Planning Commission to Hear Appeal of City’s Approval of Controversial Project on Froude Street – May 26th

by on May 23, 2016 · 2 comments

in California, Civil Rights, Culture, Environment, Ocean Beach, Organizing, Politics, San Diego


North side of front of house to be demolished at 2257 Froude.

This Thursday, May 26th, the San Diego Planning Commission will hear an appeal of the City’s decision to approve a controversial project slated for the 2200 block of Froude Street in Ocean OB Froude typ project parryBeach.  The project includes:

“the demolition of an existing single-family structure and the construction of two new 1, 814 square-foot homes each over a 1,073 square-foot basement/two car garage on two legal lots.”

This is at 2257 Froude Street between Voltaire and Greene.

The Planning Commission begins their regular hearing at 9 am in the City Council Chambers on the 12th floor at City Hall, 202 West “C” Street.  The Froude project appeal is the first substantive item on the Commission’s agenda, after agenda and minutes approvals, staff reports. Here’s the agenda for May 26. And City Development staff have recommended denial of the appeal.



Here’s why there’s controversy – besides the bulk, style, etc of the project itself – :

The house to be demolished and the new project are both on the east side of the street. The east side of Froude in that area is not within the jurisdiction of the Ocean Beach Planning Board and Community Plan, but within the jurisdiction of the Peninsula Community Planning Board and plan. The Peninsula plan has less stringent requirements – especially in terms of the floor-area-ratio (FAR) – than the OB Plan.


Middle of Froude Street – one side, to the left, is in the Peninsula Community Planning Area (blue house to be demolished is on that side); the other side, to the right, is in Ocean Beach Planning Area.

There is a line down the middle of the street – one side is “OB” and the other side is “Point Loma”. This is a technicality as it is where city planners and Ocean Beach planning activists drew the border between the two community planning areas back in the mid-1970s.

OB Froude project map

Dividing line between Ocean Beach and Peninsula planning areas. Here, OB is in OB.

In reality, this area is definitely Ocean Beach. It was part of the very first street division drawn up for the OB area in 1885, part of the “DePuy Sub-Division” which covered what is now north-east Ocean Beach. If one looks at the area’s precinct maps, you’ll see the titles of “Ocean Beach” on them.

The style, height and bulk and scale probably would not fit into the OB Community Plan. So, fortuanetly for the owners and developers, it’s on the Peninsula side. Yet the Peninsula Community Planning Board voted 9 to 1 against the project in January. In February, the DSD staff approved it despite the local board’s opposition.


Back yard and rear of house as seen over the fence.

In an ironical twist, the City’s staffperson on the project is William Zounes, who is one of the sons of Maryann Zounes – who was the very first chairperson of the OB Planning Board and strong advocate of community planning rights.

There are plenty of other complaints and problems with the project. Locals Tom and Judy Parry wrote an excellent critique that we published earlier this month.

Residents are urged to attend the Planning Commission hearing on Thursday and support the Peninsula Area planners argue against the project and the staff’s recommendation.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat May 24, 2016 at 7:19 pm

Real bummer when they want tear down our little cottages and build monstrosities. Wish they could build in back and call it good. But it’s not about the neighborhood, it’s about $$$.


Milladro May 25, 2016 at 8:45 am

I am a third generation OB/ PL resident. My great grand father, on my mothers side, arrived in San Diego during WW1 while serving in the US Navy. He purchased a modest home on the in 1940’s where two subsequent generations have raised families. That home has had its ocean views blocked by not one–but two boxy, out of proportion architectural designs. These kind of developments really get under my skin. I have spent a few years studying design, living space and landscaping. I know that there are ways to go about real estate development that are considerate, environmentaly responsible and fit into the character of a neighborhood. In my opinion many of these new developers lack vision or are just plain lazy. I love this community and don’t want to see it turn into a Manhattan Beach. If you have the money to consider building Something like this I challenge you to get out your car and take a walk around get a feel for these this area. Respect what it is here as it is and design it from that direction. This looks like something for an urban district plopped somewhere it does not belong. I know there ways to go about this that will cost less to build, fit into the feel of the area and will still give you the profits you desire. There is a great opportunity to create something amazing– go back to the drawing board because this isn’t it. This development will effect us directly, it will block the afternoon sunlight in our livingroom and most likely stop any precious cross breeze we get. I have to work tomorrow so please if anyone is attending this meeting let them know as next door neighbors we would prefer a more reasonable harmonious design regarding this project. Tell the city to reject the design.


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