North OB Restrooms Closed Down

by on September 17, 2009 · 14 comments

in Economy, Environment, Health, Ocean Beach


Public restrooms in Ocean Beach have been condemned and fenced off. Portable restrooms have been moved to the site. (John R. McCutchen / Union-Tribune) -

Restrooms near Dog Beach need to be demolished and it will take 18 months to replace – meanwhile 10 portable toilets set up. The city is leasing them for $1,341 per month.

By Helen Gao/ Union-Tribune / September 17, 2009

OCEAN BEACH — For the second time in 18 months, San Diego’s history of putting off maintenance to save money has caught up with it, resulting in the sudden closure of a public building due to safety concerns.

A restroom building on a popular stretch of sand in Ocean Beach has been fenced off because the roof is falling apart.

The restrooms in question are near Dog Beach at the end of Brighton Avenue, where the sand is often occupied by people playing volleyball and the water by surfers.

City officials plan to demolish the structure and build a replacement in 18 months. Meanwhile, the public will have to use portable restrooms. 10 portable toilets have been set up. The city is leasing them for $1,341 per month.

For the remainder of the article, go here.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Shawn Conrad September 17, 2009 at 11:40 am

Nice. The old bathrooms were way too hard to tip over.


bodysurferbob September 17, 2009 at 11:41 am

now is the time to talk about the need for a new main life guard station and its public restrooms. have you been into them lately (restrooms not life guard station)? there are no seats, the floor is constantly wet, it smells – plus it’s an ancient building put in right after the roman colosseum. OB was promised a new station years ago – plus we were promised a new library as well – but promises met the financial reality. oh really? let’s have a new convention center.


jim grant September 17, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Let me get this straight . With City Staff of workers, supervisors, management, engineers, inspectors,general services, waste water, and who knows what else the building just ALL THE SUDDEN needes to be replaced. Who was in charge of……… ” putting eyes ” on the building ?? Some where some place you have a Building maintenance Supervisor who was to busy drinking coffee and gulping donuts and did not do his job. He was probally planning his next vacation with his 5 weeks of PTO or planning his retirement party. Next time you see a City car or truck sitting at the Cliffs or parked in the pier lot or under a tree up on Santa Barbara with a City worker reading the paper or talking on his personal cell phone you will know why this City is under water and smelling like #2………..


mr fresh September 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm

i propose that we start a petition to save the dog beach restrooms & convert them to the new City Hall.


Larry OB September 17, 2009 at 10:00 pm

I’ll add one more to Bob’s list of complaints about the South OB bathroom….the shower water runoff floods the sidewalk and a portion of the parking lot. It should just run into vegetation, like a grove of bamboo or palms. The entire shower system should be located over on the Saratoga Park side of the lot.

Likewise we don’t need to wait 18 months to get showers over at North OB. The city could easily build a SanO-style of outdoor shower right next to the construction site.

Lastly…the city took away a bathroom under the pier, and never mitigated it…not even with portable toilets. It’s why so many people piss in the Silver Spray sandbox or nearby in the tidepools.


Larry OB September 18, 2009 at 9:30 am

Does anybody know if the funding for demolition is already available? If we have to wait for that funding, then the outside showers should have been left accessible…the city could have just gated the front of the restroom with chain link and a lockable gate.

How about some of the other chain link around town? There’s a chain link fence blocking off the wooden stairway at the end of the alley between Niagara and Narragansett? Also…over in the Silver Spray sandbox there’s a few concrete steps with an extremely rusty handrail. The city erected a tiny chain link cage around it. WTF? Are they studying this? Are they debating the perfect ADA handrail? Did King Babar tell them to send it to committee?


Larry OB September 18, 2009 at 9:38 am

Back to the North OB shower issue…DNA tests show three main sources of bacteria in the river delta: bird, dog, and human. The city can take blame for two out of three of those sources. The city concentrated dogs in that area by restricting them at other beaches. Illegal campers upriver send their human bacteria downstream, because the city has neglegted to build legitimate campgrounds. The city OWNS that dog and human pollution. The very least they can do is give us an outdoor shower to wash off when we get out of the water.


