Trying to Get Answers From City Hall

by on February 8, 2019 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach

The Old Broad: Gagging on Porta-Potties on Neighbor’s Construction Site

Have you ever tried to find out an answer to a question from City Hall? I have been trying to find out an answer for two days. Here is the comment and question:

Scenario –  there is a house being built next door to me. I am on the alley on the corner of Tivoli and Devonshire. The house being built shares the alley and is on the corner of Granger and Devonshire.

There are two “porta potties” in the construction area right on the alley, behind a makeshift fence.  I am not sure how often those porta potties are emptied, but it is too often as far as I am concerned.  Because when they are emptied, the fecal order permeates the area for at least an hour; the smell is so gagging that one has to fight the urge to not throw up.

So I want to know if there is some law stating that when these potties are cleaned the odor must be contained in some manner so that it does not spill out into the environment.

Well, finding that answer is not as easy as it should be, because I have now been routed to four different departments in San Diego County/City and am still waiting for the answer.

The County said that they could not answer me because they are not the “city”. Strange. I thought that the “city” was part of the “county.”  They told me to call the “City of San Diego.”

They gave me the number and then transferred me to that number. But when I spoke to them they told me that they are only concerned with “unpermitted” construction. BUT…..they gave me the number of Environmental Services, and also transferred me to that number.

But Environmental Services doesn’t handle that problem because it is a “construction” problem.  The gentleman I spoke to gave me another number to call but they don’t handle the problem.

They gave me another to call, which I now have done.  But the message told me that they were super busy right now, and if I would leave my number they would call me back. That was 2 hours ago. I am still waiting.

Does anyone have the answer to my question?

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Christo K February 8, 2019 at 1:46 pm

Have you tried talking to the owner?

I met his wife at a party for one of your neighbors and she said he is over there swinging hammers himself most afternoons. Nice family. Navy guy, full time working wife and a couple of kids.


Peter from South O February 9, 2019 at 2:04 am

This column was a breath of fresh air!


judi curry February 11, 2019 at 11:53 am

Christo – he is a delightful person and is working hard to complete the house. But it isn’t him; its the company that cleans out the porta potty on his property.

Peter, I don’t think you want to take a breath of the air when they are cleaning!


OB Joe February 14, 2019 at 12:05 pm

Judi , next time, call Councilmember Jennifer Campbell’s office: 619-236-6622 or


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