Ocean Beach Planning Board Pushes City to Add ‘Quality of Life’ Metrics to STVR Ordinance; Election Results Announced

by on March 5, 2021 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Geoff Page

Board Continues Its Efforts to Mitigate STVR Ordinance

It was apparent at the Ocean Beach Planning Board’s regular monthly meeting March 3rd that the board has no intention of giving up the fight over the short-term vacation rental ordinance promoted by District 2 council member Jennifer Campbell.  Most of the meeting was taken up with a lengthy discussion of what to do next since the passage of Campbell’s ordinance by city council.

The OBPB previously put in a lot of effort coming up with a list of recommendations for changes to Campbell’s ordinance.  They produced a letter that they shopped around to other planning boards for support, which they mostly found.  One glaring exception was the Midway Pacific Highway Planning Group that refused to lend any support.

The list of recommendations was presented to Campbell who ignored them.  Campbell was already in disfavor for brokering the “deal” that resulted in the ordinance, and her unwillingness to consider OB’s well thought out suggestions only made that worse.

Campbell’s response was along the lines of “Let’s pass what we have now, we can modify it later.”  In the construction industry, that is analogous to issuing incomplete plans and saying we’ll finish them later.  Everything just costs so much more that way, better to complete good plans and then proceed.  It will be interesting to see how much resolve there will be to make modifications later.

A key point that the board discussed was that because there is no record of the existing STVRs in the city today, everyone has been working from estimates.  It is difficult to understand how an ordinance can be implemented to regulate STVRs when no one knows how many there are or where.  To make matters worse, the industry companies such as AirBnB refuse to disclose their client list and have fought efforts to obtain this information in court.

Apparently, Campbell’s ordinance does not compel these companies to divulge the information.  Considering that only these companies have the necessary information, this presents a serious problem.  It makes no sense to make a deal with an entity and get nothing in return.

Currently, it is illegal to operate STVRs in residential neighborhoods.  This “deal” of Campbell’s legalizes a certain number of STVRs.  That is what the STVR industry gets.  Without the information about existing STVRs, there is no way for the city to know if the industry is truly sticking to the agreement. The ordinance should have had a deal breaking provision that required the information be provided or no agreement.

Another major point of discussion was how to monitor the effect of the STVRs on the community’s quality of life.  The board agreed that some kind of reporting mechanism needs to be put in place to monitor a variety of things such as the effect on housing stock and affordability.  There was a long, interesting discussion on this that can be seen in the meeting recording starting at 17:40.

OBPB chair Andrea Schlageter asked District 2 representative Teddy Martinez about the second reading of the ordinance.

Martinez’s answer was intended to be discouraging, making it appear like the thing was a done deal so there was little reason to get excited about a second reading. He said t is usually just an administrative procedure and such items are often just on the consent agenda.  Items on the consent agenda are not discussed at council unless a person requests the item be removed from the consent agenda. It appeared as if Martinez was being loyal to his boss and was trying to dampen any enthusiasm for further action

Because the OBPB knows this is not really the case, they plan to take advantage of the opportunity for additional input, which is allowed before the second reading. They are forging ahead, which irritates Campbell.

Martinez then explained that there was another step before the second reading. Council is expecting a report of some kind in October from city departments regarding the nuts and bolts of the ordinance, such as the fee structure and about how the ordinance will work. Martinez’s statement was – well the reader can judge for themselves.

“Council basically directed all these departments to say ‘Hey we have this huge problem and we want to address it and we are directing you to figure it out. Here’s what we can offer – here’s like a skeleton. But here’s what we want to address and it’s up to you, departments, to go and find the best plan and report back to us what that will look like so we can approve it.’”

So, city council apparently did the heavy lifting by passing an idea and it was up to others to figure out how to make it work. It appeared that no one pushing this “policy” had bothered to check with city departments to see if an ordinance was even feasible.  Why the council, or in particular, Campbell, had not already worked with the city departments to bring a completely crafted and workable ordinance to the council for a vote was inexplicable, unless it was just a political ploy.

