The Challenges and Rewards of Serving on the Ocean Beach Planning Board – Election on March 7th

by on January 30, 2018 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

There are tough challenges and many rewards to serving as a volunteer on the Ocean Beach Planning Board. Reviewing projects and making recommendations to the City carries an important responsibility – but it also represents the crucial role that community members play in the arena of land-use and urban planning issues and insights.

Every year the OB Planning Board holds an election for seats on its 14-member Board of volunteers. This year, the election will be held on Wednesday, March 7th, and voting will take place inside the OB Recreation Center, from 4 to 6pm.

Any tenant, resident, property owner or business owner in Ocean Beach can run as a candidate and/or take part in the election itself, as long as the individual satisfies the other minor requirements (listed below).

Seven seats are up for grabs, one each from the 7 planning districts that make up the Ocean Beach Planning Area (see map).

The Planning Board make recommendations to the City of San Diego about development projects that come before it, and among the community organizations of Ocean Beach, it is the only one with quasi-governmental status.

The OB Rag does urge residents in particular to apply as candidates, and encourages tenants and renters, especially, to run for the Board, as tenants make up 6 of every 7 residents in OB and it’s important for renters to have a strong voice on the Board.

So, if interested, check the district map for the district of your residence or business or property.

NOTE: One of the requirements for running as a candidate is attending one of the monthly meetings over the course of the previous year. So, as long as a candidate attends a monthly meeting before the election on Wednesday, March 7th, that would satisfy the requirement. Yet the only monthly meeting coming up is the one of Wednesday, February 7th, so interested applicants to be a candidate must attend that meeting – if they have not attended any within the previous 11 months.

Here is what the OB Planning Board website says about Board member eligibility and running as a candidate:

Terms are two years, with the seats in each district staggered so elections occur in alternate years. The Board may also appoint members on a discretionary basis to fill vacant seats.

All members, whether elected or appointed, must meet the same requirements to serve.

Eligibility Requirements

All persons who meet the eligibility criteria below are allowed to apply for a seat on the Board. It is not necessary to be a registered voter with the state or county government.

Candidates must first demonstrate that they are 18 years of age and meet one of the following conditions within the OB Community Plan Area (map) for more than 30 days:

  • Resident: Residing and maintaining a physical address.
  • Property Owner: Owning property.
  • Business Owner/Licensee: Owning/operating a business with a physical address/location.
    (Proof of the above may be established with a copy of a driver’s license [or other government ID] in addition to a copy of a utility bill, business license, or tax bill that demonstrates the qualifying address of the candidate.)

In addition, eligible candidates must:

Gather at least 35 signatures from the district in which they are seeking a seat (signatures must be from district residents, property owners, or business owners/licensees).

Have documented attendance at one of the Board’s last 12 meetings prior to the election.


The official application, including signature forms, can be downloaded below. It may be used for elections or appointments. Please contact the Board to notify us that you are interested in a seat and to coordinate submission of your application.

Candidate Application (PDF, 350 KB)

Once the candidate’s application and signatures are verified by the Board, the candidate will be deemed eligible to serve and may be appointed at the next general meeting.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc Snelling February 1, 2018 at 9:43 am

Speaking to the rewards of serving on the OBPB… My time on the board gave me a great education in planning issues. Although I don’t live in OB now, I’ve applied the lessons I learned there to my involvement with community planning in my current neighborhood.


Frank Gormlie February 1, 2018 at 10:32 am

Thanks Marc – (on a side note, just saw T2 Trainspotting, and wondered if you’ve seen it.)


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