OB Project Review Committee : Demolition of 101 Year Old House on Niagara

by on October 14, 2014 · 24 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, History, Ocean Beach

OB Niagara 4677 street

Built in 1913, the house at 4677 Niagara is proposed to be demolished and replaced with 2 condos by the new owner.

2nd Demolition Slated for 4700 Block of Del Mar Ave

The Project Review Committee – a sub-committee of the OB Planning Board – has two projects to review when it meets Wednesday night at the OB Rec Center,  October 15th. The Rec Center is at 4726 Santa Monica Ave, and the meeting begins at 6pm.

Both projects are applications to demolish existing housing and to then construct new condominiums or single-family residences.

OB Niagara 4677 air

Aerial view of 4677 Niagara Ave.

The first on deck is a proposal to demolish an over one-hundred year old house at 4677 Niagara Avenue by its new owners, who just purchased it for $690,000 on September 25, 2014 . It was built in 1913.

Currently it is a small existing residence with only 959 square feet with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.  The new owners want to tear it down  and build two detached condos. The new condos would consist then of over 6 times the square footage of the existing 101 year old for a total of 6,275 square feet.

As per usual, the Project Review Committee will hold a short type of hearing where the owner or their representative gives a presentation and then the committee will vote whether to recommend the project or not to the full Board which meets in early November. Public comments on the project are welcome.

4741 Del Mar Ave.

The second project before the committee is another demolition, this one to take down a single family house and garage at 4741 Del Mar Avenue and construct a two-story single family house with detached garage. The  house would have a total of 3,130 square feet.  The lot is 7,000 square feet. Presumably the trees on the lot would be cut down as well.

Again, the Review Committee will have a brief hearing and vote.

There may be delays and problems with either or both projects, so they will not necessarily return at the November 5th meeting of the full board.

Here, below, is the official agenda:


OB Plan Bd Proj Rev Agenda 10-15-14

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Mari October 14, 2014 at 10:28 am

No more CONDO’s in OB! This is not Mission Beach.


Alex Alexander October 17, 2014 at 6:35 am

What is the reasoning for saving some of these dumps ?


Frank Gormlie October 14, 2014 at 10:33 am

If you don’t like what is being proposed, you need to come out to these planning meetings and tell the board members that.


OB Joe October 14, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat ???


OB Joe October 14, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Ok, Historical Society – get to work – stop this.


Molly October 14, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Maybe the ol house is about to fall down on its own. Maybe there is nothing that can be done to save it.


John October 14, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Most of the old homes I have been in in OB (like the 100 year old Niagara house) are structurally unsound and amount to a hardship for their owners to maintain. Additionally their electrical systems are inadequate for modern appliance use and just plain hazardous to use with modern lifestyle equipment. A 1913 living room had a couple of table lamps thats about it.
My friend has long rented a house on Muir about that age. She cant keep her ice cube trays full because the kitchen floor is so tilted.


OB Joe October 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm

Then why was it just bought – as is – for over 2/3’rds of a million dollars? Why would someone buy it if it was about to fall down?


JD October 14, 2014 at 7:54 pm

Land value. If it respects the f.a.r. and 30 foot height limit it’s good to go. OB already has the strictest building limitations on the coast in our area, let them do what they are legally entitled to do.


bodysurferbob October 14, 2014 at 9:32 pm

greed is not the only value. what about the community and history?


Tyler October 15, 2014 at 9:46 am

That’s actually quite cheap for the location. Almost entirely based on the property not the home.


Molly October 14, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Maybe, just maybe, the new buyer was planning to build something new along and take advantage of that gorgeous view.


Christo October 14, 2014 at 12:55 pm

4677 Niagara Avenue is proposed at 6275 sf? Doesn’t the FAR on a 7000 sf lot limit it to 4900? 6275 sf is WAY out of line.

Also- I live across the street from 4741 Del Mar. The majority of trees you see in the street view picture above actually are in the neighbors yard to the east. There is that one tree in the front and a couple small palms. The backyard is pretty barren with a 3 story monster behind it.

Additionally, the overhead picture is not 4741 Del Mar, is a repeat of 4677 Niagra.


Frank Gormlie October 14, 2014 at 2:10 pm

whoops, I’ll tell editordude to fix it.


Christo October 14, 2014 at 3:19 pm



JD October 14, 2014 at 7:56 pm

They are probably putting the parking underground.


Judi October 14, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Please knock those p.o.s. down and build something nice!


JD October 14, 2014 at 8:11 pm

Here, here! Does everyone think the original owners of the little craftsman homes freaked out when new house were being built in OB in the 40s and 50s that were a totally different style? OB is close to being maxed out as far as number if units go, but people will always want to upgrade their properties or build something new. As long as it’s legal so be it. We don’t live in some ancient historical fiefdom that people will study down the road. I love old homes, but come on..


bodysurferbob October 14, 2014 at 9:34 pm

one person’s pos is another’s historical cottage that deserves more than swear words.


Steve October 14, 2014 at 6:08 pm

OB Joe, they paid for the lot. Didn’t matter if there was a house there or not. Actually would’ve benefited them if there was no house.


bodysurferbob October 14, 2014 at 9:32 pm

isn’t there anyone among you landlubbers who think tearing down a hundred year old house is not a good thing, that by tearing these old craftsman houses down, ob loses part of its history, identity and essence. last time i looked, the ob community plan calls for saving old houses such as this, why there’s an historic cottage district and program.


Debra October 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm

I think it’s charming and quaint. And not ALL old houses are dumps here, some are maintained and restored very nicely. And I would venture to guess it was constructed by people who knew what they were doing and took great pride in it, that’s probably why it’s lasted so long. I personally wonder just how many more people our infrastructure can handle around here. Once those new condo’s and businesses fill up over on Catalina, traffic will be a nightmare at rush hour.


Debbie October 15, 2014 at 9:45 am

It’s old yes, and it looks tired!

If it has not been kept up over the years, not in the historic homes program and the buyers bought it with the intention of making it something they wish to live …. they have that option since they paid for it.

I bet the realtors didn’t market it as …..” a charming 100 year old home”


Val October 15, 2014 at 3:01 pm

Prepare yourselves for huge structures that block out the sky. Doubt any of the height restrictions will be enforced, just like past projects…sadness


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