Editor: This is the final speech we are publishing given by Ocean Beach planners at the historic City Council hearing on the OB Community Plan on July 29th – this is by Jane Gawronski, former Chair of the Planning Board and current Board member.
By Jane Gawrsonski
My name is Jane Gawronski and my husband and I live on Coronado Avenue in Ocean Beach. You might remember me from when I tried to become one of you when there was a vacancy in District 2.
We moved to Ocean Beach in 1974, jobs took us out of OB in the 80s and we were very happy to be able to return to OB in 1998. I am a member of the Ocean Beach Historical Board, past chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, a board member of the Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation and a volunteer for the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association.
We own 6 properties in Ocean Beach which have 16 rental cottages with 5 of the cottages over 100 years old. We want the original language to stay in the OB Community Plan to protect the ambiance and attractiveness of OB. This language is what the OB Community, the City Staff, and the City Attorney agreed to.
We believe we can preserve our beach community if we maintain conformance to current code. We have no issues with the changes requested by the Coastal Commission and trust that any differences with the City can be resolved.
We are a tourist destination because of the way we look. We routinely see groups of tourists on Newport Avenue and this is an economic benefit to the City. OBceans contributed to the economy of the City when two Comic Book Store owners in OB decided to start Comic – Con and look what an economic benefit that morphed into.
Plus the New York Times in their article in 2008 on how to spend 36 hours in San Diego picked Ocean Beach as the only beach to visit because they said … and I quote from the article ….
“There are dozens of beaches, but none is more authentic than Ocean Beach, a funky surfers’ haven that has stayed frozen in time because of strict zoning rules from the 1970s.”
Ocean Beach is not frozen in time since many conforming buildings have been built in OB under current code. We, personally, have built several buildings in OB and ALL of them conform to FAR, Height, and Set Backs.
Please protect OB for the locals, the tourists and its’ economic benefit to our City. Otherwise YOU will surrender our community to changes that will destroy the last authentic beach community in San Diego.