OB Town Council Awards Nearly $10,000 in Grants While Politicians Swarm Monthly Meeting

by on July 26, 2018 · 7 comments

in Ocean Beach

Councilman Chris Ward addresses the meeting.

Who says no politicians ever attend our Ocean Beach Town Council meetings? Last night, the monthly gathering was graced by not one, not two – but three politicians and one wannabe politician.

Assemblyman Todd Gloria made a surprise visit. Councilmembers Lorie Zapf and Chris Ward both made presentations to the Council and audience, while Dr Jen Campbell – Democratic candidate for District 2 – reminded everyone she’s in the race.

And the OBTC awarded nearly $10,000 in grants to local Ocean Beach and Point Loma community organizations.

Zapf Urges OBceans to Attend “2nd Reading” of New Ordinance Regulating Vacation Rentals on August 1

After president Marcus Turner opened the meeting to a full house of over 60 in attendance, he introduced Councilwoman Zapf and thanked her for her work in regulating short term vacation rentals – and there was a hearty round of appreciative applause.

Zapf said, “I’m supportive of what the community wants,” and then pointedly to everyone in the room, “You guys stand up in trovesdroves!” More applause.

“I’ve looked at other cities around the country and in California,” she said referring to other municipal efforts to rein-in vacation rentals with ordinances limiting them. She pointed out that Santa Monica and San Francisco have the same restrictions the San Diego City Council voted in on July 16. And Santa Monica, she added, survived a District Court battle challenging their ordinance.

“On August 1st,” Zapf urged OBceans, “show up, thank the councilmembers for their vote [on July 16] and that will go a long way.” She advised those who planned to attend they didn’t have to repeat their statements at the council of 2 weeks ago. The second reading is in City Council Chambers at 1pm.

The councilwoman also explained the reason she and Councilwoman Barbara Bry call what was passed on July 16 an amendment to Mayor Faulconer’s plan is due to the fact that the “Bry Proposal” was not on the agenda by itself – but of course Faulconer’s was. So, the Mayor’s proposal could be amended – amended so much that it no longer looked like his original proposal – except for the regulatory details. (This is where the Airbnb advocates will push on during the second reading on August 1 –  a “lack of notice” of the Bry plan. Yet, the Bry-Zapf was introduced last December at the Council hearing on vacation rentals – so in a real sense, it was still on the table.)

Finally on the issue of STVRs, Zapf informed the crowd the California Coastal Commission is meeting in San Diego in October and hoped they would take up the new San Diego ordinance on vacation rentals at that hearing.

In concluding, Zapf announced police have made 20 felony arrests of people trying to steal the “bait bikes” – expensive bicycles with GPS devices attached intentionally left out as enticements.

During Q and A, this reporter asked the Councilwoman when the last time a second-reading overturned a city council vote? Zapf answered that she’s never seen one in her 8 years on the council.

Councilman Ward Asks OB to Join His Efforts to Ban Styrofoam

Later in the evening, Councilman Ward made a presentation on his efforts to get the city to ban Styrofoam. He also received a round of applause after Turner thanked him for his vote regulating short term rentals. And Ward did declare to the meeting that he was not going to change his vote at the second reading – to applause.

Ward said our recycling system can’t handle the high volume of Styrofoam – so, much of it goes to the landfills. “116 other California cities,” he said, “have banned styrofoam.” He hit the crowd with more numbers. “25% of the fish we take out of the sea to eat test positive for microscopic plastic,” he said.

The councilman also wants to ban “single-use” plastic straws and other plastic utensils. And his ordinance – which was passed by the Rules Committee of the council on July 11 in an unanimous vote – is set up to encourage businesses to reduce these plastics; it’s supported by a host of environmental groups Ward ticked off, including Surfrider, Sierra Club, SanDiego350, and others plus lots of businesses, he said.

“I want to ensure businesses can adapt,” he said, “to the ban.” They can apply for a waiver for reasonable cause. The first violation would be a warning, with fines coming with further violations, he said.

