Is the City Council About to Make OB’s ‘Gateway Park’ Part of Mission Bay Park?

by on December 4, 2017 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

Is the City Council about to make OB’s “Gateway Park” part of Mission Bay Park?

You know, that small slice of land that used to be a pizza place off to your right as you drive into OB on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard? This little park has a history of its own controversies – but now it’s besieged by yet another.

On the docket at the San Diego City Council today is an agenda item that will dedicate the little park, called officially the North OB Gateway, for park and recreation purposes forever – AND INCORPORATE it INTO Mission Bay Park.

It’s part of a pack of agenda items about the larger Mission Bay Park.  The Council is looking at adopting a ten-year financial plan for the Mission Bay Park Improvement Fund and related issues, including this one about making this little OB park part of the greater park.

The issue was heard at the Council’s Infrastructure Committee meeting on November 13, 2017. On a motion by Councilmember Zapf, seconded by Councilmember Gómez, it was recommended the Council approve all the action items. But the section about incorporating the Gateway Park didn’t receive enough votes, so it was being forwarded to the full Council for a vote today, with no committee recommendation.

Well, so what, you may ask?

By passing this part of the proposal, it will create changes in oversight and maintenance and importantly, funding. Plus it will add square footage to the overall Mission Bay Park footage, of course.

Oversight will pass to the Mission Bay Park Committee, a fairly influential body of folks – not without their own controversies. Plus maintenance will pass to the city crews who maintain Mission Bay.

Now, for context, Robb Field – the huge playground for adults and kids in OB – is already part of Mission Bay Park.

And here is why some board members of the Mission Bay Park Committee want the changes – the funding. Mission Bay Park has more funds for maintenance etc, and it would be “easier” for the City to use those funds, not those out of the regular Park & Rec funds.

Also, by adding this small part, it will add some footage to the acres of the large park; and the large park is able to lease out a percentage of the overall Mission Bay to private operators and enterprises. So, by adding the park from OB, more footage can be leased.

Okay, but what are the drawbacks?

Well, first, how about some process.

Did this idea ever come through the representative bodies of Ocean Beach? Did the OB Planning Board ever discuss it? The Planning Board has some jurisdiction over public facilities within the Ocean Beach Planning Area – and the Gateway Park definitely fits in there.

How about the OB Town Council? Did they ever discuss it?

This reporter has been to every planning board meeting and every town council meeting in this last year – and not once did this idea, this proposal come up – except one time by a member of the Mission Bay Park committee who announced it basically as affait complis one night with no discussion or debate.

Maybe the funding and maintenance changes are good. But this reporter has seen portions of OB parks hacked off over the decades and made part of Mission Bay Park – which grows and grows – and leases and leases.

It’s also a loss of oversight on the local level – turning over a portion of Ocean Beach parks to an outside body. Maybe that’s okay.

But how about talking about it before Zapf convinces the rest of the Council that nobody in Ocean Beach cares about it.

Here’s Zapf contact info: D2 – Lorie Zapf (619) 236-6622;



Here’s the relevant agenda:

Monday, December 04, 2017

MONDAY, DECEMBER 04, 2017, AT 2:00 PM
202 “C” STREET
SAN DIEGO, CA  92101

Item 203: Mission Bay Park Improvement Fund Ten-Year Financial Plan.
Total Estimated Cost of Proposed Action and Funding Source:

This will be funded by the Mission Bay Improvement Fund.
Council District(s) Affected:  2.

Proposed Actions:
Resolution adopting a ten-year financial plan for the Mission Bay Park Improvement Fund, allocating $21.45 million from Annual Allocation AGF00004, Mission Bay Park Improvements, and making related findings.
Committee Actions Taken:
This item was heard at the Infrastructure Committee meeting on
November 13, 2017.
ACTION: Motion by Councilmember Zapf, second by Councilmember Gómez, to recommend Council approve the following proposed actions:
1. Make findings that completion of greater priority projects identified in San Diego Charter Section 55.2(c)(1) will not be precluded by expending funds on lesser priority projects and authorize concurrent commencement of multiple priority projects pursuant to San Diego Charter Section 55.2 as outlined in this Ten-Year Plan;
2. Approve the Fiscal Year 2018 ten-year allocation schedule for the Mission Bay Park Improvement Fund (“Ten-Year Plan”) and allocate $21,450,000 from Annual Allocation AGF00004, Mission Bay Park Improvements, within Fund 200386, Mission Bay Park Improvement Fund, to various sublet projects identified in the report.
VOTE: 4-0; Kersey-yea, Ward-yea, Zapf-yea, Gómez-yea.
Motion by Councilmember Zapf, second by Councilmember Kersey, to recommend Council approve the following proposed actions:

3. Introduce and adopt an ordinance to dedicate the North Ocean Beach Gateway for park and recreation purposes, in perpetuity, and incorporate the North Ocean Beach Gateway into Mission Bay Park, as defined in San Diego Charter Section 55.2.
VOTE: 2-2; Kersey-yea, Zapf-yea, Ward-nay, Gómez-nay.

The motion did not receive the affirmative votes of three or more committee members and therefore this item will be forwarded to the Council with no committee recommendation.

Park & Recreation: Andrew Field, (619) 235-1110
City Attorney Contact: Heather Ferbert

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

kh December 4, 2017 at 4:44 pm

Can we give it to Mexico instead? That little plot of land has been a pathetic waste of money and oxygen from day 1.

Anyways it connects to Robb field so it makes sense it should be maintained by the same funds and people. Park & Rec empties trash cans and does little else. If this means the MB park council has some oversight on it, then that sounds like a good thing. With that said I don’t know why our parks including dog beach have been shifted over to MB and whether that has any negative consequences for ob planning.


Frank Gormlie December 7, 2017 at 1:06 pm

This issue will be on the agenda at the January meeting of the OB Planning Board.


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