Ocean Beach Planners Appoint 2 New Board Members, Approve Two-Story Condos on Froude

by on September 6, 2018 · 9 comments

in Ocean Beach

Meeting last night before a packed crowd in the OB Rec Center, the OB Planning Board – once it obtained a quorum – appointed two new board members, approved the proposed 2 condo project on Froude and agreed to send letters to the City regarding safety issues on OB streets.

2 New Board Members

Two individuals who qualified to be members of the Board were appointed to fill 2 of the 6 open seats on the Board. Kevin Hastings was appointed to planning area district 6 and Tracy Dezenzo was appointed to district 1.

Kevin Hastings at an April 2018 OB Town Council meeting.

Kevin Hastings

Board member Craig Klein introduced Kevin – who is well known in planning board and town council circles – by stating Kevin “single-handedly provided a huge amount of data [on short term vacation rentals] to help the City Council, to give residents ammunition.”

Kevin himself told the audience he lived in OB for 5 years, his wife is expecting in November, and that he’s volunteered for town council events; he’s a mechanical engineer and is “passionate about this place.” He said he understands the responsibilities of a board member, understands the OB Community Plan and has been studying traffic issues lately. The board approved his appointment to District 6 by a vote of 8 to 0.

Tracy Dezenzo outside the Planning Board meeting.

Tracy Dezenzo

Tracy Dezenzo stood and introduced herself – she had collected 47 signatures (the requirement is 35) to be qualified – and she said she really enjoyed the experience of meeting neighbors and getting to know businesses in District 1.

She’s lived in OB, Tracy said, for 22 years – as her parents moved here in 1979. For most of those years, she said, she didn’t even know the planning board existed, until about 3 years ago when she began inquiring how to get more shade trees for OB. And she found the OBPB. She added the many of the people she met collecting signatures didn’t know about the planning board either.

District 1 is under-represented on the board on a regular basis, and Tracy plans to change that. She also commented at one point to laughter, “Chaining myself to a tree is on my bucket list.” She was appointed to District 1 by an unanimous vote.

1750 Froude Condos Approved

After hearing from the presenter of the project proposed for 1750 Froude Street, the Board approved the two, 2-story condos and subterranean garage for the property.

Richard and Venida Harmon – who were present at the meeting and who have lived on the property for the last year – plan to build two condominiums – each with 3 bedrooms, 3,000 square feet and 2-storys – on the roughly 9,000 square foot lot, live in one and sell the other. Each condo will be over a basement level, which will house the garage, a laundry room, and a gym. The drive-way to the garage will be off Del Monte via a new curb cut, while a curb cut on Froude will be closed.

The architect presenter explained the owners have a plan to try to maintain as many of the palm trees on the lot as possible. There’s a landscaping architect on board, who will identify all the species worth saving, and then save or relocate those trees.

When asked by one member of the board whether the Harmons would consider putting a restriction into the deed that would bar any future short-term vacation rentals in the condos. Richard Harmon replied he would consider it.

Upon a motion and second, the board voted to approve the project with a 10 – 0 vote.

Letters to City on Bicycle and Pedestrian Issues for Bacon, Sunset Cliffs and Ebers

Several recommendations from the board’s sub-committee on transportation issues were explained by 2 different presenters, Rick and Roda.

Rick explained the sub-committee wanted a letter to the city about improvements on Bacon Street. There’s an opportunity coming up when the city repaves the street by June 2019 to make those improvements – whatever they are. Rich said he has 30 signatures of people who live on or near Bacon and who want positive changes to the street.

The idea for a mini-roundabout at Bacon and Brighton is championed by the sub-committee, Rick said, and traffic could be diverted to Abbott.

Roda presented the idea of a flashing-light cross-walk at Sunset Cliffs Blvd and Niagara and at a different location, a four-way stop at Ebers and Brighton.

Each of these recommendations were discussed ad nasium, when the board voted to send either one or three different letters the city expressing the suggestions.

Other News

City Clerk to Finalize Count of Airbnb Signatures Sept 20

Lorie Zapf rep, Conrad Wear, had several announcements. One of particular interest – regarding the recent vote by the city council to regulate short term vacation rentals and the subsequent submittal of thousands of signatures for a possible ballot measure in opposition – the City Clerk is expected to finalize the count of signatures by September 20.

