Peninsula Community Planning Board Puts the Brakes on “Point Loma Village”

by on June 23, 2014 · 21 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, Ocean Beach, San Diego

Pt Loma Pt loma village 01 Pt Loma Pt loma village 03By Tony de Garate/ Special to the OB Rag

An architect may have been mistaken about zoning regulations when he drew up plans for a three-story, mixed-use project with 17 luxury condos and retail space in Roseville, the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB) decided June 19 at its monthly meeting.

Tony Cutri, architect and vice president of Martinez + Cutri Corp., said the project provided 42 parking spaces – 11 for retail, 31 for condos. But a resident, Marian D’Angelo, said she had researched zoning ordinances and spoken to city planners who told her parking requirements were higher.

Pt Loma Pt loma village 02By a 9-1 vote, the board decided enough doubt existed about whether Point Loma Village, a 40,231-square feet proposal in the 1100 block of Rosecrans Street south of Shelter Island Drive, was consistent with the city’s land development code. It postponed consideration of the project until next month’s meeting – July 17 at 6:30 p.m. at the Point Loma/Hervey library, 3701 Voltaire St.  Pete Nystrom cast the lone dissenting vote.

Board member David Dick, who made the motion to postpone, pointed out the city had not completed its initial review of the project in time for the meeting. The review would have included the city’s determination as to whether the proposal contained the required level of parking.

“It may be unfair to the applicant, but this is the first time we’ve seen this project,” Dick said.

Like the other 40-plus community planning boards, the PCPB is sanctioned by the city to make recommendations on land use and quality-of-life issues.

The project calls for the the demolition of two existing businesses – Gus’s Subs and Pizza and Ipanema Watch & Jewelry – and a third building, a former Blockbuster Video, which has been vacant since 2011. The building to the south, Cabrillo Inn and Suites, is the only structure in the block that would remain.

Pt Loma Pt loma village 03Of the total footprint, 4,976 square feet would be dedicated for up to three retail outlets on the ground floor. One would probably be a coffee shop facing the corner, where Shelter Island Drive becomes Byron Street. The corner would have a curved facade resembling the bridge on a tuna boat to reflect the community’s nautical history, said Rudy Medina, development advisory for Next Space Development.

Each condo would have two bedrooms and sell for “up to $1 million,” Medina said.

Cutri said 14 of the condos would have two parking spaces each with one space each for the other three. Several residents balked, reasoning that buyers with enough income for the condos would need more than one or two spaces for their vehicles and their visitors.

Korla Eaquinta, who described herself as a 28-year resident, said parking is already insufficient for surrounding employees and sport fisherman, causing them to park where they can and walk to their destinations.

“I think it’s a beautiful project. I think what’s there is a blight. But there’s just not enough parking – I don’t care if you’re in code or not. I’m not going to be able to park in front of my own house,” Eaquinta said.

“I think you people should get on the stick and change your zoning ordinance,” Cutri said.

D’Angelo had a retort.

“I absolutely agree – I think we should put up a moratorium until we change it,” she said, drawing applause.

During the discussion, resident John Pedersen posed a question to the applicants:

“Why do you want to change the whole look of Roseville?”

“Adding some vibrance and energy to the village is going to be great for the community,” replied Medina, who said his family’s roots in the community were deep, including a grandmother who was the third-ever house buyer on nearby Armada Terrace in 1932.

Cutri said,

“Our population is going to increase. In order for this city to survive, in a sustainable manner, we have to do pedestrian, transit-oriented development along transit nodes.”

Petersen replied,

“I get that – downtown. Point Loma is not that.”

Geoff Page, one of two former PCPB chairmen in attendance, suggested the one-month delay was in order, when approached during a lull in the meeting.

It’s not uncommon for staffers in the Development Services Department to make errors or be overly generous to developers when determining the obligations or restrictions that come with a site development permit, Page said in response to a question.

“That’s why I don’t trust the city,” he said.

After the meeting, Cutri said he had no doubt the proposal complied with regulations. He said he too has received incorrect information from the city in the past and therefore read the code himself.

