City Council Voted Unanimously to Deny Ocean Beach Appeal on Dog Beach Ramp – Campbell Made Motion

by on November 19, 2019 · 16 comments

in Ocean Beach

Minutes ago, the San Diego City Council voted unanimously to reject the appeal by the Ocean Beach Planning Board to block the City’s plans to spend $1.1 million in building a Dog Beach ADA ramp. The project will now move forward despite this opposition by the community.

Councilwoman Jen Campbell of District 2 – OB’s district – after about a minute’s worth of discussion – made the motion to deny the appeal.

This has been a contentious issue between OB and the city; we’ve covered it extensively (see our report here). And it won’t sit right for those who have been attempting to point out the waste of money plus less costly options. This is a slap in the face for OB – a neighborhood that has been waiting for years to have a new lifeguard station built and have its ancient library improved and expanded.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Geoff Page November 19, 2019 at 3:36 pm

I watched proceedings and I was disgusted. Campbell clearly had her mind made up before the meeting. Had she told the OB planning board that she planned to deny the appeal, she could have saved them the trouble of going downtown. When a council member makes a motion about something in their district, the rest of the council goes along unless someone has a serious objection. They go along so that when they have something in their district, the others will then go along with them. There was no reason to take the time to show up if Campbell was not going to support the appeal.

I was very encouraged, even hopeful, when Campbell beat Zapf but that all disappeared today. Campbell spent only minutes on the item before making the motion to deny the appeal. The crime in all of this is that all the OBPB wanted was to have the city go back to the drawing board, consider other ideas, and take fucking community input. That would have cost the city nothing and probably would have saved money. Why Campbell could not agree to this amazes me. I would encourage everyone to send Campbell messages telling her what a stupid move she made today. I, personally, will no longer defend her or cut her any slack, she just proved she’s nothing but another politician.


kh November 20, 2019 at 9:40 am

Her vote was pre-ordained from the start on this, and meetings with her and her staff made that very clear. The only question for them was how to convince the board to drop the appeal and save her having to say no on the dias. Taking a step back to re-evaluate this project was never a consideration. I think board members decided it better to go down swinging than to accept the appeasement that was offered.

I’m still lost on why even a minority vote of support wasn’t an option… to simply delay this project (without any cost penalty.) Then again I’m not a politician.

The board is working to be a stronger community advocate (or pest?) earlier in the process so projects before projects get to this point.


Geoff Page November 20, 2019 at 10:00 am

I did not get that, kh, that the reason for the withdrawal request was so she would not have to do what she did in front of everyone. That lowers my opinion of her even more. I did not understand why they kept saying that until now.


Judy Swink November 19, 2019 at 4:04 pm

My hopefulness evaporated with her votes on Fiesta Island, giving 1/3 of the available recreational land to off-leash dog owners and people without mobility issues instead of supporting use of 7 of 93 acres for improvements that would facilitate access by a wider range of users, and her vote on the De Anza “short-term lease”, putting Campland’s proprietors in the “cat bird seat” once the “short term lease” approaches its end.


retired botanist November 19, 2019 at 4:49 pm

Well, Campbell sure sounds like a “F#$% You” to the concept of representation of her constituency. So very, very disappointing. As Geoff says, what’s wrong with going back to the drawing board to reconsider based on community input? Isn’t that the way its SUPPOSED to work?


George Monroe November 19, 2019 at 6:07 pm

@Frank Gormile A minutes worth of discussion?! Musta watched the wrong hearing? Here’s a link to the full hearing:

I see 25 minutes of discussion about the walkway and the need for the city to be in compliance with state fed ADA regs. Even the man w disability said we need it. What’s wrong with our OB planning board?


Frank Gormlie November 19, 2019 at 7:14 pm

I just watched the entire video – and yes there were several minutes of presentations by community members; 5 community members spoke for the appeal and 1 against. There was some back and forth between Campbell and staff – but there was no real discussion among councilmembers; ‘we’ve got to be ADA compliant and this new project will make us so.’ Claims that city staff will maintain the new ramp are full of fluff, and the 2 inch “berm” will of course keep ALL the sand off, right?
In the end, Campbell and staff were disappointing – no effort to find less expensive means to create actual ocean access; Campbell even said she was disappointed that the OB Planning Board wouldn’t withdraw their appeal. Nobody actually understood what OB planners Andrea Schlagter, Kevin Hastings and Mr Klein were saying, but thanks to everyone who went down there including those who spoke and Tom and Jane Gawronski in the audience.


