of people who live in other parts of the city.

Isn’t “adaptive reuse” another form of increasing density? Isn’t this usually converting commercial or industrial property to residences? It may not take up land but it isn’t without its drawbacks. And you should watch your generalities young fellow, many of us old timers think all the LEED building and sustainability requirements are actually a good thing. Some don’t but I bet many folks in your generation have no more use for this stuff than some of the old timers.

I have no problem with developing the site, what I dislike is cramming as much as possible onto a site. Some condos would be ok. Or some small businesses would be ok. But a solid three story edifice with both is too much for that corner, especially considering the other two developments, one on the same block and one across the street. I did not buy a place near the airport and then start complaining. I ought a place with handy gas station on that corner that serviced the immediate area and now I’ll have to live with this.

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avatar DaJohn December 19, 2013 at 11:45 am

” You mentioned communism, this idea that the whole world must be open to all smacks a little of that.” I’m not sure, a developer buying the site, and packing it to their hearts content is pretty right on for capitalism. Anyways, the zoning map is intended to keep certain areas desirable, and open up others to easier development. This site is zoned commercial mixed use, thus this project was somewhat easily approved. if you go 1000′ feet up the hill on Catalina you would never get something like this approved on a residential lot, unless you had some serious pull, which is another argument all together.

I do apologize about the generality, that is uncalled for. Also I don’t thing it was right to reefer to people as “older,” People who are open to new ideas but have a good grasp of past practices are the most likely to be able to enable big changes. Age really isn’t part of the equation, knowledge is knowledge no matter your age. Again, I apologize.

I’m glad you are open to LEED, sustainability, etc… the intresting thing is that if you put this site into the LEED context, it would be going against the intent. LEED promotes building as dense as possible with the smallest footprint possible. In essence leaving as much of the site open as possible, and returning native vegetation. Personally, i think this development while doing the opposite stays truer to the context of the neighborhood, ember there is a massive 3 story stucco apartment right across the alley from the site. Would having a 45 foot, dense tower(the height limit here is 45′, no coastal height limit) here be any better for the neighborhood? I personally don’t think so.

As for adaptive re-use. My personal experience is that no matter what the proposed construction project is, there is going to be some one that has more to gain if the project never happens. I personally like seeing old, (preferable underused) building stock being updated and kept vital, as opposed to tearing it down and putting up some glass cube. If an old unused office building gets new interiors and remains an office, awesome! If an old unused office building gets new interiors, and is converted into residential, awesome! at the end of the day less stuff went to the dump, and we got more use out of what was already there.

I think this project is certainly a tough call, and I personally think the buildings aren’t the best looking, but this site was on the market for a million, the price of playing the game was pretty high, and at the end of the day the guys who bought it are looking to make more back than they spent.

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avatar Geoff Page December 20, 2013 at 11:14 am

DaJohn,

When you wrote “I’m not sure, a developer buying the site, and packing it to their hearts content is pretty right on for capitalism.” You missed my point. The communism remark was aimed at the idea that all areas of the world should be open to everyone. If that were the case, there would be no areas to aspire to live in. The beach area is a desirable place to be, a place to aspire to live in but it may not be if the density overcomes it. For me, Mission Beach is an example, it is so dense that it negates enjoyment of being at the beach.

You wrote “Anyways, the zoning map is intended to keep certain areas desirable, and open up others to easier development.” This is true but the city is ignoring the zoning maps and allowing second rented units in areas zoned R-1, the protection is not there. And yes, this area is zoned commercial mixed use but does that mean it has to maximize every square inch of length, width, and height when the result is such density? Why not something less?

Apology accepted.

I’m curious why you think the coastal height limit doesn’t apply here, where did you get the 45-foot height limit you mentioned? And, your point about the smaller footprint being more LEED correct is one of my complaints, it’s all building and no landscape. Just because there is a massive stucco edifice next o it doesn’t mean that should be the model.

I actually agree about re-using old buildings as long as they can be made efficient under current standards. But, the effect on the surrounding neighborhood is different if it is reused for office space than if it is reused for residential space. Office people arrive in the morning and leave in the evening, residents are there all the time.

