OB Planners’ Issues: Another Short Term Rental to Be Approved? Remove Parking on West Pt Loma for Bike Lanes? Mayor’s Compromise on STVRs

by on June 5, 2018 · 9 comments

in Ocean Beach

The Ocean Beach Planning Board meets this Wednesday night, June 6, at the OB Recreation Center, at 4726 Santa Monica Avenue at 6pm. And it appears the have a full agenda: there’s the return of a granny flat project at 4715 Cape May, plus discussions and possible actions on whether the city will remove parking on West Pt Loma to allow an unprotected bike lane, and on a project at Voltaire and Froude.

Also a rep from the city will give a presentation on short term vacation rentals – possibly the Mayor’s “compromise” solution to the contentious issue.

4715 Cape May Ave.

The only project up for review by the Planning Board is a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for the conversion and 2nd story addition to the detached garage at 4715 Cape May – for a total of 1,092 square feet of the remodel/ construction. The second story is to have a deck. Additions like this are called a companion unit – or “granny flat”. This project had been scheduled for the May Project Review Committee and was punted to Wednesday’s meet.

Historically, this original house was built as a “twin” with the house directly east by the owner. That house (the blue one in the photo) has been advertised on VRBO, one of the top vacation rental companies, for only $233 a night!

So, the concern is this unit, too, will be turned into a vacation rental – despite claims to the contrary.

The owner has 2 other rentals in OB.

West Pt Loma Parking vs. Bike Lane?

The newly-established Transportation sub-committee will present their findings on recommendations from the City Planning Department for the removal of parking along West Pt Loma in order to put in an un-protected bike lane. The Transportation subcommittee has a recommendation that will keep parking and allow a bike lane.

Froude and Voltaire?

There’s something at Froude and Voltaire that has the attention of the Planning Board – (but due to a “typo” on the agenda – we don’t know what it is).

Mayor’s Compromise on Short Term Rentals

The Board will hear a presentation by Elyse Lowe of the city on short term vacation rentals – and this must be the long-anticipated “compromise” solution that Mayor Faulconer has come up with.

Here is the official agenda of the OBPB:



{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Blake June 6, 2018 at 7:41 am

He Frank, Elyse Lowe has declined the invitation to present


Geoff Page June 6, 2018 at 10:26 am

I hope the Froude and Voltaire project is not related to something the Peninsula Community Planning Board did. The PCPB Traffic subcommittee sent a letter to the city asking for a crosswalk or something to make the intersection safer for people crossing Froude, this despite the existence of a traffic light and a crosswalk a block away. I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 32 years and it was a mystery to me why they did that, but, of course, none of them live anywhere near that intersection. Perhaps the OB chair could comment and clear up what this item is.


Frank Gormlie June 6, 2018 at 12:00 pm

From Blake: “Planners,

Wanted to update you and let you know that the Planning Department has declined our invitation to attend tonight. They have not shared any information on their proposed ordinance, and it does not appear they’ve studied housing impacts due to STVR proposals. As discussed at our meetings, this is the absolute minimum we should expect from a competent planning department on an issue with this much impact on housing (has deleted more vastly more homes thus far than we build per year.)

Elyse Lowe can be contacted at Elowe@sandiego.gov for more information.

On a related note, the OB Rag is reporting that tonight’s applicant owns three vacation rentals in town. For history sake, most applicants during my tenure on the board have lied to us during the meeting about the plan for their “home,” and merely built another illegal vacation rental, meaning most new “homes” in OBs residential zones are not actually used as homes. I apologize for not catching this in my original agenda, and will research today.

Thank you,

Blake Herrschaft
Chair, ocean beach planning board”


Frank Gormlie June 6, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Thanks Blake – hey, just to be clear, we didn’t say the applicant owns 3 STVRs, just that he owned 2 other presumably long-term rentals in OB.


Geoff Page June 6, 2018 at 12:54 pm

No clarification on the Froude and Voltaire agenda item?


Doug Blackwood June 6, 2018 at 2:57 pm

This decimation of rental options for residents must be stopped!
Can you hear me now: elected office holders?


kh June 6, 2018 at 5:17 pm

Will the budding airbnb tycoons from palm springs be present to present their proposal on building their 4th vacation rental at 4715 Cape May?


kh June 6, 2018 at 11:26 pm

Some members of the board have said it’s inappropriate to speculate on whether a project will be used as a vacation rental.

“SPECULATE (verb): to form an opinion from little or no evidence.”

Considering all the available information before making a decision is not speculation. It’s responsible planning, whether it’s making recommendations on bicycle lanes or alcohol licenses or a capital improvement, they must consider how it will be used, how it will impact the community, and whether it complies with the community plan. Unapproved building plans presented to the board are but one piece of information on what will be done on a lot. It seems inappropriate to make a recommendation solely based on information provided by the presenter and not consider other available information such as the 3 vacation rentals operated by the property owner, which includes the front house on the same lot, and the house next door.


Linda Lee June 10, 2018 at 11:37 pm

Here is the problem about the vacation rentals. There are a lot of a”Real time” Long Long time residents of OB. We have now reached the 50 and 60 year old population. Rent has been blown thru the “Roof”. We have raised our children here, Everyone knew everyone either personally or knew of the names of the person. Now that Airbnb has become acceptable, a lot of the owners and politicians, Don’t really give a sh!!t about OB or it’s residents. They care about the money. We are losing 33 residents a day? Are you kidding me? I feel like OB is being bought by a business, Airbnb!
This effects our lives more than you can imagine. We don’t know our neighbor’s. Parking sucks, and a lot of us are having to room up together because we have been here our whole lives and can’t afford rent anymore because it has gone up primarily to a business called Airbnb.
My landlord’s is Michael Mills. People have given him such a hard time because he bought so much property in OB. Let me say this, Is he raising rent, yes,
. But he has been fixing up his old places and his new one’s if needed, but he is not running an Airbnb company and I Thank him for that. Because if it weren’t for him there would be a whole lot more Airbnb.
My opinion…. Get Airbnb out of OB!!
Thank you, Linda Lee


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