Peninsula Community Planning Board: Cañon Street Pocket Park Controversy Continues

by on January 30, 2015 · 8 comments

in Culture, Economy, Environment, History, Ocean Beach

Point Loma Highschool 1925

Upgrades and some demolition coming to Point Loma High School, which turns 80 90 this year. Photo from 1925.

By Tony de Garate

Controversy continues over Cañon Street Pocket Park

When board member Jon Linney heralded the details of a Jan. 10 community cleanup of a proposed Cañon Street Pocket Park on the OB Rag website, the report generated more than 60 comments. That discussion continued in a passionate but respectful manner at the board’s January meeting.

“Our clean-up Saturday was a huge success thanks to neighbors, activists, students, and other volunteers,” Linney said.

The volunteers removed years of accumulated construction debris, trash, dead foliage and weeds, Linney said. Burtech Pipeline donated heavy equipment and hauled away 12 dump loads at no charge.

“The response was heart-warming. Motorists gave us thumbs-ups and neighbors asked to be added to work party lists,” he said.

Linney and board Secretary Don Sevrens have spearheaded the effort to turn the quarter-acre vacant lot along Cañon Street west of where Avenida de Portugal dead-ends into a park. The land was once planned as a road right-of-way but is now controlled by the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

But some neighbors said a park could attract an unwanted element.

“We’ve witnessed a lot of bad behavior on this land, and I’m convinced there’s a good chance a park will provide a comfortable place for people who want to do drugs, drink and camp,” said Mary Harder, who lives near the area.

“It’s a huge privilege to live adjacent to open space, and I do not look forward with pleasure to what a park will bring to our neighborhood,” she said.

But Matthew DeVol, an 18-year resident, said he thinks the majority support the effort.

“I heard (former PCPB Chair) Cynthia Conger talk about this project 10 years ago,” he said. “These guys are finally making something happen. It would be a shame if the vocal minority were to throw cold water on this.”

Candidates: practice your stump speech

Six of the board’s 15 positions will be up for grabs at the next annual election March 19 from 4-8 p.m. at the Point Loma/Hervey library, 3701 Voltaire St. Anyone interested in running must be at least 18 and live, own property or run a business in the Peninsula Planning Area. Candidates must also have attended a meeting in the 12 months prior to election day. Participating in the candidate forum at the library March 5 at 6 p.m. satisfies this requirement. More information is available at

Aging Point Loma High to be modernized

Point Loma High school turns 80 90 this year, and big changes are coming. Among them are: demolition of the unused auto shop; demolition and replacement of the building 800; and renovation of the buildings 200 and 300, according to a school district press release. Four board members — Chairperson Julia Quinn, David Dick, Linney and Mark Krencic — volunteered to take part of the first meeting of what has been dubbed Design Task Force for the Whole Site Modernization Phase I project at Point Loma High School. It took place on Jan. 28 at 6 p.m. at the school’s Library Media Center, 2335 Chatsworth Blvd.

Linney appointed to vacant office

With only three  months left on a one-year term, Linney has been appointed to serve as the board’s second vice chair. Linney expressed an interest in the office after pointing out the office was vacant, though the office is called for in the board’s bylaws, Quinn said. Officers are typically selected for one-year terms in April, and no explanation was offered for the vacancy.

The Peninsula Community Planning Board meets every third Thursday of the month and represents these neighborhoods: Ocean Beach Highlands, Point Loma Highlands, Loma Alta, Loma Palisades, Loma Portal, Fleetridge, Roseville, Sunset Cliffs, Wooded Area, La Playa and Liberty Station. The next PCPB meeting will be held 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 17 at the Hervey/Point Loma Branch Library, 3701 Voltaire St.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

unwashedwallmartthonG January 30, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Demo auto shop. Demo wood shop. Demo mechanical drawing. Demo metal shop. Demo theater. Force all children into the cubicles. Teach them little but keyboard–ASDFsemiLKJ. No creativity or thinking permitted.
Prepare the campus for the charter schools & corporate take over.


Stucky February 3, 2015 at 8:24 am

Make all the kids sit in desks for hours learning Greek myths, geometry proofs, and dry history lessons. Don’t train anyone for anything useful like industry, living, bearing children, families, or healthy lifestyles.


bodysurferbob bodysurferbob January 30, 2015 at 2:16 pm

heh, heh, heh – what you landlubbers will think of next. don’t recall which rooms these are – could someone please elucidate me.


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Tom Cairns January 30, 2015 at 9:54 pm

Sweet memories of that auto shop and Mr. Guffey. I had a 2 hr a day summer school there, and in my senior year, 7-9 am every day. Loved working on that old Packard straight-8 wrecker, among the others. Two or three memories stand out. The time I was doing an oil filter/oil change on a VW, I believe was the music teacher’s. I hadn’t finished, so I told them it needed oil added. Didn’t happen–engine blew somewhere out on Interstate 8. Or when we were doing a lift with the double-post lift, to get under the car. As it rose, the east riser blew a hydraulic line, and the rear end of the car slammed to the ground, while the front end was 6 feet in the air. And Mr. Guffey making dune buggies out of VWs.


Dave Rice February 1, 2015 at 9:19 pm

Something’s not making sense – if that photo is from 1925 and the school has been open almost 80 years, does that mean the photo was taken a full decade before the school was actually finished? It seems like it’s almost done…


Tony D Tony de Garate February 2, 2015 at 9:43 am

Uh-oh . . . should have said 90 years, not 80. My bad!
Btw I see the alums are working on what looks like a pretty cool history project as they approach their 90th Gala Event in October (


Sammy February 4, 2015 at 12:57 am

The only reason one neighbor has given his blessing for the Canon Street park is because the PCPB allowed him to purchase, quietly, some of that property that was already being used by him right beside his driveway. So naturally he is now beholden to the board. O e hand washes the other. He originally was against any development there.


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