Frank Gormlie September 18, 2009 at 9:58 am

As no one else has, I’ll take up bodysurferbob’s cause – no new life guard station/ restrooms. He’s right, ya know. The restrooms at OB’s main life guard station are atrocious – they make the North OB restrooms look luxurious. Never been in the station itself except to look for lost swim fins, so I don’t know about the conditions inside. Is it safe for the guards inside?

Part of the problem, my friends, is that no one, no group, no organized force is lobbying the City for these things. Not the OB Town Council, not the OB Mainstreet Assoc, not the Planning Board, not the CDC – and OBGO is gone. So, there’s no “squeaky wheel” to get the grease, so to say. Without any organization to represent it, OB rests as a media-anomaly, a quirky neighborhood to chuckle at, a throw-back to the Sixties – whatever the terms the mainstream media use to describe this community. Check it out. Every other week or so, there’s a story either in the U-T, or the Reader, or Citybeat, or … talking about how quaint OB is.

Sure, you can say, well, there’s no money for any of these things. Well, did you watch the mayor’s most recent press conference? Gee, maybe I’ll make this a rant… something got me going….


jim grant September 18, 2009 at 12:36 pm

I just came from the restroom near dog beach. I noticed the building gone except for a few utility walls and 2 walls for showers THAT DID NOT WORK !!

I also noticed the wall had MULITPLE layers of paint….it’s my guess it is lead paint. I wonder where the demolition debris went ???

I was there when the porta pottys were being cleaned…..One word of caution Stay UPWIND !!!


Larry OB September 18, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Ya, disregard my question about funding for the demolition. I just saw what’s left of the building. Are there any plans for the new building? Will it have indoor showers and benches like the old bathroom? That North OB building was about 15 years older than the South OB bathrooms, but a better design in my opinion.


Frank Gormlie September 18, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Larry – I’m doing a follow-up post about the “south OB bathrooms” – just visited them, nice place…to walk by. And this is how we treat the tourists and home folk? Watch this station for more updates.


PSD September 21, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Aren’t we funding a new lifeguard tower at Childrens’ Pool in La Jolla? When the area isn’t even being used as a swimming area and there’s still debate over whether it ever will be again? WTF, mate? The only better investment there than a lifeguard tower to stop the seals from drowning that I can think of is a PA system to play recorded dogs barking…and while I’m on my sarcastic bitchfest, who chose dogs barking as a seal deterrent? I hear seals barking late nights at my house all the time, and “Arf!” really doesn’t seem to me to be that offensive to a species whose vocabulary staple is “Orf!”

On the current situation in OB, yes – the north beach restrooms were ratty and run down, and yes, so is the main lifeguard tower. But really, these buildings are about 50 years old and could’ve lasted 100 with proper maintenance. Decades of the city dropping the ball cut their lifespan in half. Not only that, but $600,000 to replace the north beach structure?!? We are talking about a cinder block building with some basic plumbing and electrical, right? $40,000 in materials, $60,000 in wages to build it (and I’m guesstimating prevailing wage cost, non-union slave laborers could probably get it done even cheaper), and $500,000 for – ???


Shawn Conrad September 21, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Yes, two seals were apprehended during the lifeguarding interview process.
La Jolla: September 21, 2009:
It seems two attractive, 165 pound seals in tight red shorts made it almost the entire way through the trials until one of the boatman’s cell phones went off with a ringtone sounding not unlike a barking dog. Two “lifeguards” fled in terror.


PSD September 22, 2009 at 12:00 am

Further proof Baha Men ringtones should be outlawed.

Shawn, your cynical humor is overshadowed only by that of your alter-ego pseudonym chief hoobler, I dig it. Provided, that is, that the recipients of your not-infrequent personal attacks (of late Lane comes to mind) see the jabs as humor and not insults…I’m thinking and hoping you’re not really trying to be the dick you tend to come across as. Just in case I’m wrong, however – fuck you, douchewad.


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