“I’ve been in this business for 30 years,” said Cutri, who also said he has taught graduate urban design courses at UC Berkeley and several other universities.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Korla Eaquinta June 23, 2014 at 7:10 pm

I am opposed to this high density development in our community. As you stated in the article: The PCPB is sanctioned by the city to make “recommendations” on land use and quality-of-life issues. I am wondering what will be the outcome of postponing consideration on the Point Loma Village SDP? BECAUSE this committee did not recommend the Ave. de Portugal project but the city sold us out and approved it anyway.
We need to update the master plan for Point Loma so we can prevent this from reoccurring and protect our quality of life in this wonderful neighborhood.
korla eaquinta

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avatar Tony de Garate June 26, 2014 at 1:15 pm

I see I misspelled your name – accuracy is important me, and I do apologize. Frank, any way we can correct this in the body of the story?

Tony de Garate
tdegarate@hotmail.com

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avatar Korla Eaquinta June 26, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Tony, Not to worry. I wasn’t the first time nor will it be the last. korla :)

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avatar MBuck June 23, 2014 at 7:51 pm

It is nice to see a community planning board err on the side of residents instead of developers for a change, if only for a month. Hopefully they will have done the proper research needed and make the correct call at the next meeting. I’m not familiar yet with the proposal, but I can tell you that parking in that area can be a nightmare and I’m sorry, but eleven parking spots for three retail businesses hardly seems adequate, especially if one is a coffee shop. Have you ever seen how many people hang out in coffee shops for hours on end?

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avatar Molly June 23, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Tony, thank you for a very refreshing account of happenings over on the peninsula, over the hill from OB. I liked your quoting of people, something I wish the OB Rag would do more of. (No offense OB Rag -like your reports al ot) It’s good to hear about these meetings because they are so local that no one else reports them.

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avatar SaneVoice June 24, 2014 at 10:55 am

Let’s not pat the Peninsula Planning Board on the back too hard. Aren’t they the ones who approved the monstrosity currently being built on the corner of Voltaire and Catalina ?

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avatar Aging Hippie June 26, 2014 at 2:07 pm

When we first got to San Diego, we had reserved a room at the Cabrillo Inn & Suites. Then we saw it. We could not stay in that place for even one night. I can’t imagine that a neighbor like that wouldn’t negatively impact property values of anything next to it.

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avatar OB Nut June 27, 2014 at 10:53 am

I just don’t understand why people blame the developer for following the law. If the community feels that we need more parking, then we need to effect change of the laws. It seems especially hypocritical for Ms. Eaquinta to complain “I’m not going to be able to park in front of my own house…” At least the developer is providing on site parking for the residents; it seems that Ms. Eaquinta’s own residence does not.

Remember: We do not own the parking spots in front of our homes – they are community property. If we want to force developers into providing off-street parking spaces for residents + guests, it seems only fair that we should hold ourselves to that same standard ourselves.

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avatar Aging Hippie June 27, 2014 at 11:56 am

I think if Ms. Eaquinta tore down her half century old home and built an entirely new one in its place, it might be reasonable to demand that she provide adequate parking. But I don’t think I read anything about her doing any new construction.

The law should be changed to require visitor parking, at least 1 spot for every 2 units. It should also be changed to require commercial developers to pay for needed infrastructure upgrades such as road widening, traffic lights, enlarged water or sewer piping, etc. But until all that happens, boards like this one will have to serve in the capacity of ensuring that developers don’t transfer costs that should be theirs to their neighbors or the community at large.

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avatar OB Nut June 27, 2014 at 12:59 pm

@Aging Hippie: I think I can understand where you are coming from, but I’m uncomfortable with a community imposing different rules of entry on newcomers than they impose upon themselves… “I live here, so I am allowed to park right in front of my home. You don’t live here, and to do so you need to have 2 1/2 parking spots so you and your visitors don’t make me walk (or, heaven forbid, clean out my garage so I can park my car on my own property).” Yeah – I know you didn’t actually say that, but this is how it feels… Do we really want to push UP the price of new housing so it’s even less affordable?

