Locals Push Back on New Design for Bermuda Project at Ocean Beach Planners’ Review Meeting

by on August 18, 2017 · 10 comments

in Ocean Beach

Artist rendering of proposed design for 4719 Bermuda. All photos by Brett Warnke.

OB Planning Board’s Project Review Committee Meeting

By Brett Warnke

The OB Planning Board’s Project Review Committee on August 16 included only three agenda items but turned lively as locals pushed back on a proposed plan for redevelopment.

The builders and architect presented drawings of a trendy modern design — a style popular for vacation rentals and in the changing neighborhoods along the coast.  In the design, there are two three-story single-family residences on a .15 acre site at 4719 Bermuda Avenue.  The plans, which call for four-bedrooms and 3.5 bath, in the builder’s words, maximize their profits as well as the space of the two narrow lots.

But while specific critiques of the design plans were lacking from the audience, the proposal met pushback from Candace Szalay and others who gathered over twenty signatures of neighbors and locals who oppose the plan based on its style.

“You’re not honoring the neighborhood with your design,” Szalay said.

The builders defended their design but appeared not to have referred to the OB Community Plan regarding local size and design specifications.  The plan, which took over ten years to complete, is the statement of policy regarding growth and development in OB.

OB Planning Board members Dan Dennison, Blake Herrschaft and chair John Ambert discuss the Bermuda project with developer.

OB Planning Board Chairman John Ambert repeatedly referenced the plan but neither the architect nor the builders seemed familiar with the specifications he broached.

Bermuda site

“This is our Bible here and I’m just trying to get you compliant with the policies of our community,” he said holding up the plan.  The builders were clearly displeased, even jousting with Ambert over his stalwart defense of the regulations.

The majority of patrons departed after the first proposal but there were two other agenda items.  The second item, located at 4950-4956 Saratoga Avenue between Bacon and Cable, was by a surveyor seeking a permit to create two new condominium units for 2 and 3 story single-family residences currently under construction.

The third was a demolition and remodel of two single-story units by the owner at 5018 Narragansett Avenue.  There were no pictures but plans included the addition of a second story.

There are dozens of new redevelopment plans in the weeks ahead and the committee will need the feedback, critiques and recommendations of locals at the public meetings.  Below is a schedule as well as the Community Plan.


{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

retired botanist August 18, 2017 at 3:07 pm

Hoping this link to the community plan works ( OBRag- the link doesn’t seem active):

I’d just like to say the OB Community Plan is a much more interesting document than many might think…honestly, I encourage all OB residents to take a riffle through it and just see which topics mean something to you…maybe its re-development, signage, landscaping, parking, retail, recreation, coastline, or your particular area of OB… Its a living, breathing document that reflects the community’s views, desires, and interests. And those perspectives and guidelines do get revised over time, in the same rhythm as the community.
The developers and architect weren’t aware of this document? Whether you like this project (or any other in OB) or not, THAT should concern you as a resident. Sounds like there was egg on their face- sorry for them, but well deserved. The first order of due diligence is check the literature. :-)


OB Dude August 18, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Is Bermuda on the market for sale? $1,150,000 mls 170034604


Development opportunity near desirable Sunset Cliffs and OB with OCEAN VIEWS! Existing 921 sqft home on 7000 sqft lot with plans to build either a 3200 sqft single family home or a twinhome on a double lot. Alley access for potential garage and off-street parking. Great investment in a coveted area near the beach, shops and dining! BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME OR INVESTMENT PROPERTY! Easy freeway access! SEE SUPPLEMENT FOR DETAILS ON DEVELOPMENT.

Currently submitted for a coastal development permit for the twinhome plans. Takes 4-6 months to get approved. Once approved CDP in hand then, submit for building permit. Takes 3-4 months. So construction of twinhome is 7-9 months out. Separately there are plans for a remodel with CDP exemption the existing house to a new 3200 sqft home. This plan would have to be revised to have garage on alley. The garage would be detached. That would take 2-3 months to get approved and start construction. Last option would be to get rid of the existing home and start new. That would take 12 months to be construction ready.


unwashedwallmartThong August 18, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Plans for 4719 Bermuda. What horrific monoliths of concrete, devoid of imagination. A note to the architect: buy other tools besides a ruler & pencil.
The design does look like there is plenty of room for a pair of fancy aerodynamic Winnebago motor homes! EEEE–ha, Ethel! We got us a VRBO in OB, California.”
Maybe a super modern tilt-up concrete design would work! Or pink flamingos in the yard.


doug August 18, 2017 at 7:53 pm

Forget about it: fit in to the neighborhood; or be gone!
These people don’t care about the OB (Precise Plan) community that has nurtured our jewel!
Read a dictionary, get literate bonehead!


aj August 19, 2017 at 4:06 pm

maybe all you complainers should buy it and do what you want with it…this is going in period….you should all piss off…its his property. and ob looks like crap and needs to be redeveloped. . honestly


unwashedwallMartThong August 20, 2017 at 9:44 pm

Change Ocean Beach to Tar Sands San Diego.
The hamlet has dissipated.


SaneVoice August 21, 2017 at 4:57 pm

Sorry, “aj”. You do not speak for the OB community at large. Most likely, you’re one of these pieces of garbage who’s destroying the neighborhood with your AirBnB properties.


Aaron August 21, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Wow, I really hope you don’t actually live in OB with that terrible attitude. You belong in cookie cutter suburbs. Stay away.


Brett Warnke August 20, 2017 at 12:41 pm

I think people in OB need an “all hands on deck” approach to the planning board meetings this year. There are MANY new slated projects. If people don’t come to these meetings and get organized regarding what Ocean Beach needs to look like in the next ten or fifteen years, regardless of the OB Plan, then the community will discover that there are influential developers with very, very different visions. What will “redevelopment” look like here? Who is going to hold the city and developers accountable to community concerns? How many vacation rentals is enough/too much? If many more people from the community don’t show up to meetings and participate, will OB look more like Mission Beach in the years to come? These are things to start thinking about…right now.


doug August 21, 2017 at 9:21 pm

“hit the road aj jack, an don’t ya come back no more”
wll i guess if ob say so
ya gotta pack your things & go
an don’t ya come back no more, no more-
yeah don’t cha come back no more”


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