Ward told OBceans his ordinance will come before the full council for a vote some time in the Fall. Under questioning, Ward did say enforcement – at least at first – would be by consumer complaints.

Assemblyman Gloria Makes Surprise Appearance

The former city councilman, now state assemblyman, Gloria gave a report usually given by one of his office reps. The legislature is on summer recess – to end in a week and half or so.

One of the most important things to report, he said, was the state budget was balanced by a bi-partisan vote – and there’s now “a record level of ‘rainy-day’ funds available.” And there’s a substantial increase in monies to be spent on homelessness, with $33 million heading to the city of San Diego. Gloria also announced he’s a co-author of SB100 which if passed would make California 100% with renewable energy by the year 2035.

Community Grant awardees, 2018. Photo by Priscilla Turner.

OBTC 2018 Grant Awards

Several of the board members got up and in turn announced the winners of the 2018 Grant Award program the OBTC runs every  year. The Board gave out a total of $9700 to community groups. Here are the winners:

  • Sunset Cliffs Surfing Association – their award will go towards their annual OB / Point Loma kids surf contest on August 25;
  • Catch the Wave Foundation – this is a program at OB Elementary School;
  • OB Woman’s Club – Alison Lyons accepted the grant as president of the group; their money award will go towards helping them continue to upgrade the club house, specifically the improvement of their lighting and sound systems.
  • OB Historical Society – Chair Eric D took the envelop and told everyone their award will go towards modernizing their archives, making them more easily retrievable.
  • OB Community Foundation – they offer scholarships at Point Loma High School, “Dollars for Scholars” program;
  • Peninsula Shepherds Center – Jerry Sanders accepted their award, explaining the group’s main goal is to help provide transportation for senior citizens – and they’ve been doing it for 30 years; they have 60 volunteer drivers. This monetary grant will go towards gas.
  • OB Shuttle (no one appeared to accept);
  • OB Sunset Clean-Up Crew – Chuck Hardwich accepted the envelope on behalf of the group, which meets every Thursday an hour before sunset and does clean ups of the area. The money will go to cleaning supplies.
  • OB Green Center – Kimmie accepted the grant and said it will help the center continue its weekly free film nights.
  • Hi-Tech High Foundation will aid the kids to make boards that give warnings of the dangers of the ocean, to be hung up around OB.
  • Peninsula Family Y – they are the vendor for the before / after school programs at OB Elementary; their award will help allow low-income families utilize the service.
  • Friends of the OB Library – Matt Beatty, librarian, and Laura Dennison of the Friends committee accepted the award; Matt said the money will go towards their Fall Music Program.


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Geoff Page July 26, 2018 at 4:05 pm

Did Zapf really say “You guys stand up in troves!” or is that a misprint or was it not heard correctly? Did she say “droves” or does she know the difference?


Peter from South O July 27, 2018 at 4:07 am

drove: A herd or flock of animals being driven in a body.
trove: A collection of valuable items discovered or found; a treasure-trove.

I’d rather be complimented as part of a trove, wouldn’t you? ;-)


Geoff Page July 27, 2018 at 2:09 pm

People are animals too Peter. And, here is another definition and usage.

a large number : crowd —usually used in plural especially with in came in droves

Example: people flocked to the annual festival in droves


Peter from South O July 28, 2018 at 7:38 am

C’mon now Geoff . . . semantics is FUN! Can’t ya just GIGGLE once in a while?


Jon Carr July 27, 2018 at 7:23 am

At the start of the meeting, the council president thanked Lorie for supporting the community of residents, and for her vote in support of primary residence only. In response, Lorie thanked the audience and community for their support by exclaiming, “you all showed up in droves!”

I think it’s just a misprint.


Frank Gormlie July 27, 2018 at 10:40 am

Ah, it must have been “droves” – sorry for the cornfusion.


Geoff Page July 27, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Well, it would not have surprised me if she had said “troves.”


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