Without Community Input, City Rescinds and Approves Different Parking Agreements So Target Can Open in Ocean Beach

by on December 5, 2018 · 27 comments

in Ocean Beach

The City has paved the way for the new Target on Newport Avenue in Ocean Beach to proceed – and proceed it has (see photos).

And the way the City did this was to approve a new Shared Parking Agreement that South Beach Bar & Grill developed with another business, thus allowing the mandatory parking agreement South Beach had with the former Antique Center – which followed the property and was binding on Target – to be rescinded.

The City did all of this – without the knowledge or input by the community, specifically the OB Planning Board – which has been trying to get the City to be transparent in such dealings.

According to Blake Herrschaft – former Chair, the OB Planning Board has been attempting to get more clarification on shared parking agreements from the San Diego Planning Department and Development Services Department for over a year – since last fall. This included Blake making multiple trips to the records department to try to sort out the policy.

What he found in his forays was disturbing.

New construction going on in earnest. All photos by Bob Edwards

He noticed that the shared parking agreement system is disorganized, is not transparent to the public and has little oversight. This disarray, he feared could result in an abuse of shared parking agreements by commercial property owners, including some on Newport Avenue, in Ocean Beach.

Then, at a minimum, Blake believes Ocean Beach deserves clarification on what shared parking spaces exist throughout the Newport Avenue Commercial District, and how they are being monitored and enforced.

In addition, the Planning Board requested to be consulted before new shared parking agreements are made.

At any rate, in his emails to City representatives, Herrschaft was told the City had approved Target’s improvements after rescinding the parking agreements it had with South Coast.

(There are actually two shared parking agreements attached to the former Antique site which allocated every parking space to South Beach – the two shared parking agreements are related to the two expansions which occurred at South Beach – including the second floor at the roof.)

Herrschaft was told by Philip Lizzi, a planner at DSD:

Both of these two shared parking agreements have been rescinded.  These were rescinded …  therefore no shared parking agreement exists on the Target site. 

Lizzi added:

A new shared parking agreement has been recorded for the South Beach Bar and Grill.  Transportation staff has been responsible for the parking agreements, both rescission of the old and recordation of the new. 

According to the City, South Beach has a new shared parking agreement with Union Bank, at the corner of Cable and Niagara.

Lizzi also stated, via email to Herrschaft:

In addition the previous Coastal Development Permit which was tied to this site, was because of that shared parking agreement.  It is no longer utilizing this site, therefore this project site no longer has a Coastal Development Permit.  The project came in for a Tenant Improvement and was approved by Zoning staff under Project Tracking System No. 602707.  Because all work is to be a tenant improvement Planning Staff has exempted this project from a Coastal Development Permit pursuant to San Diego Municipal Code Section 126.0704.

Parking, parking, parking!

It’s very important in OB’s main commercial district. Back in April of this year, the Development Services Department told the OB Rag:

“Target cannot operate during the hours that South Beach has the exclusive use of 33 parking spaces, per the Shared Parking Agreement.“

Here is part of our report from 4/23/18:

According to the city, Target will be required to operate in a manner that does not conflict with the Shared Parking Agreement with South Beach Bar & Grill, which requires the exclusive use of parking spaces for South Beach from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Their building plans indicate the Shared Parking Agreement restrictions. The existing 33 parking spaces on the property where Target plans to open are required to remain.

And the OB Rag predicted:

South Beach may find or acquire parking spaces elsewhere near its popular restaurant; it could arrange an exclusive parking arrangement with some other entity and if that occurred, then Target would have exclusive use of the spaces and open at 5pm. In other words, if the city was satisfied that South Beach had found replacement parking – and the city approved it – the Shared Parking Agreement could be torn up. That would free up Target to remain open past 5pm, traditionally Target’s busiest time.

We reported:

According to the city, South Beach is in the process of identifying an alternate location and will submit to Development Services-Transportation for a review of a new Shared Parking Agreement.  The California Coastal Commission does not require a review.

Looks like they made an arrangement with Union Bank. So says the City. Blake says he called Union Bank to verify and was told they didn’t know of any agreement, plus the bank has paid parking in its lot.

But still, the community wasn’t informed of any new shared parking agreements, much less have input. No notice was given – but owners of the Antique Center did lobby a number of city officials about getting out from under the agreement with South Coast.

Andrea Schlageter, the current Chair of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, said she was astonished by the lack of consideration given to residents of Ocean Beach in the negotiations of these parking agreements.

She said:

We effectively were not given a seat at the table.