You wrote “I think this project is certainly a tough call, and I personally think the buildings aren’t the best looking, but this site was on the market for a million, the price of playing the game was pretty high, and at the end of the day the guys who bought it are looking to make more back than they spent.” Sure the folks who bought it are looking to make back more than they spent, lots more. It’s a matter of degree, how does it pencil out? If the developers ever shared their budgets versus proposed sales and that showed it was only economical viable if they built what they planned, that would probably help some people accept it. But, they don’t do that. Development can be very profitable and to some people, there can never be enough profit.
I also agree that the buildings “aren’t the best looking” but I think that is a charitable remark.

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avatar DaJohn December 20, 2013 at 11:42 am

Let me see your personal finances to see if it is economically viable if you buy a big gulp.

Get real.

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avatar Geoff Page December 20, 2013 at 11:59 am

DaJohn,
Up to now, you’ve been discussing this intelligently. How does the big gulp example compare to this discussion, a big gulp isn’t purchased with the idea of re-selling it and making a profit. And I said nothing about personal finances, I was talking about a project budget as compared to sales expectations.

As for the “Get real” comment, if you reread what I said, I wrote that they don’t share that financial information. I’m already real about that.

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avatar DaJohn December 20, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Exactly, you don’t share anything, why should they?

What I’m getting from it is that you think there should be some type of financial threshold for projects where they have to prove their projected income and use that to justify the size, in relation to public good. If that is the case people who build their mc-mansions right next to dog beach would probably be fine, since they plan to live there themselves and not make money of selling it right away.

The point you made about make about an r-1 getting a CUP for commercial business is far more valid. If our zoning system can be bypassed with connections and cash, the problem is serious.

That is not the case here, they are following the intent of the zone to the letter. The planning board which is made up of residents to have a word in the process approved this project 8 to zilch.

If every project has people complaining and requesting their input even if the developers never overstepped a setback or exceed the FAR, then the community voice has a lot less weight when they slip in the new buffalo wild wings into an r-1.

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avatar hOBie December 20, 2013 at 1:22 pm

NIMBY: opposition by residents of new development because it is close to them

I’m with you DaJohn. Fact is, this is simple NIMBY-ism at its purest.

This idea that the big bad “developer” is any different than the homeowner is naïve at best. Only they max out the lot; only they don’t share their financial info. Nonsense. Maybe we should all be involved in the approval process after your neighbor pulls permits but you don’t like the room he is adding on. Or when they decide to pave-over their entire yard and call it a patio. Or, god forbid, they decide to add a 2nd story.

It’s very much like the (cr)Apple Tree discussion. People would rather see a lot remain empty or a huge market space remain vacant unless they are allowed to decide what goes up/in. Yes, we’d all love for a locally sourced, locally owned, organic market to go in instead of CVS, but the fact is, no one other than CVS stepped-up to the plate when it came to that sorry building. And yes, we’d love to see that lot become a community garden instead of, well, anything. Geoff mentions that “some condos would be okay.” How many exactly? 2? 4? 6? Should there be a limit to the # of bedrooms each unit has? How about the # of legal aged drivers per unit must match the # of off-street parking? Could we all agree to that?

“I bought a place with handy gas station on that corner that serviced the immediate area and now I’ll have to live with this.” That gas station has been gone almost 18 years now. But you’re right, you will have to live with this. We all will. Though wouldn’t it be grand if we could all freeze time and remain in our optimal time and space forever….?

As DaJohn said – - Get Real.

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avatar Geoff Page December 20, 2013 at 1:49 pm

No I didn’t say there should be, I just mentioned it because it would be refreshing if a developer did that to show that it absolutely has to build in the manner the propose in order to turn a decent profit. And I have the same heartburn with the mansion builders who maximize as much as they are legally allowed to without any consideration for the surrounding neighborhood.
I didn’t make a point about an R-1 getting a CUP, my point was that the City now allows construction of guest quarters and companion units that are not supposed to be rented out but are because the City does not enforce this rule. They just changed the Municipal Code to now allow bathrooms in accessory structures too, which will be more rentals.

Don’t be fooled by the planning board vote. There was a long back and forth on this project and, if they are being responsible, they can’t vote against it if it satisfies the Municipal Code. That doesn’t mean they like it.
I have to disagree with that last comment. So you’re saying shut up everyone and only speak up on the extremely egregious violators? That’s not how it is supposed to work.

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avatar Geoff Page December 20, 2013 at 2:06 pm

hOBie

I love it when folks decide to name call. And, much like it was when Bush started that idiotic war in Iraq, if you weren’t with us, you were not a patriot. We criticize a project so we are dumped into the NIMBY category, that’s thoughtful.

