Peninsula Planners Get Informative Earful from Councilman Harris’ Aide

by on May 19, 2014 · 3 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach, Politics, San Diego

By Tony de Garate / Special to the OB Rag

With just seven months remaining on his interim term on the San Diego City Council, Ed Harris intends to be “hands-on when it comes to planning issues” and “make constituent services” his No. 1 goal, an aide said last week.

Harris was appointed to the City Council last month to complete the term of now-Mayor Kevin Faulconer. His representative, Rollin Bush, introduced himself May 15 at the monthly meeting of the Peninsula Community Planning Board (PCPB).

Bush outlined a few priorities as the City Council finalizes the budget for fiscal year 2015, which begins this July 1. It should include funding for a part-time park ranger for Sunset Cliffs and a new Fire Station 22, he said.

Bush also offered a glimpse of how Harris plans to represent the communities of District 2, which includes Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Bay Park, Bay Ho, Morena, Midway and Linda Vista in addition to the Peninsula.

The new park ranger would patrol Sunset Cliffs for homeless activity during the off-season months, as well as monitor Dog Beach for other law-enforcement issues. During the summer, the ranger would cover La Jolla Shores. Discussions with District 1 City Councilmember Sherri Lightner are ongoing, Bush said.

Funds to replace the current 72-year-old fire station at 1055 Catalina Blvd. will be available once the City Council approves a long-discussed, $120 million infrastructure bond. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed,” Bush said.

PCPB Chair Julia Quinn was wistful at the prospect of replacing the World War II-era fire station, which opened in December of 1942 at a cost of $7,800, according to the city’s website. “It’s charming,” Quinn said.

“It’s charming, but it doesn’t quite fit the needs of the fire department,” Bush said.

As an example of Harris’ approach to planning, Bush cited the current controversy surrounding the Tecolote stop on the future Mid-City Trolley Line, which would extend the trolley from Old Town to UCSD. Harris is “very much against” proposals that would allow surrounding structures to be built taller than 30 feet, Bush said.

Though the Tecolote stop is located just outside the area where voters banned such structures in 1972, “We consider those folks who are just east of I-5 to be right there with us,” Bush said.

Harris also has reservations about an idea to use the Sports Arena property to raise money for a new Chargers stadium. The proposal, outlined by Chargers spokesperson Mark Fabiani at a May 1 meeting of LEAD San Diego, calls for ceding the land to a private owner for redevelopment. This could raise about $650 million of the $1 billion the Chargers want for a downtown stadium, according to a report in U-T San Diego.

“We’re a little concerned about density and traffic issues there,” Bush said.

Bush, an Ocean Beach resident, invited citizens to contact him about city government matters at rcbush@sandiego.gov or 619-236-7025.

In other PCPB news:

  • Board members say they want to take a cold, hard look at the controversial proposed expansion of the stadium at Point Loma High school. An ad-hoc committee including Quinn, Secretary Don Sevrens, David Dick and Paul Webb has been appointed to see what all the fuss is about, including impacts from new lighting, bleachers, press boxes and an elevator. The San Diego Unified School District is releasing a draft Environmental Impact Report on May 30, which will usher a comment period of at least 45 days, Dick said.
  • Planners refused to sign off on an application to allow a granny flat at 4451 Granger St. In a 10-0-1 vote, the board tabled the proposed 700-square-foot companion unit that would join an existing 989-square-foot residence on a 6,900-square-foot lot. Board members were swayed by neighbors who said they feared the true aim of the property owner was to unlawfully add an additional rental unit on the parcel. They wanted to postpone consideration until next month to question the owner, who was not present at the meeting.
  • The Ocean Beach and Peninsula planning areas border each other, so it only makes sense to work together. That was the idea when Valerie Paz of the Ocean Beach Planning Board introduced herself as the newly appointed liaison to the PCPB. Paz said she would attend Peninsula’s monthly meeting and look for areas of common interest. Nicole Burgess and Webb said they would keep tabs on the OB group. “I think it’s important to coordinate, communicate and collaborate,” Paz said.
  • The paltry balance in the board’s treasury would barely cover dinner for two, and now the board’s website could be at risk. A payment of $210 to Internet Service Pros, the outfit that maintains the board’s website, leaves less than $115 in the coffers, Treasurer Patricia Clark said. Sevrens proposed reaching out for donations to provide continuity for the website. The board voted to pursue three avenues: the city’s Development Services Department, the Point Loma Association, and discretionary funds controlled by City Councilmember Harris. “It’s absolutely vital to keep that link so the public knows what we’re doing,” Sevrens said. The board’s website is pcpb.net.
  • Bart Simpson had it all wrong. For the PCPB’s three newest members – Dick, Jon Linney and Sevrens – it’s time to have a cow. The trio were scheduled to attend a community orientation workshop – a class the city calls “COW” – intended to educate board members on the city’s planning process and make them better able to make recommendations on land use and quality-of-life issues. It’s a requirement for all citizens who serve on the city’s 40-odd community planning boards. The workshop is not open to the general public, but anyone may access the curriculum at sandiego.gov/planning/community/resources/cow/index.shtml. A 155-page handbook and other resources are available for download.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

molly Molly May 19, 2014 at 11:31 am

I like that you are now covering Point Loma, but why downplay actual actions by the Pt Loma Planning committee, under “In Other …News”?

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OB Joe OB Joe May 19, 2014 at 11:32 am

That photo of the peninsula makes Pt Loma look like a gigantic alligator.

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Oscar Garcia May 22, 2014 at 1:03 pm

I see the Peninsula Planning Group is once again violating their own bylaws by requiring an applicant to attend their meetings before taking action. Read your bylaws people. Now they’re becoming the thought police and professing to know what the applicant is thinking with no evidence other than neighbors questioning his motives. Apparently the code doesn’t matter. Only what the Queen wants.

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