Andrea stressed the point in an email that Ocean Beach is an extremely impacted parking district for a multitude of reasons; including:

  • Many residents west of Sunset Cliffs Blvd. do not have off street parking;
  • Units that do have parking spots tend to have above ground parking which renders whole blocks untenable for street parking;
  • Many of the main streets in shopping and business districts have time limits on the parking; with the amount of beach goers as well as restaurant goers staying longer than two hours they tend to take up residents spots.

She is disturbed by the possibility the City continues to push an agenda of taking away parking while still underfunding and poorly planning public transportation. Along with the other issues, she said, they have caused Ocean Beach and many other communities to become severely parking and traffic impacted.

Meanwhile, Blake Herrschaft has reviewed the shared parking agreement between South Beach and Union Bank. This is the agreement that the City has used to void the existing agreement between South Beach and Antique Center, allowing Target to retain the existing site parking. This parking issue is central to Target operating on Newport Avenue, which is why the owner at that site has been lobbying City officials.

Herrschaft says there are a few glaring issues:

Union Bank is still in operation. At 5,100 sqft of retail space, Union Bank needs 13 spaces for their customers. Since there are only 33 spaces on-site, 13 + 28 (for South Beach) = 41. The parking spaces are over-committed and this parking agreement does not meet the municipal code. This is especially true on Fridays from 5-6pm. Note that on the shared parking agreement, those spaces are for South Beach, but Union Bank is open until 6pm on Fridays. This is also a time when both Union Bank and South Beach are at their busiest times, requiring the most parking. This is likely to cash paychecks for those scraping by to make ends meet, who work until 5pm.

Union Bank appears to be unaware of the agreement. When I called them today (1:36pm PST 12/3/2018,) I was told “we have a parking lot behind the bank. A big parking lot behind there. Park anywhere, it is our parking area.”

Union Bank rents these spaces as paid public parking, in effect triple counting said spaces. This has been true for many years, including since the 2013 BBQ House Parking Agreement. The City has done nothing to fix this issue, resulting in taxpayers being required to foot the bill for the parking.

Lastly, am I to believe that South Beach is not busy before 5pm on Saturdays or Sundays? Apparently the City is okay with the establishment lacking parking at those times. From personal experience, it is so busy you cannot get a table there at in the day on the weekends, and this is validated by Google. Customers usually park in the public lot meant for beachgoers, which is not the intent of the parking requirements of the Municipal Code.

I have analyzed the actual parking on-site versus the known parking agreements related to this site on file with the City of San Diego. While it appears there are 33 spaces on-site, the City is counting as though there are 77  spaces being shared among Ocean Beach businesses at the same time. This is not in line with the original intent of the City of San Diego’s Shared Parking Agreement parking requirement waiver (Sec 142.0535 and 142.0545.) Note that in the summer, Ocean Beach is very parking constrained on all afternoons and evenings, especially Fridays.

Questions arise whether these issues are due to special privileges for Target, or oversight by multiple departments at the City. For Blake, the existing shared parking agreement with Antique Center is still in effect. He summarizes:

For what its worth, there simply are no extra available parking spaces within Ocean Beach’s main commercial district, which is why decades of commercial horse-trading came to a head for this project. Had the City coordinated with the Ocean Beach Planning Board for a simple review of the attached, prior to the attempt at covert project approval, we would not be here today. Note that the chance for review was requested by the Ocean Beach Planning Board many times in 2018.

 

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Erica Salcuni December 5, 2018 at 2:25 pm

NO TARGET IN OB.

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Mercy Baron OB Mercy December 5, 2018 at 2:56 pm

And don’t forget as I’ve mentioned previously, when I spoke with the supervisor at code enforcement, he said many parking laws were currently changing and there was no consideration for things like short term vacation rental parking.

And the one I’ve been complaining about being built right next door to us is groundbreaking in that no where else in OB are there two buildings dedicated to STVR’S on the same property and will allow 20 people on the property at one time. They’re building parking for only 4 cars! We’re at Saratoga between Cable and Bacon where street spots are few and far between.

The people with any power (with all due respect to the OBPB) truly just don’t give a shit about OB because they DON’T live here!

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retired botanist December 5, 2018 at 3:09 pm

UGH- its just rage-inducing. Once again, big business overrides the community’s obvious and outspoken objection to their presence, completely ignores one of the most critical issues in all coastal areas (hullo- its parking), manipulates the City’s already poorly regulated parking ordinances, uses a backdoor, hand-greasing?, procedure with the unbelievably incompetent DSD, and then just muscles itself plunk down in the heartbeat of the district like some big, giant TURD. Its gross. Its shameful. Why can’t they go foul some other place where people and the environment don’t actually live? Now all those hideous red and white plastic Target bags will be the signature of Newport Ave… and now that the the 5pm parking restriction has been steamrolled away, just wait for the alcohol license… THIS is how big corporations behave. :-(

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aren December 5, 2018 at 6:15 pm

Well South Beach seem like the ones using a loophole , not the corporations. Parking for South beach blocks away…..uh, ok.