The fact is that some of what your neighbor may want to do does require input and approval of neighbors. Unfortunately, too many neighbors do these things without permits, so I’d say, yes, you have a right to pay attention to these things as well. If nothing else, people should talk to their neighbors and work with them, which too often doesn’t happen.

“Geoff mentions that “some condos would be okay.” How many exactly? 2? 4? 6?” That’s why it would be nice to see how it pencils out to see if there is a good profit at 2 or 4? Then don’t put in six, I’ve seen developers in Pt. Loma make these considerations, I certainly do not condemn all developers and I never said big bad developers, you did. This is another tag a person gets just because they offer criticism.

“Should there be a limit to the # of bedrooms each unit has? How about the # of legal aged drivers per unit must match the # of off-street parking?” The Municipal Code already deals with that under the parking provisions, so yes.

“Though wouldn’t it be grand if we could all freeze time and remain in our optimal time and space forever….?” Your third attempt to put me in the NIMBY category and to label me anti-development. I never said that and it isn’t realistic. My criticism is the scale, not that something is being built.

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avatar da john December 20, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Yes that is how it is supposed to work, the ones that follow rules, should to be able to do whatever the hell they want within the boundaries of the law that we all must live by. The ones that want to work outside of the everyday rules should have to prove to the public that it is a necessity.

As for people renting out their r-1 units, if your neighbor is doing this call code enforcement, they love handing out notices of violation. Trust me if they do not have a permit for a second dwelling unit the city will hit them with a 500$ a day fine until work has been done to permit it or it’s vacated.

That has NOTHING to do with this argument though. People that break the law should be punished, if your neighbor builds a non permitted a structure and you don’t even try to report it anomalously through code enforcement, YOU are just as big a part of the problem.

Oh and what you said about trying to work with the neighbors to hOBie is a laugh and a half. Look up a few posts to OBjamie, she would have been pissed by the noise if they put in a coffee stand in the middle of the field, every new development will piss someone off, i’m sure the neighbor business can’t wait for some new foot traffic to come into the area. What do you think these guys would have heard if they reached out to the neighbors. The people who would be for it would have said awesome, that fenced off dirt patch is finally going to be used. While the detractors would pile on complaints about the noise and aesthetics, paint color, insulation choice, maybe they would have heard about how dominos get’s deliverys at 3 am, or how there is a loud airport nearby.

I made the point about commercial going in residential zoned spot to say where public participation is not only warranted, but hopefully desired by the surrounding community. A good example would be the city council granting variances to the houses on west Point Loma, they went outside they everyday rules, the public didn’t get a fair chance to appose these projects going outside the boundaries of the code, and the community, rightly so, feels like they have been been by passed.

In the end, you are speaking up to a message board that won’t change a damn thing. There is already a hole in the ground over there and it’s too late to stop it. If you want to keep this area “desirable” get working on the zoning change for the world oil site.

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avatar Geoff Page December 20, 2013 at 2:53 pm

“Yes that is how it is supposed to work, the ones that follow rules, should to be able to do whatever the hell they want within the boundaries of the law that we all must live by.” They can do whatever the hell they want within the law but whether they should or not is the argument. The community plan is supposed to be considered but it is ignored because it isn’t codified within the MC, does ignoring that seem right to you?

“As for people renting out their r-1 units, if your neighbor is doing this call code enforcement, they love handing out notices of violation. Trust me if they do not have a permit for a second dwelling unit the city will hit them with a 500$ a day fine until work has been done to permit it or it’s vacated.” Unfortunately, the City has left enforcing this to neighbors, which is a big problem for neighbors getting along. Why should private citizens be the cops when the City caused the problem? And I never said anything about building these units without permits, they are permitted, that’s the problem. They were not supposed to have kitchens and now that is allowed. This is de facto rezoning the R-1 areas.

“That has NOTHING to do with this argument though. People that break the law should be punished, if your neighbor builds a non permitted a structure and you don’t even try to report it anomalously through code enforcement, YOU are just as big a part of the problem.” DaJohn, you don’t report to Code Enforcement anonymously, they don’t reveal your name to the person you are reporting on, at least that is what they say, but you have to give your name to them. Why are YOU part of the problem as you say, when you never had a part in creating it?

Umm, these guys did have to reach out to the neighbors, hence the Planning Board process.

