The South-End of Ocean Beach : OB Planning District 7

by on March 1, 2016 · 12 comments

in California, Culture, Election, Environment, History, Ocean Beach

OB District 7 PL Ave

Looking down and west on the district’s main drag – Point Loma Avenue.

OB Plan Area Map goodAs we complete our romping review of Ocean Beach’s planning districts, we round out our visit with District 7 – the South End of OB.

This has been our efforts at a public service as the OB Planning Board is holding its annual election on Tuesday, March 2nd, between 4 and 7pm at the OB Recreation Center, 4826 Santa Monica Avenue.

(Editor: Go here for our reviews of the other 6  districts. Here’s why it’s important.)


Here’s District 7

OB District 7 map

Here in south OB, the ubiquitous airplanes are off in the distance, as are the other attributes of living in a highly packed urban beach area, the noise, the traffic, the parking problems, the congestion, the tourists and other visitors. One can almost feel part of a different neighborhood than the raucous community to the north, the loud OB.

OB District 7 birdsrockWith nearly a dozen blocks as residential within its area, District 7 does have a slice of a business district along or right off its main east-west artery – Point Loma Avenue.

Other than that, it’s all quiet streets bordered on the west by the beautiful Sunset Cliffs, on the east by Froude Street, on its north by the alley between Coronado and Del Mar Avenues, and on its south by a dirt alley that runs between Adair and Tivioli streets.

The entire southern rump of OB is included in District 7, with the east-west avenues of Del Mar, Orchard, Pescadero, Bermuda, Point Loma and Adair adding their flair to the overall community. North-south, it includes Sunset Cliffs Boulevard of course and Ebers and Froude.

OB District 7 Lrg HseDistrict 7 is geographically one of the larger districts within the OB Planning Area, but it’s probably one of the least dense in terms of residents. Except for the high-rises on the cliffs, there are hardly any apartments or multi-unit complexes in this district. Like District 6, this district has some of the higher economic strata of OB – and you can see that in the new 2 and 3 story rehabs. And like District 6, views and view corridors are important issues.

Based on a windshield informal survey, District 7 does not have the same variety of housing stock as the more north and western districts have. This is probably due to the abilities of the higher economic levels to finance rehabs and new construction of large single family mansions. There is no mystery here.

OB District 7 PL Ave Biz02Point Loma Avenue

The commercial corridor of District 7 is along Point Loma Avenue, primarily.

It includes the Warren Walker private school, a gas station, a liquor store, a pizza place, coffee shop, a picture frame store, a prominent church, a wash and dry, some professional offices – and some very new mixed commercial and residential. Also some new restaurants have moved in of late, bringing the weekend breakfast crowd to south OB.

OB District 7 PLAve BizIt’s a very quiet business zone, hardly anyone on the street. Some like it that way.

The vacant building on the corner of Ebers and Point Loma Avenue just cannot get a new tenant. It once housed a mini-store and restaurant related to Ranchos Mexican food restaurant. When that closed, it remained vacant for a long while.

OB District 7 cornVacThen the VFW wanted to move in – but neighbors rose up – citing the image of drunken vets stumbling into kiddie sandboxes – and put a kibosh on their plan.

A couple of years ago, a restaurateur wanted to open a fancy place in the building – but his plans too were shot down by rowdy neighbors who complained to anyone who would listen that the restaurant would bring drunks, loud music and karaoke singers. So, the place just sits there.

OB District 7 LiqStor

The Sea Trader has been here for ions.

OB District 7 PLgas

Last gas. Always there, always more expensive.

OB District 7 Mural1

OB District 7 Mural02

What’s part of the mural and what’s real?

The laundry-mat has a very large mural on its exterior wall – looks like it needs repair, though.

OB District 7 frame

Inside the frame shop.

OB District 7 ReflectsPaintings for sale at the frame store, with reflections of the street.

OB District 7 MorBizThis district has some wonderful pocket beaches – particularly at the end of Bermuda.

OB District 7 PockBeacOB District 7 CliffPkSignIt also includes a section of the Sunset Cliffs Nature Park.

Other Issues

Other issues of this district include the city’s efforts to shore up the cliffs with massive boulder drops over the side, destroying the bluffs in order to save them.

OB District 7 clifsOB District 7 InnOther issues include a local hotel holding weddings on its fabulous clifftop, with neighbors complaining of all the parking being gobbled up by the wedding guests.