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Tyler December 6, 2018 at 9:03 am

You mean the vocal minority’s opinion? Everyone I know in OB not on the OB Rag is either indifferent or happy Target is coming in.

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retired botanist December 6, 2018 at 10:02 am

Tyler-
Oh, so that would be the half dozen folks who raised their hands in favor at the meeting last year? And I guess “everyone you know” doesn’t include the over 2,500 who as of May 2017 had signed a petition against it?
http://sdnews.com/view/full_story/27568741/article-Parking-problems-and-protests-greet-Target-Express-in-Ocean-Beach?instance=most_popular1

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Sam December 6, 2018 at 10:20 am

Amen! I can’t wait for this store to open.

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Michael December 6, 2018 at 10:43 am

That’s because we all work for a living and don’t have time in the middle of the day to attend CC meetings.

All these opponents will be going to Target anyways.

I learned a new acronym today: CAVE – Citizens Against Virturally Everything.

For living in such a beautiful place, I’ve never met so many disgruntled people in my life.

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Jimmy December 6, 2018 at 11:52 am

Michael, the meeting was held at 6pm with over 150 people in attendance in the hot summer sun without air conditioning. If you “work for a living” in the “middle of the day,” why are you posting at 10:43am on a weekday?

Moreover, being involved in your community is more than posting angrily on message boards. Were you at last night’s meeting? Have you ever been to Planning Board meeting? Get off the couch and get involved, or stay in your hole and be a troll. Your choice. Meanwhile, for 40 years some of your neighbors have been heavily involved in local politics so that you can enjoy the unique town of OB the way it is today.

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retired botanist December 6, 2018 at 1:19 pm

Wow Michael- I hardly need to point out that speaking up and being an active citizen, as opposed to Tyler’s “indifferent” sub-population, does not require one to be unemployed.
And why is it that people who advocate for causes bigger than themselves are instantly branded by folks like you as whiners, “disgruntled”, and “against virtually everything”? One minute we’re the NIMBYs, the next minute we’re against change, or we’re tarred and feathered as ‘old school’! For God’s sake, the last time I checked, we’re The People-just like you!
So if you want OB to remain “the beautiful place” that you are apparently too busy to advocate for, then you’d better pay attention to Mitchell’s old school phrase “…they paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” because if your attitude prevails, that’s where its headed.
But by all means hurry back to that important job so you can consume at Target and contribute to their deplorable footprint, and leave the ‘whining’ to those of us who seemingly have nothing better to do than speak up on issues that are not quite so self-centered! :-)

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Erica Salcuni December 5, 2018 at 3:15 pm

Target sickens me. The rep that came to pay us lip service at the town council meetings last summer was able to stand there, lie to everyone’s face, and then cite the fact that “some residents do want the Target.” Yeah? Where were those folks at the town council meetings? We were ignored. I knew they were doing some backhanded to find a loophole. Welp, here it is.

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scott December 5, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Those who follow this stuff have known for years that it’s BS and the city doesn’t actually care about negative parking effects on residents or whether these agreements are enforced, or apparently whether they even exist and are part of the public record… Kudos to Blake for actually putting some specific data to the BS.

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kh December 5, 2018 at 4:35 pm

City breaking their own rules, a failure of transparency and arithmetic. Details here: And last I checked there was no new shared parking agreement filed.

https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/legacy/development-services/pdf/industry/forms/ds267.pdf

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aman December 5, 2018 at 6:14 pm

The real BS is that anyone who goes to South Beach Bar and Grill even parks that far away or has any knowledge of this. They are the ones that are shady. Target will use the lot next to its building. Union Bank also. South Beach is using a loophole to say parking for its place is blocks away with no signs even letting anyone know about it. There is your scam- the local business.

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ZZ December 5, 2018 at 8:50 pm

This “community member” you all claim to speak for isn’t too excited about Target, but it certainly will be more useful and bring more jobs than the antique center.

I usually walk or bike to Newport, somtimes even E-Scoot, but when I drive I have never had problem parking there. It is real easy: don’t go during special events or peak time summer weekends.

