OB Town Council President Winkie and Other Residents Rip City for Lack of Progress at Point Loma ‘Natural Park’

by on September 16, 2019 · 4 comments

in Ocean Beach

Mark Winkie, President of OBTC on KUSI; screen grab.

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park was ripped apart three years ago as part of what the city called the Sunset Cliffs Improvement Project.

On Friday, September 13th, OB Town Council president Mark Winkie and other local residents ripped apart the City of San Diego’s efforts to complete the so-call Point Loma “Natural Park”.

KUSI reporter Dan Plante interviewed Winkie, Dan Dennison – a member of the OB Planning Board and retired drainage engineer – , as well as Anne Jackson Hefti – who has been active in opposing the use of RoundUp in the park.

Reporter Plante – who is a local – gave a rather impassioned report on the current state of the park, describing how the area was once covered in trees, flowers and grass, but the master plan for improvements called for all of that to be replaced with native plants. Those plants are cactus, sage and succulents.

Go here for the KUSI report.

The plan also calls for redesigning the storm drain, as well as ripping out what was once a beloved baseball field. The park is covered in garbage. The park hasn’t looked the same since the beginning of the project, and locals are concerned it never will. Residents are complaining about the lack of updates on the status of the improvements from the city, the lack of any response from the local city council office and frustration with the reported additional years the park will have its current appearance.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

retired botanist September 16, 2019 at 4:18 pm

Wow, pretty disappointing and frustrating. Its like, does one really have to babysit the City on every damn thing?! Couple of comments:
1. It does seem the habitat restorationists, whoever they are, could have left some trees in until the rest of the area had seasoned, and then pulled them out or replaced them with …uh, hullo, some Torrey pines?! Have read no mention of them.
2.Yes, the native flora is will be ‘low to the ground’ and, as mentioned, succulents and sage scrub type vegetation. In other words, not tall and leafy. I’m not privy to the chosen plant palette, but there are a lot of cool native shrubs, and succulents like Dudleyas and sages that hopefully are getting planted.
3. Five yrs is a typical “monitoring arc” for success. The habitat should be completely established and self-sustaining by then. But it doesn’t mean it should, or will, look like this for 5 years- it better not, or it will be failing its establishment goals.
4. The BMPs, like the straw wattle covered in plastic- whaaat?! Unacceptable that’s its plastic and not burlap, and all of those temporary components are supposed to be monitored regularly. Hope someone can jump all over that, as was so rightly done w/ the whole pesticide debacle.
5. The drainage? It looks jacked up with all that rock cobble- so glad Dan Dennison is on top of that. It, too, (even ,and especially, if those are interim measures), should be monitored regularly and remediation taken if its falling apart.
The bottom line I see is pathetically typical. The city gets something started, just like cliff stair repair and a dozen other examples, and then just lets it sit, unfinished, to unravel and deconstruct for a couple year until the squeaky door gets too loud.
Start SHOUTING, OB. Let the City know everyone is paying attention to the QUALITY of this work.


Tyler September 17, 2019 at 5:10 am

They planted 51 Torrey pines.


Vern September 16, 2019 at 4:41 pm

Per the SCNP Master Plan, 2005:

“… Tree Retention and Removal
Gradually replace high maintenance, aged and/or diseased
trees. Where shade, taller screening or view definition is desired
in the upland portion of the Hillside Park, introduce Torrey
Pines (Pinus torreyana) or Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia)
on a limited basis…
… native trees in upland portion of Hillside Park to provide
shade, screen undesirable taller elements or frame, but not
block views (exclude trees at Linear Park). Provide limited
native tree plantings, such as Torrey Pine or Coast Live Oak.
Plant native shrub and groundcover massings to define pedestrian


claudia jack September 18, 2019 at 10:14 am

WOW! In 1956, my family bought a lot to build a house on Amiford Drive, by June of 1957 we moved into house and it was such a Super area. Below our house was Military Housing, and Beautiful Sunset Cliffs, south of the area was the Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, their were a few houses but the area was all natural and had mad made walking paths everywhere. My friends & I would walk around area and the natural brush, flowers, cactus, were Beautiful. Sometimes we would walk the cliffs and watch the surfers~~ The Beauty of this Natural Park needs to stay Natural~~ Claudia Peters Jack


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