George Monroe November 19, 2019 at 10:27 pm

It’s a sad day in journalism when our eyes and ears in OB cant get it right either. It’s a 2-FOOT Barrier by the way @Frank Gromile , sounds like you didn’t even read the ADA approved plans? Those of us that live here know that plaza needs repair and ADA is no joke. Very sad the board didn’t withdraw and yes, Frank, exactly, nobody could understand what they were saying. We need better local representation thanks for Sherman for really getting it


Geoff Page November 20, 2019 at 8:39 am

Mr. Monroe, apparently you don’t recognize sarcasm when you see it. Two inches or two feet will not keep sand off the ramp.

Also, apparently, you haven’t paid attention to all of the print that’s been in The Rag about this, Frank is well aware of the details I’m sure.

The “plaza” is not being repaired nor does it need any repair, this is only about the ADA ramp.

No one said ADA was a joke but spending $1.1 million on a sidewalk to nowhere is a joke, a sad joke on the disabled who want to go to the beach.

The OBPB didn’t withdraw because they were watching out for OB. Did you know the money to “fix” this thing came out of the budget to repair beach access stairs in OB that have been closed for a long time?

It’s a sad day in OB when the eyes and ears of one person in OB cant [sic] get it right either.


Frank Gormlie November 20, 2019 at 11:06 am

Okay, George Monroe – the “sad day in journalism” that you so bemoan happened a long time ago, when the mainstream media stopped reporting on local issues and stopped being truthful. But thanks for the link to the video. (BTW, stop misspelling my name – you’ve done it twice now, and what’s with the “@” symbol?) Geoff Page responded to your other misunderstandings (plaza won’t be repaired and nobody said ADA is a joke) but for you to say it was sad the OBPB didn’t withdraw their appeal means to me you didn’t get their presentation either. And Councilman Sherman is no friend of OB but he likes to showboat when he can; he’s the biggest proponent on the council for property rights over human rights.


kh November 20, 2019 at 9:51 am

The board was advocating for improved ADA access at dog beach. To put these funds to better use providing real access to the water. Not replicating the same inadequate ramp to nowhere that will continue to be underserving and inundated with sand due to lack of maintenance.

The concrete barriers installed there currently have more sand on the downwind side of them than the other side! That’s how sand settle when the wind blows. The same will happen with their 2ft wall.

The location the current and proposed ADA path ends is terrible. It’s used for homeless encampments, not enjoying the beach.

The lawsuit cited the sand making the pathway impassable, yet in the 3 years since that lawsuit they still aren’t maintaining it. Their response to the sand issue maintenance is its “assigned daily to park and rec” . And in the same breath, if there’s sand users should report it to park and rec.


Tyler November 20, 2019 at 9:05 am

My guess is city’s legal dept. said the $1.1M is a better CYA cost than the potential suits that could come if they decided to walk back plans for a “lesser cost” option. If that lesser cost option resulted in an injury for someone disabled, or the access wasn’t up to code, the city could be slapped with a lot more than $1.1M.

I completely agree with the OBPB on this… just trying to think about what’s behind their final action.


Geoff Page November 20, 2019 at 9:56 am

The funny thing about that, Tyler, is that, as kh says above, the city has made no effort to maintain or temporarily repair the ramp or close the ramp. It has been open to a new lawsuit ever since.


sealintheSelkirks November 21, 2019 at 9:08 pm

This whole thing is just pitiful to read about. Really. Trusting politicians always seem so futile… From the Alaskan Bridge to Nowhere to the OB Walk of Buried Sand that unless there are people hired to clear it every single day it won’t work… No end to the stupidity, is there?

Big sigh.



Frank Gormlie November 22, 2019 at 12:12 pm
Doug Blackwood November 30, 2019 at 1:45 am

Campbell is a real disappointment: she can redeem herself by getting rid of vacation rentals & scooters; better get busy jen!


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