Midway Planners: Proposed Land Use Changes Going to San Diego City Council

by on November 20, 2020 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Geoff Page 

The main take-aways from the Midway Pacific Highway Community Planning Group’s regular monthly meeting Wednesday, November 18, were from the government reports.  The planning boards and some town councils have an agenda section titled something like “Government Reports.”

During that part of the meetings, representatives of various government agencies provide up to date information from whoever they are representing such as Jennifer Campbell for District 2. (See list from the MPHCPG below.) The Ocean Beach Town Council list includes the city Lifeguards and the Fire Department.

These reports are often a snooze and mostly consist of nothing more than campaign ads for the politicians as their reps recount all the wonderful things they have done.  But, some good information does come out.  Usually, only a few of the reps show up.

The mayor’s office has been notoriously absent for the last two years from the Midway, OB, and Peninsula planning board meetings they used to attend regularly.

Here is some of what was said.

Council District 2

Josh Coyne from District 2 said that councilmember Campbell is holding a kind of end-of-the-year on-line meeting or meetings December 16 from 12:00 to 1:00 for the Midway, Peninsula, and Ocean Beach planning groups. A search for more information on Campbell’s website calendar did not show the event.

Coyne also explained why Midway Drive has yet to be repaved after the underground work.  The paving is postponed until they are finished testing and fixing problems with the new underground water system, which is probably normal.

Planning Department

The Planning Department report contained the most items of interest.  The Midway group has a new representative, Lisa Lind, who is also a veteran with the Planning Department.  Lind said she would commit to attending three meetings a year, which seemed to be a change in that department reps used to regularly attend the monthly meetings.

Lind’s most notable news was that the next set of proposed changes to the Land Use Code might be coming to council in December for a vote.  However, as of information from Lind on Thursday, November 19, it appears this will probably come before council in January.  These changes are very important and it is gratifying to know the decision will be made by the new council next year.

The changes can be seen here:

Click to access draft_2020_ldc_matrix_for_pc_report_9.16.20.pdf

Lind also explained a new tool on the Planning Department website called ZAPP or Zoning and Parcel Information Portal.  This appears to be the zoning map that has been around for years but is now searchable by address or parcel number.


Midway group chair Cathy Kenton expressed to Lind that the planning group was unhappy because it was not included in developing the controversial Complete Communities plan. That sentiment is probably the same for the entire city.  This plan is being rushed through by politicians that are leaving office and should also wait until next year.

Kenton also asked if the Planning Department was working on an approved plan to hold board elections because most planning boards were unable to hold elections in 2020 due to the pandemic.  Lind said they are working on a plan that may require some changes to Council Policy 600-24 that contains the body of planning board rules.


SANDAG’s representative announced that public workshops will start in January for the Central Mobility Hub and Intermodal Corridors proposals.  Good luck finding this on SANDAG’s website, but renderings of the mobility hub can be found there.  The workshops are not as yet scheduled.  A draft EIR for the project is expected early in 2021.

Action Item

The only action item on the agenda was for approval of an existing Conditional Use Permit for the Golden State Greens Marijuana Dispensary on Hancock Street.  The project includes some interior remodeling of the existing buildings and addition of a small space as a second floor. The applicants are also applying for the new designation “Cannabis Outlet.”

Measure E

At the end of the meeting, there was some discussion of Measure E.  The Midway group is very happy about the result.  Kenton mentioned a lawsuit filed by Save Our Access challenging the result because the city failed to conduct an environmental impact report showing how the change will affect the area.  Kenton believes the suit will fail because there is no proposed zoning change to the community plan.  Time will tell.

Community Advisory Group

Kenton mentioned the Sports Arena Community Advisory Board that was formed by the winning proposer for the Sports Arena development. According to a KPBS article in October:

“The group is composed of 19 members representing the business, transportation, neighborhood, climate action, military and higher education communities and will actively provide input to help shape the future of the arena property.”

Here is the full list of the Sports Arena Community Advisory Board members:

Cathy Kenton, Midway-Pacific Highway Planning Group
Dike Anyiwo, Midway-Pacific Highway Planning Group
Byron Wear, Point Loma Resident
Anthony Pretto and Chuck Pretto, Kobey’s Inc.
Kevin Sheehan, Phil’s BBQ
Rebecca Lieberman, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
Nicole Capretz, Climate Action Campaign
Jason Riggs, San Diego Stadium Coalition
Chris Duggan, California Restaurant Association
Andy Hanshaw, San Diego County Bicycle Coalition
Jason Paguio, Asian Business Association
Mark Balmert, RADM, USN, San Diego Military Advisory Council
Lynn Reaser, Fermanian Business & Economic Institute, Point Loma Nazarene University
Sherry Ryan, San Diego State University
Angeli Calinog, Circulate San Diego
Karen Thatcher, Walter Anderson Nursery
Sunny Lee, Old Town Chamber of Commerce
Coleen Clementson, SANDAG

Interestingly, there do not appear to be any regular community members on the board.  Notice that Byron Wear got himself on this list, it will be interesting to find out why this lobbyist was chosen for the board.  It is also unclear how this board was formed, more later.

OB Rag Effect

Lastly, it appears that Cathy Kenton reads the OB Rag.  The last article on the previous meeting related that a board member expressed a desire to have a member of the development group be a member of the Midway group.  The Rag article pointed out that this would be unwise and a conflict of interest.  Kenton explained the remark was “a comment made out of frustration” because the previous Sports Arena operators ignored the group.  Kenton made it very clear that the group agreed it would be a bad idea to have someone from the developer as a group member but she reiterated their desire to see the Brookfield Group become involved in attending meetings and working closely with the group.

List of government sources for reports, from the MPHCPG agenda:

a. Council District 2 Office – Josh Coyne

b. Mayor’s Office – Conrad Wear

c. Planning Department – Lisa Lind

d. Police Department – Officer David Surwilo

e. Regional Airport Authority – Ashley Martinez

f. County Supervisor District 4 Office – Emily Wier

g. State Senator Toni Atkins Office – Miller Saltzman

h. Assemblymember Todd Gloria – Randy Wilde

i. Congressman Scott Peters Office – Cesar Solis

j. SANDAG – Gia Ballash/Jack Christensen

k. Naval Base Point Loma – Muska Laiq



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