This whole thing may just wind up as a political show that only benefits the politician and may never come to fruition.  In the meantime, the problem continues.

The board unanimously passed this motion:

“Acknowledging the possible strain that is put on beach communities. as well as other tourist communities we ask that the City Council to add the following quality of life metrics to the STR ordinance:

  • Stock of Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing, or NOAH
  • Cost of general housing
  • Public school enrollments
  • Increase on rents both commercial and residential
  • STVR-related nuisance calls to the police and code enforcement
  • Transient Occupancy Tax, or TOT, revenue from STVRs
  • Increase in trash pick-up
  • Should be done on a frequency where reasonable adjustments to the ordinance can be made.”

The word “metrics” means a system or standard of measurement.  The OBPB is saying that the ordnance needs to measure what is on the suggested list as a standard of measurement.

Project Review

There was only one project to review and vote on. It happened to be a project by one of the board members, located at 4675 Del Monte Avenue.  It passed unanimously and that was not because it was a project by a fellow board member.

The project involved demolishing an existing companion unit in the rear of a property and replacing that with a three-car garage and a companion unit on top.  It was a planning board’s dream.

The applicant was well under the height limit, well under the required floor area ratio, provided parking for the new companion unit even though this was not required under the new Accessory Dwelling Unit rules, and made great consideration for the neighbors.

It was refreshing to see a project that did not absolutely maximize, or stretch, the allowable standards for a property in Ocean Beach.

San Diego Public Library

Board member Tracy Dezenzo shared information about a library project.

“The San Diego public library is asking for your help to create a photographic, historical collection entitled SNAPSHOT: a photo journal of life during the pandemic. They are asking San Diegan’s to submit 1-10 photos which could reflect a moment in time, a feeling, or an expression of how you would summarize the pandemic experience.”

This is a chance to have a person’s photograph in the historical record and be a part of history.

Dezenzo also mentioned that the preferred window for the photos is the past six months and until June 30th, the deadline for submissions.  Go to the link here for all of the information.  https://www.sandiego.gov/public-library/snapshot.


Dezenzo provided some information for artists out there looking for opportunities.

“The San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture has put out a call for proposals to any artists or artist teams who are interested in creating public art for Beyer Park, a NEW 8 acre park that will be located in San Yisidro/Otay Mesa. The artist or artist team will design, fabricate and transport permanent, site-specific artwork and consult during installation of artwork at the site by the City.

The art budget is approximately $170,000 and any artist or artist team who is legally authorized to work in the US are eligible to apply.”

The deadline for applying for this opportunity is only a few weeks away, March 25, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. For more information go here .

Election Results

The following election results were announced at the conclusion of the meeting:

  • D1, Melanie Boda – write in
  • D2, Richard Merriman
  • D3, Chris Chalupsky
  • D4, Craig Klien
  • D5, vacant*
  • D6, Tom Gawronski
  • D7, vacant
  • At Large, vacant

There are three vacant seats that will be available for appointment by board votes.  Contact the OBPB if interested in an appointment to one of the vacant seats.

Editordude: additional info on appointments –

Vacant Seats/Appointments

Appointments may be made to a vacant seat when an empty seat becomes available. Appointments are made April-February.

Candidates applying for a vacated seat must…

  • Submit an application. Submit your application via e-mail.
  • Obtain at least 10 signatures from the district in which you are seeking a seat. Important: signature gathering has been suspended for the 2021 election due to the City of San Diego’s social distancing guidelines for CPG elections.
  • Have documented attendance at one of the Board’s last 12 meetings PRIOR to the election.
  • Present yourself to the Board at a regularly scheduled Board meeting and announce intention to apply for a seat.
  • The Board will vote on all appointments.

For any additional questions for the OBPB, please email us here.


{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: