Ocean Beach Planning Board: Add OB to Geo-Fencing, More Limits on Scooters; Board Election Results

by on March 7, 2019 · 14 comments

in Ocean Beach

Board members on 3/6/19: L to R: Tracy Dezenzo, Tom Gawronski, Anthony Cuilla, Dan Dennison, Andrea Schlageter, Lynn Felando, Craig Klein, Jane Gawronski, Richard Merriman, Virginia Wilson (face hidden) Andrew Waltz; Numan Stotz was in the rear of the room. Photo by Frank Gormlie.

Election Upset in District 1? –  Record Number of Women Members on Board

At the Wednesday, March 6 evening meeting of the Ocean Beach Planning Board, the volunteer community planners took up the issue of Mayor Faulconer’s proposals for regulating electric scooters. Election results to the Board were also announced – with an upset in District 1 apparently and maybe a record number of women members now on the Board.

On scooters and the Mayor’s proposals – which were confirmed by a Council committee recently and are slowly on their way to the full City Council – the Board raised a number of substantial issues and concerns not addressed by the recommendations.

In short, the panel wants to include Ocean Beach in the proposed neighborhoods to have geographical limitations on the motorized vehicles via geo-fencing. Plus they want to see limits on the numbers of scooters allowed within city limits. Also, the way the City of Coronado handles scooters was cited as a good example to follow.

Currently, Coronado can impound tagged scooters and bikes after 72 hours. If they are not removed within two hours, they will be impounded. Dockless scooter and bike companies can claim their impounded vehicles after paying a fee or citation.

After a lengthy discussion, the Board decided to send a letter to Mayor Faulconer’s office and to District 2 Councilwoman Jen Campbell outlining their chief concerns. They include (as noted by this reporter, not necessarily in any order) this outline – which was eventually turned into an actual motion and passed unanimously:

  • Geo-fencing in Ocean Beach;
  • Safety issues – ‘they’re a hazard to pedestrians’;
  • ADA accessibility;
  • No storage / parking on public right-of-way;
  • Limit the total number of scooters and fleets;
  • Encourage staging at transit sites, not residential areas;
  • Establish business partnership between city and companies;
  • Require time to remove or else have scooters impounded, like Coronado
  • Vet the various companies;
  • If choosing vendor, ensure subsidization for low-income users.

(Again, the reporter did not see or hear the final motion.)

The Board will send the Mayor and Councilwoman this important feedback. No date has been set for the scooter issues to come before the full Council.

[See NBC7’s report of the meeting and issue. This reporter was briefly interviewed.]

Good Turn-Out – Relatively Speaking – for OB Planning Board Election – Upset in District 1?

Election results were announced and there appeared to be an upset in District 1. The current rep, Anthony Cuilla, was thought to have an easy time retaining his seat. But a late-entry candidate, Bo Willsey, did come in with enough votes to take that seat.  Cuilla – a resident of the district – had been appointed to the seat last year.

The only other contested seat was in District 6, where newcomer George McCalla failed to unseat veteran Dan Dennison.

Word to the wise: both Cuilla and McCalla ought to apply to be appointed to other seats; the Board has a fairly lenient policy of allowing people to be appointed to seats in districts not where they themselves live.

6 Women on Board

With the election of Jenna Tatum as an at-large Board member, the Planning Board now has 6 women members; Chair Andrea Schlageter, veteran Jane Gawronski, Tracy Dezenzo, new members Lynn Felando and Virginia Wilson – and now Jenna. Is this a record? It could be, but maybe not; more research is needed.

Other Results

All other candidates coasted to victory and there was a “record” turnout of voters. The following other candidates won:

  • Richard Merriman – District 2
  • Craig Klein – District 4
  • Andrew Waltz – District 7.

It was also Tom Gawronski’s “last” meeting as he was termed out. Also Richard Aguirre did not run for re-election.

Other news from the OBPB meeting to be included in a post for Friday, March 8.


{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

ZZ March 7, 2019 at 4:45 pm

Kids these days with their hippity hop and e-scoots. Let’s pretend to regulate them, but have so many regulations they’ll effectively be banned.

“ensure subsidization for low-income users.”

Sure why not! This is such a really great idea, we should do it for every business. Barber shop, dry cleaner, taxi cabs, every business should have to have a really complicated and intrusive program that has them asking people their income to determine the price. The new Dirty Birds should have four menus, one for under 20k, another for income between 20-70K, etc. If you want to pay the lower price, be sure to bring your tax return.