You need to do some research on the West Pt. Loma properties; the public was very involved and very angry with the City. OB’s new community plan is supposed to help guard against this now but I would not hold my breath.

I have to get back to work and you’re getting too emotional. This isn’t a message board. And speaking up in the vehicle of the OB Rag gets attention and hopefully gets folks thinking, that’s what it’s for. Change only happens when enough people decide it should.

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avatar da john December 20, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Dude, I wish you could see emotionless my face is sitting here reading your circle talk.

There is anonymous code enforcement reporting page online, go to the 5h floor of the DSD and tell the person at the desk, they will take your report and let remain anonymous if you choose. Again that is up to You.

As for the city policing instead of us. I would rather live in china, than an America where private residences are checked up on by the city. This is obviously not the case places open to the public, the city and the fire department are able to inspect those at their will. If people are getting kitchens in their garages and it is not allowed by code than maybe a call to the councilman or mayor is in order. But again, this has nothing to do with this project. They did everything on the boards up front.

As for the planning board appearance, that is optional to those with enough cash. I was at an OBPB meeting in person and they said that many projects don’t even bother seeing them. They ram it right through the city with their lawyer.

When you said ” If nothing else, people should talk to their neighbors and work with them, which too often doesn’t happen.” I thought you meant that it would be nice if developers like this went the extra mile to get community input, maybe hold a charrette on the site open to he public, which would be interesting, but would let all the complainers about look and noise and dominos get their jab in. which is why I thought it was a laugh. What you really meant by that was, they should have to go through the planning board, which they did. So whats your issue with being neighborly on this project? it’s not clear at all.

It certainly be interesting to see how the precise plan affects development in OB, however since this project, and the site next to coconut peets, and the vacant lot next to the reunion etc…, Are not in OB, they are not part of the Precise plan, And they even have a different planing board.

So what since i think this development is good for the hood, I shouldn’t be allowed to voice my support on the rag, and say the naysayers are going after every metal stud that goes up in the beach area. What you said keeps getting me thinking, a lot of people are doing backflips to slam this project just because.

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avatar Geoff Page December 23, 2013 at 9:49 am

DaJohn,

First, my name isn’t Dude, if you look you’ll see my first name is Geoff.
As for making an anonymous Code Enforcement complaint, here is what the City’s website states:
What if I wish to make an anonymous complaint?

It is the policy of the Code Enforcement Division to request the source of the complaint. It is also the department’s policy to keep the source of the complaint confidential. There is a potential, however, that the department may be ordered to reveal this information in a judicial proceeding. This policy does not apply to animal noise cases which require the support of adjacent property owners/occupants in order to identify a public nuisance. The department will not accept complaints from anonymous sources.

You wrote: “As for the city policing instead of us. I would rather live in china, than an America where private residences are checked up on by the city.” So you don’t believe people who have signed a legal document not to do something should be checked on once in a while? Then, what good is the promise?
You wrote: “If people are getting kitchens in their garages and it is not allowed by code than maybe a call to the councilman or mayor is in order.” Are you serious? Have you ever tried that?

You wrote: “ As for the planning board appearance, that is optional to those with enough cash.” No it isn’t optional, it is a required step in the development process. What can and does happen is projects proceed as they wish whether or not the planning board approves. The City staff only cares when the planning boards approve a project, that approval is waved victoriously in front of everyone. If the planning board opposes a project, that is ignored.

You wrote: “I thought you meant that it would be nice if developers like this went the extra mile to get community input, maybe hold a charrette on the site open to he public, which would be interesting, but would let all the complainers about look and noise and dominos get their jab in. which is why I thought it was a laugh. What you really meant by that was, they should have to go through the planning board, which they did. So whats your issue with being neighborly on this project? it’s not clear at all.” I was referring to people building projects and houses with no concern for the neighboring properties and it happens all the time. As I said before, just because it’s legal doesn’t mean you have to do it. I’ve seen projects that completely block views from neighbors because the new home is built as tall as possible all the way across the lot. A minor concession such as stepping down some of the building to leave some view open is usually ignored, not always, but very often.

“So what since i think this development is good for the hood, I shouldn’t be allowed to voice my support on the rag, and say the naysayers are going after every metal stud that goes up in the beach area.” Where did I ever say you shouldn’t voice your opinion? And, just because there are critics, don’t lump them into a black and white categories of “ if you ain’t fer me then yer agin me.” Some of us just want some reasonableness and that just means going after a few of the metal studs.

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