Point Loma Community Planners: ‘Don’t let the tempo slow on Jensen’s’

by on June 1, 2016 · 2 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach, San Diego

PCPB jensen signReport of May Meeting of Peninsula Community Planning Board

By Tony de Garate

If there’s such a thing as a grocery store achieving rock-star excitement, it may well be happening at 955 Catalina Blvd. — the site of the future Jensen’s supermarket.

Jensen’s, which obtained the lease after the bankruptcy of previous tenant Fresh and Easy and an aborted plan to takeover by CVS Pharmacy, hopes to open sometime in the fall. In the meantime, the Peninsula Community Planning Board wants to speed up the momentum to bring grocery sales back to the site, which has been a supermarket since Food Basket operated there in the 1950s.

On May 19, at its monthly meeting, the board voted 11-0 to send a letter to Mayor Kevin Faulconer to express support and ensure any permit processing required does not fall through the cracks.

In doing so, however, the board struck language from the draft, presented by citizen activist Samantha Stockton, calling for a “fast track” or expedited permitting. Board member David Dick responded:

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to advocate special treatment for a business.”

Roseville resident Korla Eaquinta agreed:

“I worry that it might set bad precedent for our ability to be neutral and evaluate things as they come.”

It’s the second act of support by the board this year. In January, the board wrote building owner Catalina-Talbot Properties to oppose CVS and urge a supermarket.

Stockton, who wants to organize a welcome party in August, said she’s had fruitful discussions with Jensen’s executives. The market has pledged support for music programs at Point Loma High School and athletics programs at Point Loma Nazarene University, she said.

A petition on change.org started by a group calling itself Pt. Lomans Opposed to CVS attracted nearly 3,000 citizens pledging support for a grocery store.

“It’s time to get on the bandwagon and say we want Jensen’s,” board member Jerry Lohla said.

The positive power of coffee

With the election last month of new chairman John Linney, can Peninsula coffee shops expect a spike in business? That’s one way to interpret some new guidelines Linney’s pitching.

Suggesting standards of public conduct have been on the decline, Linney called on fellow members to refrain from carrying on side conversations when others have the floor, raise hands before interjecting and, most of all, not bringing up personal issues at meetings. He said –

“We can hash it out over coffee. I’d appreciate it if we didn’t do it in front of the community.”

Linney didn’t elaborate on what personal issues that have impeded progress at meetings, but the PCPB has had its share of stormy moments.

In one spectacular example in 2011, then-Chairman Suhail Khalil abruptly resigned in the middle of a meeting, leaving a room full of dropped jaws.

“I’m excited to work with everyone and work toward becoming a better board,” Linney said. “It’s a new start. Let’s work together and let go of what happened in the past.”

PCPB trenchTrench digging after street repair causes furrowed brows

Representatives for District 2 San Diego City Councilor Lorie Zapf have been steadfast in lauding the city’s increased emphasis on street maintenance during the tenure of Mayor Kevin Faulconer. A common talking point has been the increased number of miles in street repairs, which has reportedly risen to 380 over last year’s 300, and stands in stark contrast to 2003’s nadir of a puny 24 miles.

PCPB slurry feb Volt east

The city slurry seal of Voltaire from Ebers to Catalina, Feb, 2016. (Photos by Tony de Garate)

But mishaps seemingly still occur, and Council representative Adrian Sevilla had no immediate answers when board member Paul Webb asked about a trench dug by AT&T near the corner of Voltaire and Guizot streets — just months after a slurry seal applied to Voltaire.

City law prohibits utility companies from excavating for three years following a slurry seal unless there’s a bona fide emergency or other special circumstance spelled out in the city’s 2013 Street Preservation Ordinance. The law also assesses a Street Damage Fee (in this case, $152.27) and requires such trenches to be covered with another slurry seal. Last Friday, heavy equipment left the site but unsealed fill dirt was still visible on the south portion of the trench (see photo).

The Department of Development Service’s project manager was out with illness all last week, and two employees from the city’s Communication Department have been apologetic for not being able to provide information in his absence. I’m still working on this — please watch this space for an update.

New snail mail, new email

There’s a new mailing address and the board doesn’t have to pay for the P.O. box thanks to a donation from Mail Boxes Express in Roseville, Linney said. The board’s snail-mail address is: 1220 Rosecrans St., P.O. Box 459, San Diego 92106. There’s also a new email address: pcpbsd@gmail.com.

The Peninsula Community Planning Board meets every third Thursday of the month and represents these neighborhoods: Ocean Beach Highlands, Point Loma Highlands, Loma Alta, Loma Palisades, Loma Portal, Fleetridge, Roseville, Sunset Cliffs, Wooded Area, La Playa and Liberty Station.  The board’s next meeting is June 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Marla Haas Community Room of the Hervey/Point Loma Branch Library, 3701 Voltaire St.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Geoff Page June 1, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Two comments on this story. I attended the meeting on the 19th. I found it highly amusing, if not insulting when the new chair, all of about 23 years old, started by lecturing all the adults in the room about how to behave at planning board meetings. I tended more toward amusement giving the new chair some slack considering his tender age. But, had he asked for advice, I would have said this was not the way to start his tenure.

The second point I want to comment on is the 300 miles of “road repairs” Zapf’s representative bragged about. This same rep was at the previous meeting touting more mileage and I asked him how much of all those miles was paving and how much was slurry seal. He didn’t know. I asked him again at this meeting because I asked him to bring specific information the next time he talked about road repairs. He still didn’t know. The majority of what the city is doing – and calling it road repair – is slurry seal. Slurry seal looks great but it is not structural, it is simply applied emulsified asphalt. Basically paint. It is not a “repair” it is intended to extend the life of healthy pavement. If the underlying pavement is in rotten shape and repair work is not done first, crack sealing and pothole filling, it is not effective. Additionally, the city is using “lane miles” in tallying up the mileage so one mile of a two lane road is two miles. The city is misleading the public with these figures.


rick callejon June 1, 2016 at 1:03 pm

The slurry on Voltaire near my abode is devouring the curb. Baaad behavior!


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