Controversial Abbott and Muir Condo Project Returns to OB Planners – Wed., Feb. 15th

by on February 14, 2017 · 11 comments

in Culture, Environment, History, Ocean Beach

Artist rendering of proposed condos at Abbott and Muir.

The Project Review sub-committee of the OB Planning Board meets Wednesday night, February 15th and on their agenda is a 4-condo project for the empty corner of Abbott and Muir. (Maybe it’s only 3 units as the Action Item has it both ways.) Perhaps the applicant has changed the design.

What the lot looks like currently.

This is the same, controversial project that has see-sawed back and forth with the Planning Board.

The last time (that we know of) the project was before the full Board was on May 4th, 2016. And although we don’t have a report from that meeting, the approved minutes from that date state:

“The Board did not take action on project as proposed for exceedance of FAR and lack of
evidence that supports LEED certification and net – ero building design.”

Here is what we stated about the project back in early May 2016:

Controversial Abbott and Muir Condo Project

High on the agenda is the application to construct a large condo duplex at 2150 1/3 Abbott. This has been somewhat of a controversial project as this will be the 3rd time the project has appeared before the Board.

Last time the project was before the full Board on September 2, 2015, the Board finally voted to postpone their vote on the project. Here is how we reported it then:

So, in the end, a motion to deny the project was defeated, and a motion to table their recommendation until they had made their policy determination on the issue [of FAR deviations] was approved. The developer will then return to the Board – for a third time – and see if he can get his permit for a higher FAR okayed.

Since then, the Board held their policy-oriented session, and are now apparently ready to vote on the condo project.

The developer, Philip Covington, had planned a two-story condo complex for the large, corner lot, but it had a proposed FAR of .80, it was claimed, whereas the vast majority of Ocean Beach has a FAR of 0.70. (FAR stands for Floor-Area-Ratio – the proportion a developer is allowed to build on a lot.)

The relatively low FAR for OB has historically allowed the community to avoid over-development. However, in this case, Covington was claiming a deviation from the FAR under the “Green Building Program” of the city’s. In brief, is a City program designed to encourage the building of affordable housing, and if the developer meets certain standards, the developer is entitled to a certain “deviation” from City codes. (For more, go here.)

The Project Review sub-committee usually makes recommendations to the full Board. The panel meets at the OB Rec Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave, at 6pm.

Here is the official agenda for Wed.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Blake February 14, 2017 at 2:03 pm

For readers, this is three units nowadays. Apologies for the typo!


rb February 15, 2017 at 7:46 am

Great looking project which increased our housing stock and removed a ugly lot. Win-win-win!


Oldob February 15, 2017 at 1:07 pm

Why is this considered controversial? Looks great to me!


boycott trump February 15, 2017 at 8:51 pm

remember the old motto… OB loves dirt!


fstued February 16, 2017 at 3:46 am

looks like a good project in a dense neighborhood


Frank Gormlie February 16, 2017 at 12:08 pm

According to a member of the Board, they recommended that the project go to the full board, and it will likely be an action item on the April 5th meeting. “The project is now much more in-line with the OB community plan, however, it is markedly similar to a 2014 project on Abbott that is sold itself as residences and is operating as illegal AirBnBs.”


Zig February 19, 2017 at 7:41 am

0.8 could be OK depending on design. But how do they get away with looming over the sidewalk like that? The regulations have a “required front yard” and “required side yard.” In this case, all the unbuilt space is behind the building and invisible from the street.


AJ February 19, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Frank, it is not illegal to buy something and then airbnb it….its called CC&Rs…if the HOA allows for it then the owner can do it.


Geoff Page February 20, 2017 at 9:38 am

AJ, do a little research before correcting someone. Visitor accommodations are not permitted in an RM2-4 zone. CC & Rs and HOA rules only pertain to operations of private property, they have no weight beyond that. City zoning rules govern.


AJ February 19, 2017 at 2:25 pm

Great project!! Im surprised Mr. Geoff Page hasn’t stepped up to oppose it like he does absolutely everything else… good for this developers improving the community and all the old crap thats still sitting around….
old is cool sometimes, like in europe….but OB aint no Europe!


Geoff Page February 20, 2017 at 9:39 am

You may want to talk to a professional, AJ, seems you’re getting a little obsessed with what I do. Doesn’t seem healthy.


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