Channel 10 News: “Petition: Lack of development restrictions could wipe out the character of Ocean Beach.”

by on June 13, 2014 · 12 comments

in Culture, Environment, History, Ocean Beach, Organizing, San Diego

Editor: Tonight, Friday the 13th, Channel 10 News broadcast a story about the current fight to maintain OB’s character, having interviewed Mindy Pellessier and Frank Gormlie earlier in the day. Michael Chen, the reporter, had been struck by Gormlie’s article, How OB Stayed “OB” and Avoided Over Development Like Mission Beach. 

By Michael Chen  / ABC Channel 10 / Friday, June 13, 2014

OCEAN BEACH – A proposed tweak in the Ocean Beach community plan has led to what some are calling an all-out fight over OB’s soul.

At Dog Beach Dog Wash in Ocean Beach, there are signs of a building fight.  For several days, owner and former OB planning board chair Mindy Pellissier has been busy collecting signatures.

“What’s at stake is the character and heart of Ocean Beach,” said Pellissier.

The dispute arose when the city planning commission — citing a possible conflict with city codes — removed language from the proposed OB community plan about floor area ratio restrictions.  Those are restrictions that can limit the size of the building on the lot.

Frank Gormlie, Editor of the online OB Rag, says without them, Ocean Beach loses its best tool in restricting development.

The concern? The bungalows and other renter-friendly residences of Ocean Beach could give way to the sprawling homes found in other beach areas.

“It will look like Mission Beach. Wall to wall. Giant homes,” said Pellissier.

Gormlie says the uniqueness of Ocean Beach, where six in seven residents are renters — could be evicted.

“OB is one of the last coastal communities or villages where an ordinary person can live and you don’t have to be rich to live at the coast in OB,” said Gormlie.

Back at the dog wash, the hope of preserving that tradition drew 400 signatures for the petition in three days.  In all, organizers say they’ve collected more than a thousand.

“We are fighting, because what’s on the line is really the future of Ocean Beach,” said Gormlie.

Petition organizers plan a social media and letter-writing campaign before a city council hearing on the OB community plan June 30.

We made calls to the Planning Commission but didn’t get a call back.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

James Steverson June 14, 2014 at 12:28 am

Dear Landlords of OB,
I am James Steverson a real estate developer. I will buy your rental property for cash at a premium. I am happy to be able to improve Ocean Beach by improving the quality of the housing. Tell all your friends. Money is no object. I would prefer to buy entire streets, gut them and build up.


Seth June 14, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Fantastic! I own a couple of entire streets in Ocean Beach and have been looking for a buyer. You can choose between the two, and if things go well, we can talk about the doing the other one. Please reply if you are serious. Thanks.


James Steverson June 14, 2014 at 12:32 am

Thank you Mr Faulkner during your time as councilman instigating this change in policy. At last developers can stimulate the local SD economy!


Jon June 14, 2014 at 10:12 am

^Whoa! LOL…Don’t feed the kooks people. Any developer(?) with 2 cents in his wallet or his head doesn’t advertise to “landlords of OB” on a blog post. And they would probably know how to spell the mayor’s name too. trololololol….


fstued June 16, 2014 at 9:42 am

they would know how to spell the mayors name because they wrote a lot on checks


Aging Hippie June 14, 2014 at 10:38 am

Story makes it sound like commission reasonably removed some new language that they found to be in conflict with city code. Doesn’t tell the other side of the story, that the language was there for a long time, had already been vetted by city attorney, was contested by a single rich developer. As usual with MSM, story is strongly slanted to the right.


jupiter jones June 14, 2014 at 9:22 pm

I remember seeing a slogan on a car I liked. It said “Keep PB out of OB”. I couldn’t agree more! PB is pretty dull, and anyway, we already have one. Let’s not dilute PB (hehe..) by duping it in OB. Keep OB unique and if it means a building code, so be it. I will sign!


Marc Snelling June 15, 2014 at 5:53 am

Mindy has gathered so much input through the plan update committee and local planning process. Frank has done the same through the OB Rag. This plan update is the result of over 10 years work, and the Planning Commission can’t even return a call?


obracer June 16, 2014 at 6:40 am

“Lack of development restrictions could wipe out the character of Ocean Beach.” what a joke ! This is the hype the OBrag wants you to beleive.
The character of Ocean Beach comes from the people that live and work in O.B.
Development along the waterfront is only cleaning up the area , would you rather expand the Ebbtide Motel ?
One part of the proposed plan does not represent what the rest of the city has determined to be fair or legal. MOVE ON ! you did a great job updating the plan !
You remember the sixties don’t you ? ” you can’t always get what you want ” o.k. maybe you don’t remember.
Celebrate what DID get approved by the planning commission.
Thank you for your hard work.


SaneVoice June 16, 2014 at 9:19 am

Perhaps you should move on. In fact, move out. Out of OB and to a place that’s more suited for your mentality as you certainly don’t fit the OB vibe.


obracer June 17, 2014 at 8:05 am

I am the O.B. vibe , I don’t need a bunch of ” hangers on ” to decide what others should do. Live and let live.
O.B. is a mix of different cultures and ideas, take your ideas to Russia, one color one size, no choice.
Not so sane Mr Voice. get a life.


SaneVoice June 17, 2014 at 9:40 am

By your mantra then, we the people that care about the character of OB and it’s individualism are just supposed to lie down and let the greedy developers and Downtown crowd pave over OB with whatever they choose.

You sit her and say “OB is a mix of different cultures”, but what you really want is an OB that just adheres to your idea of culture and what you think is best. Not gonna happen. Real people that care about OB don’t stop fighting for it.


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