OB Rag should also be required, before accepting ads, to determine the business’s profits. And have a new government entity it has to pay additional fees to that will provide oversight that it is subsidizing low-profit businesses.

“ADA accessibility”

What the heck does this BS even mean? All scooters have to be replaced with rascal-wheelchair scooters?

“Encourage staging at transit sites, not residential areas;”
“Geo-fencing in Ocean Beach”


OB Planning Board: Where NIMBY boomers who own million dollar homes cosplay as “progressives.”


Frank Gormlie March 8, 2019 at 10:09 am

zz- You’re way out there; you have no idea of whom you’re even talking about, claiming OBPB members are “boomers who own million dollar homes”. Just be glad the OB Rag didn’t charge you to come onto the site and rant your brains out.


Sam March 7, 2019 at 5:02 pm

Ditto! I like the cut of your jib.


Eric March 7, 2019 at 5:10 pm

What the heck does ADA accessibility even mean? Good grief, I shudder at the callousness. Here ya go buckaroo. Lots and lots of good information. https://www.ada.gov My money is on you not reading a lick of it. I do hope that someday you or one of yours don’t happen to gain a disability because that will be a very nasty karma filling mouthful of humble pie.


ZZ March 7, 2019 at 6:03 pm

I know what the ADA is. I don’t know what an “ADA accessible” rentable e-scooter is. Context, Eric, context.

Most things can be made ADA accessible. Scooters, pogo sticks, etc by their nature can’t. An ADA accessible e-scooter is… an electric wheelchair, not an e-scooter.


Peter from South O March 7, 2019 at 7:24 pm

Nowhere in the article is there reference to making the damn things ADA accessible. The issue is BLOCKING access to the public right of way with discarded scooters.

Please read what Eric has so generously provided above.


Frank Gormlie March 8, 2019 at 10:10 am

Thanks Peter for displaying some comment sense amongst these comments. Geez!


ZZ March 8, 2019 at 11:37 am

How about people blocking sidewalks with cars sticking out of their driveway?


Tyler March 8, 2019 at 4:45 am

I’m going to be pissed if I have to walk a bunch of blocks to find a scooter because a bunch of curmudgeons


ZZ March 8, 2019 at 11:46 am

Unfortunately that’s what the NIMBY/Luddite brigade have done to SF.

They prohibited all the major companies like Bird, Lime, Uber, LYFT, and signed contracts with two new companies. The new companies don’t have and may not be allowed to put in scooters enough to meet demand. So they all get taken during morning rush hour and left in the downtown/SOMA job centers. So if it is 10am to 4pm in a residential area, you’re out of luck, there won’t be a single one for 10+ blocks.

UBER was allowed to keep their bikes, but not scooters. When I checked for available ones there, there were only three in the entire city, all isolated near the Golden Gate Bridge. In other words, just what the OB Planners want for both scooters and AirBNB: a virtual ban under the guise of “regulations.”


Eric March 8, 2019 at 12:02 pm

Luddite? Psssh. It’s not about the scooters or technologies it’s about the behavior of those riding them. If the riders weren’t dumping them on sidewalks and everywhere else and it wasn’t the wild west with the companies you so ravenously defend with name calling then bikes and scooters aren’t an issue. I’d use them if I could. Regulations have to come into play when people can’t abide by having a little common sense and decency.


kh March 9, 2019 at 8:25 pm

I agree, that would be awful. Walking is for chumps!


Richard March 8, 2019 at 9:03 am

Once again the OBPB is distracted with what the city can do about scooters. Always worried about actions on city wide issues. (scooters STVR) I believe the OBPB should be more focused on the. mayor’s comment about getting the pier open before tourist season officially starts in May. The mayor said nothing about the closed coastal access in OB. 90% of all coastal access in OB is closed. Where is the discussion of a master plan to fix our beach access points and infrastructure? iis this not an emergency?. I wish the board would focus more on big issues like this.

Congrats to all new board members. Now let’s get to work.


Frank Gormlie March 8, 2019 at 2:25 pm

The University of San Diego Medical Center says it has admitted 42 people with severe injuries from electric scooter accidents. Of those, only one person was wearing a helmet. A total of 48% of those riders were measured to have a blood alcohol level higher than the legal limit for intoxication and 52% tested positive for illegal drugs. https://electrek.co/2019/03/08/electric-scooter-injuries-pile-up-half-coming-from-drunk-or-high-riders/


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