Blogger Rant: What Can Ocean Beach Park – a “Dedicated Park” – Be Used for? Surf-Camps? Surveillance Cameras?

by on November 11, 2015 · 5 comments

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

OB beachpark bh 02

Photos by ACE

By Lois Lane

When I was a child, my father told me about the National Parks; National Geographic was the source of our knowledge.  He told me that I could see the Grand Canyon some day because the parks belonged to the people, they were free, and they were protected by the law. Somewhere imprinted in the family gene pool is the idea that parks are to be enjoyed (sometimes as nature, but with conveniences, like bathrooms) by all the people.

Welcome to San Diego and welcome to Ocean Beach Park – our local version of a National Park. [Ocean Beach Park is the beach and area to the west of all the streets and housing of north OB, from the pier to Dog Beach.]

Ocean Beach Park is also a dedicated park, legally protected with a unique and special protection under city Charter Section 55.  Although sometimes one of the grassy portions is called Saratoga Park, the entire area is named “Ocean Beach Park” according to the San Diego City Council Resolution.

OB beachpark bh 01Our dedicated parks are protected by the City Charter, along with cemeteries. They must be used for the intended purpose.  This is why you don’t see much new dedicated parkland.  When a park is dedicated, it requires a City Council vote.

In contrast, “designated” parks are city property which the city chooses to use as parkland for the moment.  They can also decide to build a hotel or a library there tomorrow.  Designated parks have no official protection status.

The City Council resolution for Ocean Beach Park states:

”the lands …are hereby set aside and dedicated as and for park purposes and the same are hereby named OCEAN BEACH PARK. “

Ocean Beach Park is unique among city beach parks because it was provided by a Land Grant.  This description, an agreement made between the State of California and the City of San Diego, provides the details concerning the property, dated October 21, 1964 and signed off by the State of California in 1968.  This was confirmed by the San Diego City Council Resolution, which dedicates the park.  This transfer states that it is subject to the following provisions and conditions:

“The above-described property shall be used for a public park or beach by all the public for recreational purposes and for no other purposes whatsoever and should said property or any portion thereof be used for any other purpose, then in that event, such portion of the property hereby conveyed shall immediately revert unto STATE herein, its successors or assigns, who shall have the right of immediate re-entry upon said lands in the event of such a breach.”

It is part of the City of San Diego’s permit process to determine the legality of the proposed use.   “All the public” (the term used many times in the legal transfer document) has the right to follow this process.

Are surveillance cameras a recreational purpose?  Did anyone check with the state?

Are pay-to-play Surf Camps in the water and therefore outside the bounds?

Is a Veteran’s Plaza a recreational use?   Let’s ask a different question –how does Ocean Beach State Park sound?

1.  “Ocean Beach State Park Agreement and Grant in Trust” No. 192589. 21 October 1964.

2.  “Council of the City of San Diego Resolution 181763.” 15 October 1984.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

John O. November 11, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Down with the cameras! Tell the surf camps to go elsewhere!

Make it a California State Park. Let’s pay for parking! (most beach State Parks in San Diego have paid parking) That income will help offset the loss of the fee paid by the surf camp… and NOW IT IS OPEN TO EVERYONE!!!!!


Tyler November 12, 2015 at 6:11 am

Could not agree more. Would love to see paid parking at dog beach and by tower 2. So much extra revenue and it would cut down on the riff raff


Don Johnson November 11, 2015 at 5:36 pm

I can see it now–shirts with “Ocean Beach Park Ranger Patrol” patches.

I would even claim that since the City knows or should have known that a video camera is an infringement on our personal liberties; and as we cannot in good consciousness have our liberties violated, we would have to refrain from appearing in the camera view finders; the presence of even a single camera would thus be as solid any concrete barrier, preventing us from enjoying this park dedicated to our recreational enjoyment–and so the city would owe we people of Ocean Beach a portion of their tax income in damages for every second we are unable to recreationally enjoy our constitutionally protected park.


unWASHEdWallmRttONG November 13, 2015 at 9:52 am

Yep, that there war memorial the righties are tryin’ ta build, well, looks like it’s in violation. Better to put those plans somewhere else–like the wastebasket.


Charlie December 4, 2015 at 10:12 pm

Paid parking and cameras. I don’t intend on doing anything that I wouldn’t want the world to see. Film me! Watch me! Check me out!


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