Wear outlined the options for the council if enough valid signatures are found; it can either rescind the measure they passed – unlikely, or place the measure on the ballot. But which ballot. Wear didn’t think the Council would wait until the November 2020 election, but will instead call a special election. Six council members – a super-majority – can call for a special election.

In the meantime, the existing law – that STVRs are illegal in residential areas – could be enforced, Wear said, but then the mayor would have to step up, as well (and fund enforcement).

In addition, Wear announced:

Solar lights are going up at Ebers Street Park, Wear said, to deter criminal activities in the park at night. The airport draft plan EIR is out and Wear encouraged people to review and comment on it. Meeting on Long Branch Torrey Pine is coming up next week, Wed., Sept. 12

Non-Agenda Public Comments

Community Forestry Advisory Board Meeting Sept 12

Virginia Wilson told the audience the Community Forestry Advisory Board – of which she represents District 2 – is meeting on Wed., Sept. 12 on the Long Branch Torrey Pine. The meeting will be in the conference room on the 12th floor of City Hall at 11:45 am.

Complaints of 3-Story Coming in on Saratoga

A local resident, Mercy Baron, complained to the board about a 3-story being built next to her; it’s at 4925 4725 Saratoga, and the Board disapproved it when the project came before it sometime in the recent past.

News on Jim Bell and His House

A good friend of well-known OBcean Jim Bell, Dustin Johnson, told the audience Bell is back at his house on Voltaire, that he is improving, doing physical therapy, “his mind’s good,” he said, and he urged people to visit Jim.

Johnson also told everyone Jim either wants to either take legal action against or “cut a deal” with the people trying to sell his property and the lot next door. Jim didn’t sell the property, he said, it’s still in his name and Jim will challenge the trust documents -as he never signed them. Johnson said he has Jim’s Power of Attorney.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

z September 6, 2018 at 3:16 pm

Did you contact the other party to get their side on the Jim Bell story. Since it was not an agenda item, the other party was unable to attend and provide their knowledge on the sale and project.
The City requires signatures from the owners to submit an application package. I have made application submittals to the city many times and they always require the signatures and (applicable POA) before they will even accept a application package. I think there is more to this story that has not been made clear. You also cannot go under contract without a legal purchase agreement. I don’t see what this guy did that was so wrong yet and I am very curious to hear this full story.


Frank Gormlie September 6, 2018 at 7:46 pm

The other party was not present; if they had been and had given their version, then I would have reported on it.


kh September 7, 2018 at 2:11 pm

“The other side” is always welcome to come and comment during the non-agenda period. But it will not become a planning board discussion unless it’s a noticed agenda item.


OB Mercy September 6, 2018 at 5:27 pm

The 3 story monstrosity that will be blocking our windows is on 4925 Saratoga Ave. It is being built in the backyard of what is an existing STVR, and of course, will be another STVR. His project was denied in May of last year at the OBPB. Coastal Commission gave him a permit anyway. 20 people will be allowed on the property now. It goes against the OB community plan and might even exceed the height limit. Totally reprehensible.


Frank Gormlie September 6, 2018 at 7:20 pm

Thanks – I made the correction on the 3 story monstrosity being built at 4925 Saratoga Ave.


Tony de Garate September 11, 2018 at 1:27 pm

Ah yes, I remember that one well. The developer tried to tell the OBPB it was all for the comfort of the owner’s dear old mother, and Mercy was quick to call BS because he was advertising its availability as an STVR all over the place. It’s a shame no one kept their eye on it because city staff approved the plan a few months after the meeting, and it could have been appealed to the Hearing Examiner.


Ol OB Hippie September 7, 2018 at 1:29 pm

Welcome Tracy and Kevin and thanks for taking on the tasks and smiles this board will bring you.


Tony de Garate September 11, 2018 at 1:42 pm

Frank, did the the scheduled discussion about possible measures to maintain the board at full strength take place? I’ve enjoyed reading your chronicles of the early days of community planning in OB, and it’s troubling to hear about chronic vacancies, given OB’s history and culture as an engaged, activist community.


Frank Gormlie September 11, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Hey, good to hear from you, Tony. I’m not certain. I know 2 new people were appointed to the Board.


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