Along with the other districts that front the ocean, there’s always the twin challenges from gentrification and short-term vacation rentals. Each challenge can lead to a loss of community.

OB airbnb map

Each dot is a short term rental of Airbnb – and there are many in southern OB.

And then there’s the beauty and dangers of Sunset Cliffs themselves.

Yet, another issue for the southern end of OB is the exact boundary of the district: is it the middle of Adair Street as some would say or does it go down the middle of the alley to the south of Adair?


District 7 has the largest high-rise apartment and condo complexes in OB – and they’re right on the cliffs themselves. The massive buildings at the end of Orchard and the one at the end of Pescadero helped give rise to the grassroots movement that passed the thirty-foot height limit.

OB District 7 hugeApts For awhile a local OB group, the OB Ecology Action Committee organized picket lines and other lobbying efforts in the mid and early Seventies in attempts to tamp down any enthusiasm for these massive cliff invaders.

OB District 7 PescaHiRisThe exercise of some “property rights” can be detrimental to the community over-all. Here, back in the Seventies, developers installed this massive complex – and sparked a revolution against unbridled construction.

Where Is the District 7’s Southern Boundary

OB District 7 Alley east

Is this the boundary? Looking east up the hill.

There has been some confusion over just where the southern boundary of the district lays, and since it is the last district in OB going south, it’s also an issue for the entire Planning Board. At a late 2013 planning board meeting, the board reconfirmed that the border is the alley between Adair and Tivoli, and not Adair itself. Some old maps show the line goes down the street.

OB District 7 alley westThe alley in question is a dirt one. Imagine – dirt allies in Ocean Beach.


OB Planning Board in action, Nov. 4, 2015.

Planning Board Reps

As all the planning districts do, District 7 has 2 seats on the Planning Board. In every election, one is always open.

Valerie Paz and Georgia Sparkman are very able reps for the district.

It’s Paz’s seat that is open in the March 2, 2016 election.

Take a Tour of the District

OB District 7 WarWlkScho Warren Walker private school on Point Loma Ave.

OB District 7 Rehab hsesBeautiful but expensive rehabs.

OB District 7 oldClifHseAn older cliff house.

OB District 7 LrgHses 02OB District 7 lrgCondosOB District 7 HipHseThe “Hippie House” of Sunset Cliffs

OB District 7 ClifAptsOB District 7 birdsrockThis is District 7.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

South OB Girl March 1, 2016 at 1:29 pm

Nice feature Editor Dude. And nice photos. With the departure of Trendsetters Hair Salon, Point Loma Ave has an increased number of vacant buildings. It will be interesting to see the changes in the area. Perhaps another mixted-use condo and Starbucks or Coffee Bean, one block from Sunset Cliffs Natural Park. I am sure there will be various opinions, and homeowners and neighbors will most likely be sharing their concerns.


Judi Curry March 1, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Just a quick clarification of your lead-in sentence. We are no longer a quiet neighborhood with the “ubiquitous airplanes off in the distance”. The fly overhead continually; One can easily read the names of the airlines and almost count the number of passengers on the plane.


PL Local March 2, 2016 at 8:01 am

Like yesterdays Virgin plane that flew right over Hill st./PLNU and those small FedEx planes everyday.


Frank Gormlie March 2, 2016 at 10:04 am

Perhaps I should do some editing ….


Frank Gormlie March 2, 2016 at 11:17 am

See our new poll on airplane noise.


Deb March 1, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Did you know the hippie house

SOLD: $1,900,000
Sold on 12/01/15


Frank Gormlie March 2, 2016 at 6:49 am

… and they have re-opened on Narragansett Street


rick callejon March 1, 2016 at 2:24 pm

“They fly over continually”. That is poppycock.


Christo March 1, 2016 at 4:02 pm

Flyovers are happening considerably more frequently. It started when the “green build” began at SAN and even though the airport authority said they would go back to the “red dot” agreement when construction ended- they have not. Plenty of “early turns” being routinely granted.


Colin March 2, 2016 at 11:30 am



nostalgic March 1, 2016 at 4:26 pm

Maybe CVS will want to put a drugstore in.


CliffHanger March 1, 2016 at 5:20 pm

As planes go, we’ve got it pretty damn easy in District 7. We are nowhere near under the flight path noise like our other OB friends. Point Loma Ave will develop for sure over time, hopefully with locally based businesses.


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