Parking spaces are a blight on the center of OB. Every other possible land use is better. The time people most enjoy coming to Newport is when cars and parking are completely prohibited, whether on Farmer’s Market or Oktoberfest.

https://www.sfgate.com/opinion/openforum/article/The-high-cost-of-free-parking-2630493.php

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da john December 6, 2018 at 7:11 am

So true!!!!

And all these little tricks that get used to keep out big places rarely ever work, it just makes it impossible for real small business to compete. I wonder if the grilled cheese people can afford all the lawyers, etc. to get their shared parking agreement or whatever is keeping them from opening across the street. They’ve been in limbo for just as long as target……

Target is an awful, openly anti-union, screw the worker company, if people had real issues with target they would have not shopped at the one in point loma, and they wouldn’t be moving here, but they have the credit card data, and they know people from OB love em and go there to buy the junk.

The only way to scare target out of here would be to get it organized and have a union shop locked in before it opens. That’s the only thing that makes those deep pocket boardroom types think twice.

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Sam December 6, 2018 at 10:18 am

Target is not an awful store that nobody wants in the neighborhood. I can’t wait for them to open so that I don’t need to drive to midway when I need something from their store. Not to mention the added security and cleanliness that is sure to follow once they open the doors.

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Jimmy December 6, 2018 at 11:55 am

Added security? Go to any location in OB with a multi-national corporation…Jack in the Box, 7-11, or Starbucks. Not only are bums everywhere, but from what I’ve seen, these are the locations where stabbings, shootings, and violence occur often.

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Sam December 6, 2018 at 1:52 pm

7-11 and Jack in the Box are both franchises that are open late and sell cheap food where the drunks go to eat late night, so its no surprise that there are more incidents there. As for Starbucks, I can not for the life of me understand why the business community on that end of Newport puts up with those thugs/drug addicts hanging out down there scaring people with their stupid pit bulls and then shaking them down for money. Why isn’t the main street association doing everything that it can to chase these bums out of our neighborhood? The association is the real reason that these businesses are failing on Newport. Nobody wants to shop down there because of all the vagrants/willful transients that hang out down there.

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Sam December 6, 2018 at 10:39 am

Its a shame that a lot of these smaller businesses are closing, but the market has spoken and it wants better stores. If the smaller stores had kept the area filled with clean and safe stores that sold things that people in the community actually need, there would be no reason for Target to move in.

I for one can’t wait for them to open. Corporate presence is needed to help keep this area safe and clean.

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SaneVoice December 7, 2018 at 1:01 pm

LOL. You think Target’s corporate presence is going to keep OB safe and clean. Target is going to be the new hangout for the bums and trolls, they’ll steal everything on the shelves and not one Target employee will care because it’s above their pay grade.

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rick callejon December 6, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Target simply does not belong on Newport.

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ZZ December 6, 2018 at 2:41 pm

The exact location (I think) of the Target used to be a nearly identical general merchandise store called Cornet:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2695/4331770093_806941c417_z.jpg?zz=1

All Target is doing is reverting the location to its prior use!

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da john December 6, 2018 at 2:50 pm

“Target is an awful, openly anti-union, screw the worker company”

Maybe it’s “not an awful store” as is in cheap junk, antiseptic bright and bleach clean, fun!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8ZSNDsz5vg

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retired botanist December 6, 2018 at 3:39 pm

Hahaha, da john- I just watched that Youtube spiel and I swear at first I thought it had to be an SNL parody! Seriously? Open door? ETL? Laws protecting workers?!! Groceries- you call that regionally sourced food?! I’d recognize that corporate baloney language anywhere! And even funnier, I recall Target, when they came into OB spreading their marketing “good for the locals schlock”, that they would bring jobs to OB- can’t wait to see how many OBceans end up working there! Now THAT would be a great SNL skit!

And ZZ, trying to equate Target with the Cornet 5 and dime, really? As I’ve mentioned before, a reading of the perspective of the economist Leopold Kohr would serve everyone in this discussion well…

omg, still laughing over that youtube- put Leslie Jones and Pete Davidson in those roles!

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virginiamae December 6, 2018 at 5:48 pm

Chilling! Not one Target ‘team member’ has ever joined a union? Does the Company vaporize such a person, a la 1984?

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retired botanist December 7, 2018 at 5:04 am

And let’s see- that footprint I mentioned earlier? Here’s a good view of just the “waste” part of it: Oh, and for the record, its the second such offense…uh, yeah, that promise “to do better”? Does that translate as cheaper to pay the fine than follow the laws?
http://www.cbs8.com/story/39595446/target-to-pay-74-million-to-resolve-allegations-regarding-waste-disposal

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