‘We Told You So’ in Ocean Beach

by on January 7, 2016 · 8 comments

in Environment, History, Ocean Beach

‘We Told You So’ in Ocean Beach

(Originally posted Jan. 7, 2016)

One condominium complex in Ocean Beach was featured on newscasts throughout the region. Resident Johnny Caito made a YouTube video featuring the area around Saratoga and Abbott Streets.

The OB Rag ended up calling the units The Million Dollar Condos. Years of community opposition to building what some considered to be a fortress-type structure on the beach front ended with the OB Planning Board approving the plans in November 2011.

In September 2015 the OBRag reported that a brand new Lamborghini and seven other cars parked in the development were damaged by flooding.

The condos and the underground garage were built after years of community opposition to the project – and after umpteen warnings from OBceans about the natural flooding that comes – literally with the territory – the OB beachfront.

It has always flooded in that area. Either from high tides, big rains – or both – this area has always been subject to overflow water.

Credit: OB Rag

$600K to get it fixed. Credit: OB Rag

The pre-construction promises made by the developer of the complex depicted in the video included a 27 car subterranean parking garage to be “water-proof and be designed with a de-watering system.”

Despite plenty of evidence to the contrary, the California Coastal Commission granted a construction permit, based on a staff report declaring:

…over the last several decades there has been no shoreline retreat in front of the site; it has not been subject to significant flooding, erosion damage or wave run-up attack in the past, including the 1982-83 El Niño winter; and the proposed habitable improvements are above any potential coastal hazard.

Here’s Stephen Scatolini, via the San Diego Reader back in 2009:

It should be noted that during the heavy rains of the 1982-83 El Niño event, runoff from the hillside above the beach was so extreme that I was able to sail a windsurfer — with center board in place — down Abbott Street from Santa Monica Avenue to Saratoga Avenue. So, the water in Abbott Street was at least 40 inches deep — that’s a block uphill from the proposed entrance to the subterranean garage.

When the surf is up and the tides are high and the rain is dumping, storm drains are ineffective and the water backs up into the streets. (Ask Steve Goebel of Cleanline Carpet how many times he’s vacuumed out flooded businesses along the bottom of Newport and Abbott Streets.) Even if the new sub-grade garage has a de-watering system, there is nowhere for the water to go once it’s pumped out of the garage.

Remember this story the next time you hear a politico-apologist for developers complaining about the building process in San Diego.

This is an excerpt from Doug Porter’s column at San Diego Free Press.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Chuck Marlow January 7, 2016 at 4:26 pm

Growing up in OB in the 50’s and 60’s, I do not remember flooding like this. Wonder what has changed? Also wonder how Mission Beach is fairing.


Gregg D Sullivan January 9, 2023 at 12:22 pm

Climate change


Dave January 7, 2016 at 11:11 pm

If I recall correctly they were listed at quite a bit more than a million when they didn’t sell and converted to vacation rentals…


Frank Gormlie January 8, 2016 at 10:25 am

You’re probably correct, however we nicknamed them the “millionaire-dollar condos” totally out of spite.


sealintheSelkirks January 9, 2023 at 4:43 pm

The re-posting timing is a little scary don’t you think? Since it is looking like, after three years of this very unusual long-lasting La Nina that supposedly has been ‘cooling down’ the West Coast (and I’m sure we’ve all noticed how ‘cool’ it has been), we are facing an El Nino that expected to show up later this year to really get things cooking:

In Floriduh the insurance companies are bailing due to ocean rise and increased storm strength, all attributed to climate destabilization just like insurance companies are bailing on wildfire zones in the West. My fire policy was cancelled by Mutual of Enumclaw five years ago…. Since insurance companies are all Capitalists concerned only with increasing profit, there will come a time when all beachfront property, like Florida is rapidly becoming, will become entirely unprofitable. The federal insurance program will also disappear I’m sure, and that time is coming for the San Diego coastline, too. The science, though mostly very conservative (as scientists tend to be) is damned sure it’s already happening.

Here’s a name from the past. Remember top NASA climate scientist Dr. James Hansen that stood in front of Congress telling the politicians that the science community were already seeing the signs of Global Warming’s effects and how it was going to affect our world? That was nearly four decades ago, in 1988, and then he retired. He didn’t make many friends by doing that but he is still alive, hasn’t stopped studying our climate, and…he’s baaaack! You won’t like what he has to say:

Dr. James Hansen’s (and others) latest on climate. And we though it was bad news then?

10C warming locked-in


Why isn’t this in the nightly news?
As a matter of fact, it’s been so cool from the La Nina the last three years that this mountain county on the Canadian Border hit a record 120’F in June of 2021. My thermometer read 116’F. Last summer ‘only’ hit 112’F. Never lived with AC. But then just north of me a Canadian town, Lytton, hit 122’F and burned to the ground the same day. So much for the concept of ‘cooling’ from La Nina I guess.

And how’s those ‘La Nina cooled off’ wildfires working out in California over the last three years? Is anybody looking forward to El Nino?
And then there is this:
Extreme Cold Is Caused by Global Warming

Last Friday (in mid-Dec), with this recent bomb cyclone, 53.7% of the nation was covered in snow; more than any time since record-keeping began—as the oil industry knowingly lies to us and rakes in profits.


I guess this is enough to chew on for now.

sealintheSelkirks (where it is raining/spitting snow today and shouldn’t be raining at all!)


Chris January 10, 2023 at 7:15 pm

Soon everyone will wish the purchased that paddleboard they were eyeing @ Costco;)


sealintheSelkirks January 10, 2023 at 9:55 pm

Nah, get one of those kyack hybrids instead. At least you can store a little food and water in them, right? ;) back at’cha!

Here’s another diary off of KOS. Interesting map is included:

The Seas Will Rise (even as too many gloss over this fact)


It was 55’F here today, in a longsleeve t and ballcap and needed sunglasses. Less than a month ago it was -10’F with four feet of snow.




sealintheSelkirks January 13, 2023 at 10:53 am

Wednesday I woke up to snow mixed with rain falling from the sky while reading about another blast of the Pineapple Express is just drowning coastal NorCal where my younger brother lives in Ft. Bragg. The town is mostly under a mandatory evac notice. Thursday was nothing but rain. Today is supposed to be 44’F. This is NOT mid-January weather here.

More about the ocean:

Oceans were the hottest ever recorded in 2022, analysis shows

Seas dominate global weather patterns and the climate crisis is causing profound and damaging changes




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