Councilman Faulconer is okay with gentrification in Ocean Beach, dismisses Planning Board concerns about 5100 West Point Loma

by on August 15, 2011 · 7 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach, Popular

The front lines of OB's battle against gentrification: the Stebbins residence on the left was the first property to obtain improper variances from the City. Next door - to the right - the Cox residence - was also granted the same variances.

Kevin Faulconer, it seems, is okay with gentrification in Ocean Beach. The District 2 City Councilman for Ocean Beach responded to a letter sent to him by members of the OB Planning Board protesting how the City was granting variances to property owners in the 5100 block of West Point Loma.  In his response, Faulconer dismissed the concerns of our local planners about that block.

The controversy surrounding that block stems from property owners of the single-story duplexes being granted variances to allow them to build outside the zoning and parking requirements of the OB Precise Plan.  The Planning Board – which has the authority to uphold the Precise Plan’s blueprint for the community – had called the granting of these variances by the City “improper”.

If property owners of the duplexes on that particular stretch of West Point Loma are continually able to obtain variances and build large, 3-story single-family residences, views, beach access, and quality of life will be detrimentally affected, and significantly changing the types of people who reside in that area – which is gentrification by definition.

(See here, here, and here for earlier posts about this controversy.)

In a recent article in the Peninsula Beacon by Tony De Garate, Faulconer is reportedly “satisfied the variances have been properly approved”, Faulconer aide Michael Patton told the Planning Board during their August 3rd monthly meeting.

The Beacon reported Patton saying: “You guys aren’t going to like what [Faulconer] has to say, because he is fine with what they [property owners] are doing.”

The Planners had sent the protest letter to the Mayor, Faulconer, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, Development Services director Kelly Broughton and councilmembers Sherri Lightner, Todd Gloria and David Alvarez.  To date, Faulconer is the only City official who has responded.

In their letter, the Board claims the City variances “constitute … rezoning of these lots without adhering to city procedures for rezoning.  It should be noted that all the lots in question are and have been perfectly buildable without variances. … Ocean views are called out in the Ocean Beach precise plan revision and should be preserved.

The Beacon quotes OB board member Tom Gawronski responding to Faulconer’s position:

We intend to fight this. If Councilmember Faulconer wants to be on the other side of this battle, okay.”

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Allen Lewis August 15, 2011 at 9:41 am

It’s very easy to turn a nice person into a pr!ck, just put him in office…


Sheep's clothing August 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm

Gentrification really does have a detrimental effect on Community!


john August 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm

#3 & #4 are on the way…

IIRC Stebbins told me his build ran up ~$75k in permits.

If you’re looking for their motivation on this that’s a start.


thinking out loud August 15, 2011 at 5:18 pm

permits…or plans and permits ?


john August 20, 2011 at 5:19 am

I know when I asked him the question (he’s my next door neighbor) I was thinking permits and that’s what I did ask him, if the answer he gave included plans he didn’t say so.
(what I’m saying is you may be right, but the intent of the question in my mind was what the city’s cut was.)
My own landlord’s management posted the permit application notice a few weeks ago.
With that my public criticism on this ceases. It has to as I follow my conscience on these matters. As much as I’d love to see OB stay the same forever, my landlord John Douma (and his agent, a friend of his) has been an absolute saint of a landlord for the 16 years I’ve lived here, extending me ridiculously generous terms on late rent in these hard times. This property has been in his family for decades, John used to play volleyball at Dog’s beach daily and though I’m not sure I was told his parents bought this property when it was built and he grew up here. I knew his dad and rented from him before he died, he was cantankarous as 90 year old men can be but a sweet guy and sharp as a tack till the day he passed away.
Instead of denigrate him for the day I have to move I thank him for the courtesy of renting to me for all these years at one of the lowest rents on the block.
So for whatever reason Douma has applied for that permit to build here I wish him the best, he’s got the right to do as he wants within the law and will say to all of you, he’s as much or more of an “Obecian” as anyone in town.


Allen Lewis August 15, 2011 at 7:44 pm

When I saw the comment from Sheep’s clothing, I thought… that’s what’s happening to the whole U.S.”Gentrification”


OB law(yer) August 17, 2011 at 8:18 am

This isn’t a surprise to anyone is it?

Faulconer owes his seat to the Chamber of Commerce, the developer and builder industry and any other special interest group that lobbies the downtown power structure that put Mayor Sanders into power.

It is a well organized group who have convinced our elected that the only way to stimulate the economy in San Diego is to create more tourist attractions.

Hence why that Puppet Sanders is off gallavanting the country “researching” how to steal money from taxpayers in order to build a stadium we don’t support in order to ensure that the Spanos and Fabiani’s of this town stay rich and the rest of us serve them cocktails at the ballgame for a living. Instead of developing a stable and lasting economy around revenue not tied to the region’s and nation’s dwindling discretionary funds.

The myth that the American economy is supported or stimulated by housing starts or permits is absurd and unfounded, but unfortunately it is perpetuated by our elected goons who cannot resist these special interest groups who have paid to put them into power.

No….this isn’t a surprise at all that Faulconer doesn’t back OB in this case. Why would he? We didn’t vote for him…and he doesn’t need our vote for anything. Thankfully, the new district configuration takes that downtown monkey off the back of the council district.


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