Agreed that new development needs to pay for upgrades (such as those you list) needed to accommodate the impact. I just disagree about the parking thing (and especially about getting grumpy at the developer if they are following the city’s instructions…)

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avatar Korla Eaquinta June 27, 2014 at 1:27 pm

IF you had continued reading comments or if you had attended the meeting you would see that I said “We need to update the master plan for Point Loma so we can prevent this from reoccurring and protect our quality of life in this wonderful neighborhood. ”
Unfortunately, that could take years and we need some relief from traffic and parking now. The rest of my comments to the board that night were, “I have lived in this community for over 28 years and traffic and parking is a serious issue. Rosecrans is a dead end and narrows one block past this project. Bus service is minimal. Sport fishermen and workers from Rosecrans and Scott streets park in this area and walk to their destinations.”
So, OB Nut, hiding behind a pseudonym, where do you live and does any of this hi density development directly affect you?
Thank you to Aging Hippie for the defense. My house was built in 1930, I have a driveway, and I hope to live out the rest of my life in my SINGLE FAMILY HOME!

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avatar Aging Hippie June 27, 2014 at 1:36 pm

Our houses were built the same year. We got lucky, we have a driveway that can hold 2 cars side by side, so we can commit the cardinal sin of using the garage to hold the stuff our tiny 1108 s.f. house can’t contain.

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avatar Aging Hippie June 27, 2014 at 1:14 pm

I didn’t intend it as some kind of “entry fee” or “initiation”. It’s just that most of the single family homes, and some of the apartments, were built at a time when automobiles were far less common – one per household was usual, if that. Now, there is very nearly 1 car per occupant, but the buildings and streets haven’t changed. So when one does change, especially when it’s an increase in density, it’s vital that it not increase the pressure on parking in the area, for those who have not rebuilt. As for pricing, this housing was not intended for us, it was intended for the wealthy yacht owners to use as convenient guest quarters or as time shares or seasonal rentals.

Near my home, there’s a street lined with so many parked cars that you have to pull over and block a driveway to allow someone to get by in the opposite direction. There are cars parked in the alley that cover half its width. A little of it may be due to people using their garages for other purposes, but I think a large part of it is homes that have been converted to duplexes thus doubling their parking requirement, garages that have been converted to bedrooms, and apartments built nearby with inadequate parking supplied.

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avatar OB Nut June 27, 2014 at 2:24 pm

@Aging Hippie: Yes – that makes sense. Let’s try to keep the peninsula open to everyone (not just “us”). :)

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avatar OB Nut June 27, 2014 at 2:29 pm

@Aging Hippie: Thinking through your comment again – I had to laugh at the idea of wealthy yacht owners parking their Teslas and Bentleys on the street…! And I can’t imagine someone spending a million $$ to live on Rosecrans. YIKES!!!

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avatar Aging Hippie June 27, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Yeah, I kind of expect that nobody would actually live there, at least not full time as their primary residence. They would end up being high end vacation rentals, time shares, or guest rooms in case the boat doesn’t have enough cabins for everyone, or they just don’t want your brother-in-law Brent and his crazy fiancee whats-her-name on the boat with nobody around to watch them.

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avatar Korla Eaquinta June 27, 2014 at 1:35 pm

I am in discussion with many members of the community and I have emailed them all; “Remember, it doesn’t matter if we “like” it or not, it is all about what is legal and within code.”
I think that before you attack someone about parking, you should be more informed.

PLUS…. Push up the price of housing? These new condos are a million dollars!!!!!

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avatar Paul Peterson August 4, 2014 at 12:35 pm

All Californians ever talk about is parking and traffic, yet no one talks about the piss-poor planning that ruined Californian cities. Hey just a thought, maybe that car thing isn’t working out so well afterall?

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avatar Korla Eaquinta August 4, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Hi Paul, That is the problem with this high density development occurring on the Peninsula-which is outside a transit zone. We have 16 units going in at Point Loma Village, 40 units at Water Point, and 4 unit complexes at Avenida de Portugal and Carleton Streets. We have lots of military traffic-with mostly one person per car. Mass transit is a joke with the minimal bus service we have. Now, let’s add more condos without transit support.

OB just updated their plan and our I keep saying we need to update ours master plan done back in 1987!
Do you think anyone envisioned this kind of development then?

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avatar John O. August 5, 2014 at 10:44 am

Public transportation? Ha, that is funny. Yes, let’s build a trolley that doesn’t go to the Beach, Sea World, or the Airport… three of the most popular destinations in San Diego. Why would you think that public transportation would serve your community? What you think you pay taxes that would actually do something?
Enron by the Sea

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avatar Korla Eaquinta August 5, 2014 at 1:12 pm

LMAO!

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