Ocean Beach Planners Begin Discussion on New Draft of Community Plan Update – Release Update to Community

by on July 9, 2013 · 2 comments

in Culture, Environment, History, Ocean Beach

OB Plan Bd meet 7-3-13 BoardDuring their monthly meeting on July 3rd, the OB Planning Board held a discussion and then voted unanimously to release to the public the new Draft Community Plan Update for Ocean Beach.  The Board also announced its ranking of public facilities it wants funded under the new plan.

It was the day before the Fourth of July – which everyone knows is a beeg deal in OB – and the attendance at this meeting was light.  The Board – with 14 seats and two vacancies – had problems getting a quorum on Wednesday.  Finally, 7 board members were present, and Chair Tom Gawronski continued to conduct the meeting that was to be the first public forum on the new Draft Update.

The audience in the room was fairly sparse also, with only about 20 attending – including an applicant and family, two city planners and two reps of local politicians.  Yet, even though it wasn’t standing room only – the meeting did draw the heads or representatives from major community organizations.  The president of the OB Town Council, the executive director of the OB Mainstreet Association, a member of the OB Historical Society board and a few other heavy-weights were in the audience.

OB Plan Bd meet 7-3-13 audienceBefore the Board addressed the Community Plan, it had other business to attend to. The owner of property at 4739 Point Loma Ave had applied for a permit to construct a two-story, mixed-used building – next to his other property.  He also needed a variance for tandem parking in the rear of the new building.  This area is zoned commercial, and the lot, 25 by 125, is to have retail on the first floor and some type of residential on the second – the lot is next to the laundromat. The applicant plans to take out the curb cut along Point Loma Ave, which will result in 3 to 5 new parking spaces along the business street.  The floor area ratio of the new building was well under the max allowed, Gawronski stated.  The new facade will be the same as the other building.

After some discussion, the Board voted 7 to 0 to approve both the permit and the variance.

Next on the agenda was the report from the public facilities financing sub-committee – newly formed at the request of the City.  There was a confusing discussion by some board members on how new units built in OB will be paying into a fund, with how much dependent on the size of the development.  At any rate, the sub-committee’s report was put off until the August meeting.

The head of the subcommittee did announce its ranking of public facilities. Number uno on its list is the OB Library; second is the Veterans Plaza at the foot of Newport, and third is the lifeguard station with public restrooms and police sub-station. Other items on the list include traffic controls and cross-walks, and the Saratoga Park upgrade.

As the Board turned to the main agenda item, the Update Draft, Gawronski stated that the community plan update needed to be released that day or it would impact the approval schedule down the road.  Plus, Tom led a discussion on whether to hold a town meeting on the plan – which was met with general approval from all around.  Dave Martin – head of the Town Council – offered to turn his council’s August meeting over to a town hall type of meeting. Gawronski was open to that idea but also wanted to see if the planners could get the full gym for a meeting.  OBceans, then, should expect some kind of meeting then in early to mid-August.

The Board opened up for comments from the audience, and a number of folks offered their critiques of the new Update, including this reporter.  Nicole Burgess, Denny Knox, Vince Adame, Kathy Blavatt, and Dave Martin – also all got up and spoke.

After a brief board discussion, Gawronski said that there is no need to go through the plan piece by piece tonight. He asked people in the audience to summit their comments to the board in writing. And the board will then review all the recommendations that people send them in one month – during the August meeting.  Comments were requested to be addressed to specific references within the new Update.



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Giovanni Ingolia July 10, 2013 at 12:28 am

Frank and OB Rag Staff,

Thanks again for this article and what you and your staff do for the community in reporting what happens at the board meetings to the public. It’s greatly appreciated. I also want to let the public know per the last board meeting to e-mail me (see info at bottom) any comments you have about the Community Plan, I am compiling a list of the comments so it can be reported to the board at a later meeting date. This will help in making suggestions of changes to the City on our Community Plan. I agree with Frank Gormlie statement at the July 3rd Meeting that “this is our plan as a community” and community input on the document is very important to the process. You can review the Plan at the following link: http://oceanbeachplanning.org/files/OBCPDraft20130617CPC.pdf

The Environmental Impact Report (EIR), Pubic Facilities Financials Plan (PFFP) and other complimentary documents are schedule to be released to the Public on 7/27/2013. These documents will be on the Planning Board Web Site (http://oceanbeachplanning.org ), the City of San Diego Website, and a copy is suppose to be available at our Library for interested parties to check out (Another reason that it is vital our library is enhanced in the immediate future and should NEVER be considered to be closed down).

