Ocean Beach CDC Halts Veterans Plaza Project

by on December 26, 2019 · 5 comments

in Ocean Beach

The Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation sent out a letter to its supporters informing them that due to a lack of construction funding and the expiration of their permit, they have to halt their Veterans Plaza project, planned near the foot of Newport Ave.

This ends a seven-year effort for a new Veterans Plaza that was supposed to replace the existing memorial at the foot of Newport. In their letter, the OBCDC recaps how they received community input on the design, met City requirements and obtained a permit from the city, and spent $100,000 on the project. They had earlier estimated the cost of the project as $900,000. They also produced a “professional video” that has been available on their website.

The letter – dated Dec. 2 –  describes their current situation; an expired permit and no “realistic source of construction funding”. The CDC still believes in the project, they tell their donors and would revive the project if funding became available. In the meantime, the project is on hold. But they are not returning the monies people donated for names on the plaza because the project hasn’t ended, it’s just on hold.

The letter does not mention how much was raised – but clearly it had to be at least $100,000. Nor does the letter explain how much of the funds donated remain.

This letter may have come as a shock to those who donated. And we feel sad that those folks don’t have their names or money back and we’re saddened that the CDC has not been able to fund their project over this period.

There’s always been critics of the project, both of the design, of the footprint – and even of the concept, after all OB’s has been a hotspot for peace and anti-war efforts over the decades (some even wanted to fund a “Peace Memorial” instead of what they saw as a “war memorial”).

Yet here we are.

Here’s the letter:

12/2/2019

Dear Ocean Beach Veterans Plaza Supporter,

Seven years ago, the OBCDC started work on a new Veterans Plaza to replace the existing memorial at the foot of Newport Avenue. We sought and received community input on the design. We met City of San Diego requirements for preliminary and final designs, surveys, tests, permits, and the like. The City issued the Coastal Development Permit in June 2016.

So far, the OBCDC has invested about $100,000 in the project.

The cost to actually build Veterans Plaza is estimated at $900,000. In the three years since the permit was obtained, we sought to meet this fiscal challenge through fundraisers, a professional video that has been on our website, and community networking. With regret, we must tell you that construction funding has been unobtainable.

Recently, the permit has expired. The OBCDC must face facts. What would be the point in renewing the permit in the absence of a realistic source of construction funding? Unfortunately, that is our current situation.

Please understand that the OBCDC believes in the Veterans Plaza project. Putting the project on hold is not irrevocable. We would not hesitate to revive it if the necessary funding appears to make construction possible. In the event that construction financing is not available, your donation for a name(s) on the plaza would be returned.

The OBCDC thanks you for your support to build the OB Veterans Plaza.

Sincerely,
OBCDC Board of Directors

***

Here’s the design of the memorial:

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Avatar Chris December 26, 2019 at 4:07 pm

Sad news.

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Peter Peter from South O December 27, 2019 at 11:17 am

The design was totally unsuitable for a SoCal beach. Vistas good. Walls bad. Those that ‘bought a brick’ should demand a financial accounting, not a lame, ambiguous letter.

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Avatar bodysurferbob December 27, 2019 at 1:02 pm

have to agree here with peter; the design was too large for OB’s waterfront, why a wall unless it’s a take-off of the washington dc vietnam memorial? it would have blocked vistas tremendously, would have cut down on surfers’ abilities to view the waves. perhaps it’s a good thing, a sign from the gods of good waves, parking spots and easy beach scenes.

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Avatar Richard December 27, 2019 at 11:59 am

Yea!!

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Avatar Richard December 27, 2019 at 12:01 pm

Yea!! I like the mermaid idea Claudia Jack wants. More like OB

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