When is a Gateway an Entryway? Coming into OB, of course.

by on January 7, 2015 · 6 comments

in Culture, History, Ocean Beach


A first time visitor to Ocean Beach is not likely to notice the small pathway zig-zagging towards Robb Field on the corner of Sunset Cliffs and West Pt. Loma Blvd. This particular Gateway is visually dominated by the gas station, particularly at night.

What exactly is this Entry/Gateway? What did we get for $1,830,660.

Not everything is known, but here are some facts. The most current project is city of San Diego North Ocean Beach Gateway Phase II (S1204). This is what it is:

“The scope of work will include design and construction of disabled accessible walkway with landings to comply with the current Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. The newly proposed walkway will connect the existing entry plaza to the north end of the project site which is adjacent to Robb Field. The scope will also include enhanced crosswalk improvements at the Intersection of West Point Loma Boulevard and a property line screen wall.

Justification: To provide disabled accessible walkway with landing to comply with the current ADA requirements, the newly proposed walkway will connect to the existing entry plaza to the north end of the project site which is adjacent to Robb field.”

This project was funded by the San Diego City Council for a total of $748,000 for 2013-2014.

Less information is available about its predecessor, North Ocean Beach Revitalization (S001057). This project had a longer history – 1997 through 2014. Also approved by the San Diego City Council:

“This project provides for streetscape improvements such as hardscape plaza, street trees, ornamental lighting, landscaping, sidewalk repairs, bicycle facilities, signage, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Improvements. The first phase of improvements is focused on the area and at adjacent to the Intersection of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and West Point Loma Boulevard, one of the main entries into the Ocean Beach Community.

Justification: The North Ocean Beach Entryway has been identified as a location for improvements by Council District 2 and by the community. The goals are to increase safety and security, enhance the community image, and contribute positively to the commercial revitalization of the affected area.”

This budget also shows the project as “Ocean Beach CDC – N Ocean Beach Revitalization”, but has a more confusing history. The budget passed shows a total of $1,345,160, with $500,000 allocated to future fiscal years.

Looking back to the 2011 budget, we learn:

“Development of a master plan was completed in Fiscal Year 1999. The Anthony’s Pizza site, at the Northwest corner of Sunset Cliffs and West Point Loma Boulevards, was acquired and street trees and other streetscape improvements were installed on Voltaire Street and Sunset Cliffs Boulevard in Fiscal Year 2000. A pedestrian plaza design was completed in Fiscal Year 2006 utilizing the Anthony’s Pizza site. Environmental documents and permits were submitted in Fiscal Year 2009.”

There is another mysterious project, North Ocean Beach Gateway (S1058), possibly considered the Gateway I Project, for access ramps to Dog Beach, which was never funded and dropped off the list.

The Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation also claims ownership of the Gateway/Entryway initiatives. According to their web site describing project milestones, $200,000 was donated by the Hervey Family Fund and $37,500 awarded by the County Independent of the City. Their web site provides more details (But not, unfortunately, the complete Master Plan). Many details provided from the plan address the Voltaire Street business area.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdditional funding may to be required to complete the project, but currently San Diego City Council-approved and other documented funds add up to: $1,830,660.

So where did the money go? This question is not so easy to answer. In retrospect, if you had $1,830,660 to spend on the Ocean Beach Entryway/Gateway, is this what you would have built?

Whether it’s a Gateway or an Entryway, it’s an expensive way.

Lois Lane is the nom de plume of a citizen journalist of the Peninsula. Her opinions are her own.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

jettyboy January 7, 2015 at 10:48 am

How about a driveway/entryway to Robb Field. There’s no where to park to even enjoy the work that went into the entryway.
Ah, city planning at its best.


Geoff Page January 7, 2015 at 11:01 am

I’ve spent my whole career in the construction business and I can say that what has actually been built there could not have cost $1.8 million. I would bet that a great big chunk of that went to designers and the city. This price tag is ridiculous. And, there is still no connection to Robb Field, the walkway stops inside the fence and there does not appear to be anything happening to continue into the actual park.

And on a personal note, I jog across this area several times a week. Last weekend, I tripped and fell on my ass skinning my knee and my hands. What I tripped on was one of the little metal strips they placed between pavers. The strip has been dislodged and sticks up several inches. Great design there.


Debbie January 7, 2015 at 1:01 pm

A lot of nothingness.

Like paying $1,000 for an Arby’s sandwich….not very satisfying for the price.


Marc Snelling January 7, 2015 at 5:36 pm

Nearly $2 million and 15 years. The OB Boondoggle would be a better name.


Geoff Page January 8, 2015 at 8:23 am

Just for comparison, the City spent a ridiculous million plus just to build the Brighton St. beach restrooms. That could have been done for half of that amount. But a whole building was the result. This entryway is just flat work and some walls and it cost twice as much?


Chris January 8, 2015 at 8:28 pm

I commute by bike every morning to Mission Bay. It’s dark and going down that steep rutty path deal has been interesting over the last 5 years. Broken vodka bottles, the random person heading up the path with a shopping cart and even fallen tree limbs. I really looked forward to a safe passage into the park but I cannot for the life of me understand this! Fucking stupid. You just made a troll camp. Not to mention the three front lights closest to to Sumset Cliffs have been burned out for a year. I love this community but the powers at be completely fucked this up.


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