Know Your Ocean Beach Planning Board Member

by on April 3, 2015 · 3 comments

in Culture, Environment, Ocean Beach

OB Plan Bd pic 4-01-15 bh

Sitting, from left to right: John Ambert – the new Chair, Pete Ruscitti – new Secretary, former Chair, and member Dan Dennison.

By Lois Lane

Each area of Ocean Beach has two Ocean Beach Planning Board members to represent them to the City of San Diego. These are your elected officials, even if you didn’t vote in the Planning Board election.

Because people may be appointed who live in another district (as a result of a vacancy), some reps move from one district to another. For example, Andrew Waltz represented District 1, but was recently elected to District 4.

Newly elected are Blake Herrschaft in District 3, Andrew Waltz in District 4, and Tom Gawronski in District 6. Yes, there are still some vacancies.

Here are your reps:

District 1Dan Dennison – and one vacancy;

District 2 Drew Wilson – and one vacancy;

District 3Peter Ruscitti and Blake Herrschaft

District 4 Craig Klein and Andrew Waltz

District 5Jane Gawronski – an one vacancy;

District 6Tom Gawronski and John Ambert

District 7Valerie Paz – and one vacancy.

Meetings are open to the public. This organization has a very good web site (which has been greatly improved upon lately), FaceBook presence, and Twitter feed. You can contact them directly on their web site.

Once new members were seated, officer elections were held. The Chair, Peter Ruscitti, announced his decision not to seek re-election, and John Ambert, the prior Vice-Chair, was elected as Chair. Blake Herrschaft, a new member, was selected as Vice-Chair, and Peter Ruscitti and Drew Wilson filled the slate as Secretary and Treasurer. Roles were switched and John Ambert assumed the chair’s position for the remainder of the meeting.

Conrad Wear, rep from Lori Zapf’s office, announced the public hearing regarding Vacation Rentals, April 22, 9:00 am, 12th Floor of City Hall. The conflicting interests of property owners and residents will be examined. Hopefully the city will straighten all this out.

Also interesting was the introduction of Gianni Buonomo Vintners ( by the managing partner, Keith Rolle. This winery will manufacture on site with a tasting room of only Gianni Buonomo wines. He made perfectly clear that they were not just another bar, although some skepticism was voiced by Craig Klein. Antiques for sale at Newport Avenue Antiques will soon be replaced by new wine.

The Apple Tree Market has also applied for their liquor license for the old Bank of America building, soon to be the new grocery store.

At this time, two playful dogs, Shadow and a friend, decided to attend the meeting, but were soon retrieved by their owner. This visit was followed by a wrestling match on a North County development project, One Paseo, to be covered in a separate article [editor: to be published Monday, April 6].

The meeting concluded with a statement of thanks and applause for Peter Ruscitti and his outstanding job as Chairman with the Planning Board.

I watched a little of the basketball games on my way out – some fine players in Ocean Beach, and wondered about the end game for Ocean Beach – One Paseo-like development or the OB we have always known.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

near the cliffs April 3, 2015 at 11:46 am

Mr. Ruscitti’s Ivy League intelligence and his excellent leadership of the Board was (and will continue to be) greatly admired and appreciated.  And the hard work of all the board members and the time they volunteer is greatly appreciated.


Geoff Page April 6, 2015 at 3:06 pm

Ivy League intelligence? What does that mean?


Micporte April 4, 2015 at 4:03 pm

Excellent reporting. OB has a present, and it is you, reading between the lines of these political meetings…
Thanks to OB for showing San Diego how to stay cool…


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