Also as discussed at the last meeting, OBPB and OB Town Council are looking at having a community forum to help in gathering public input on one of the most important documents we will be reviewing since I have been serving on the board. This will happen after the release of all documents stated in the above paragraph.

In closing we really need to thank Mindy Pelsille (my co-chair), George Murphy, and Bill Bushie for their time, effort, and dedication to this plan since day one. They are the true 3 OB Amigos who have been the most dedicated to this plan as volunteers and I personally want to make sure they get the credit they deserve. On that note please e-mail me at gingolia@hotmail.com with your concerns/comments or questions. You many also call me at (619)994-8539 and I will do my best to assist you, however writing and documenting it in an email is always the best to ensure your voice is heard.

Giovanni Ingolia gingolia@hotmail.com 619-994-8539 OB District 5 Representative Co-Chair Ocean Beach Community Plan/ Public Facilities Financing Plan Sub-Committee PS Thank you OBrag for the math question I had to complete before I submitted this! It proves once again how proud I am of my public education. Go Pekin High School and Illinois State University. Sorry I always like to give a shout out to my roots.


Mindy Pellissier July 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Frank (and respondents Debbie, Scott, Sean & Jay):

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments and concerns. I appreciate the time you took to evaluate the proposed Ocean Beach Community Plan (please note: This is no longer called “Ocean Beach Precise Plan” — an offshoot of the “Peninsula Plan in 1975). We are now an entity unto ourselves: “Ocean Beach Community Plan.” (Yay!)

I can understand your many dismayed comments regarding lack of funds for implementation. However, this is a policy document and is meant to lead the philosophical path for OB in the future. We want to include our (practical) plans and hopes within the City of San Diego General Plan framework as required. Implementation of the plan is not under the purview of this document. The Appendix “A” (The PFFP – Public Facilities Financial Plan) will give some idea of priorities.

The language of this proposed plan is philosophical (and perhaps “flowery”). It is intended to relay our “wants and don’t wants” for our community in the future.

Frank, as you said, there are:
“No huge changes … being proposed in the new Update for land use in Ocean Beach.” There are, however, many subtle changes that, we hope, will give more clout for Ocean Beach planning. (I agree with your concern about “native plants” and will propose instead “invasive ground vegetation.”

Please note that the San Diego River is part of Mission Beach Park, and the River Park has its own Master Plan. I will convey our concerns to these two groups. The California Coastal Commission also has jurisdiction of the San Diego River near Dog Beach and the Famosa Slough area (see Fig. 1-2).

While it may not be evident, the sub-committee was very concerned about density. We had a requirement to address increased density and felt the best way to accomplish this was within the commercial zones. Any additional units would require articulation (setbacks) and parking. The remainder would be residential: One story front, two story back with parking & alley access. The sub-committee does not necessarily agree that the SANDAG estimates will materialize. However, the proposed plan addresses that possibility.

I will find out who is responsible for the pier. We missed that. I think it should have its own section – PF 5.5 – to address the special nature of the pier. Repairs and maintenance are not topics included in community plans. Thanks Debbie.

I will try again to change the wording on Recommendation 5.1.5 from “discourage” to “do not allow.”

The Barnes Tennis Center includes three undeveloped land acres on its southern boundary. (Please RE pg. 9 – Recreation Opportunities and Park Equivalencies). Thanks Scott.

Bike paths are probably unrealistic in OB. The streets are too narrow. The sub-committee did evaluate this possibility. The only way this could conceivably work would be a network of one-way streets (which we considered – and ruled out).

I agree that definitions need to be included in this document (either in ME or Appendix [D] ) without having to refer to “San Diego Bicycle Master Plan.” For instance, “bicycle facility” refers to any route, path, etc. — not a physical thing (permanent building, bike rack, bike share, etc.).

I will recommend deleting the second sentence, “Therefore, paid parking … citywide beach parking program.”

Again, Frank, I appreciate this forum to consider different viewpoints, to clarify possible misunderstandings, and to ensure a better community plan.
Please keep me posted. Thanks.
Mindy Pellissier, Co-Chair, Ocean Beach Community Plan/Public Facilities Financing Plan Sub-Committee


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