5 Projects Before OB Project Review Committee – Wed., April 21

by on April 21, 2021 · 13 comments

in Ocean Beach

Here’s link to OB Planning Board website and info on PRC meeting.


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Zack April 21, 2022 at 1:43 pm

I sat in on this meeting and it was a complete joke. What is the purpose of this CPG if they don’t have the power to approve or deny projects? Additionally the vice chair came up with arbitrary and rather irrelevant reasons to vote against a multi-unit project. When I asked him what his rationale was for voting against it he dismissed my questions. The meeting when about an hour longer than planned because neighbors of one of the applicants to build an ADU called in to complain about the proposal. This whole process does not strike me as an efficient way to review development projects; it seems like a mechanism to air petty grievances and come up with excuses to resist housing construction. Finally, there were about 15 people in attendance at the maximum. How is that representative of the greater community?


Frank Gormlie April 21, 2022 at 4:59 pm

I think you meant to comment on the most recent meeting of last night of the OB Planning Board Project Review Committee on 4/20/22. Sounds like you had a stake in one of the projects or what? Get to know what local community planning boards are all about and the decades of volunteerism that went into, for instance, the OB planning board, before perhaps shooting from the hip. Your complaints that others took up your time complaining ring hollow. Planning committees are a community’s way to check unbridled overdevelopment. They are invaluable, time-consuming, a type of grassroots democracy and not infallible. And currently, their very concept is under attack by certain quarters of the city.


bobo April 21, 2022 at 7:13 pm

To piggy-back on Frank’s comment;
If you were in the project review committee, know that this committee is charged with reviewing, and then making recommendations to the larger/complete OB Planning Board. That is when they vote to recommend approval or denial of the project to the City.
And also know, the Planning Board itself, has no authority to deny or approve a project. Only to make recommendations to the City based on the Community Plan.
The PRC’s role is to do most of the “heavy lifting” in reviewing the blueprints and consolidating that information for the rest of the Board.


Lyle April 22, 2022 at 8:22 am

Re: “Only to make recommendations to the City based on the Community Plan.”
It seems that, ico ADU’s and parking, the PL and OB boards are recommending approvals based on overall city ordinance and arbitrary state law rather than on the community plans. These community plans were developed to provide for orderly development to support a certain population level. Now that the city/state have directed an increase in that population level and density, shouldn’t they be funding amendments to these plans? Maybe then the increase in development might be conducted in a more orderly fashion and in a way more palatable to current residents, rather than the “whoever has money” process we are now seeing.


bobo April 22, 2022 at 8:51 am

Note that from what I understand, the approvals follow this order: State > City > Community Plan (what community members want)
The OB Precise plan was last updated over 10 years ago and could use an update. But it won’t get approved by the City or Coastal Commission if it directly and specifically contradicts existing ordnances. So if we were to update it for today’s political environment, it would most likely be less favorable to the community than what is written today.

Also understand that the City’s various Planning Boards (including OB & PL) are obligated and directed by the City to review and consider State and City laws. So of course, they have to recommend plans that comply with City and “arbitrary” State laws!
It’s not that the members of these boards are simply ignoring the community’s desires – far from it. They represent the community – live, and work within it.


Zack April 22, 2022 at 12:28 pm

How would orderly development look to you? What form would it take? How many residents would be added? These kinds of concerns are very often smokescreens. I saw the vice chair criticize one development proposal for not including enough afforded housing. However affordable housing wouldn’t be necessary if community planning groups hadn’t resisted housing development for several decades. The vice chair also implied that the rooftop patio of the multi-unit proposal would be used for vacation rental parties without providing any evidence for that claim. He also mentioned that he didn’t want “castles in the sky” in the neighborhood. Frankly, who cares at this point? He and the community planning group are simply unrepresentative of the larger community and even if they were representative then why should they be allowed to delay or outright prevent homeowners from modifying their property or housing development from taking place? The city has 1.4 million inhabitants and the property values are absolutely insane! If you want more autonomy from the city then maybe it’s time to consider becoming your own city where you may be able to set some of your own rules rather than acting like an HOA for all of your neighbors


Zack April 21, 2022 at 10:14 pm

Yes but what is the point of even reviewing these kinds of projects if you have no power to approve or deny? Why should home owners who want to add an ADU to their property have to go through you rather than just going directly to the city?

As far as me having a stake in the project, that’s the disingenuous kind of criticism your Nimby tyopes throw around! Greedy developer! If I had a stake in the project why would I bother posting on this dinky website when the city is likely going to approve my proposal? .

You people are frauds. You claim to care about affordable housing but resist any kind of housing construction. Then you accuse developers of being greedy when we’re seriously undersupplied regarding our housing stock. I think you want to keep your property values artificially inflated while being busybodies about what everyone else is doing with THEIR property. I’m happy the city and state are ignoring you nowadays


bobo April 22, 2022 at 8:54 am

I don’t think you fully understand the process. Property owners who want to make a change that invokes a Coastal Commission review do go through the City. One of those requirements is to get approval from the Community via the Planning Board. The City doesn’t completely ignore Planning Board’s recommendations. But in cases where the Board’s disapproval contradicts what is allowed or an applicant successfully appeals it, the project sometimes moves forward.


Zack April 22, 2022 at 12:17 pm

I do understand the process. People indeed need to go through the city. My question is why people need to go through the community planning board at all when the board ultimately has no power to approve or deny. It would be far more effecient to simply go through the city and coastal commission rather than wasting their time having to meet with a handful of people who claim to represent their community. I sat in on that entire meeting. There were at most 15 people in attendance. How is that representative of the larger community? Additionally the community planning group elections across the city are generally low turnout elections. Again this isn’t representative of most people. So you end up with low turnout elections that are disproportionately frequented by people who are interested in preserving their neighborhoods (and often property values). Most eligible voters don’t participate in the elections at all and certainly don’t attend the meetings. They have more important things to do than insert their noses into their neighbor’s business.


bobo April 22, 2022 at 12:53 pm

Sounds like you need to apply for a seat on the Board and try to influence your counter-point to the process.
Attending one meeting and making conclusions based on that myopic experience isn’t true to the facts that, we, as a community, have a voice and local representation.
You might also want to brush up on what the OB community did years ago – at a Grass-root’s level – to ensure, among other things, that a 30 foot height limit was created to protect the coastal area. Frank Gormlie (editor-dude here) can personally attest to that effort. That was the seed for the modern community planning groups in San Diego.
Also, what you decry as NIMBY protection of new housing might apply to other parts of the City. But in OB, we’re built-out. There aren’t any infill lots where you could build new housing. And those that replace old structures must comply with the Community Plan. A design that is ONLY enforced through the Planning Board’s reviews.


Zack April 22, 2022 at 2:26 pm

Does the community planning board have the power the enforce designs when it is ultimately up to the city and coastal commission to approve of the designs?


bobo April 22, 2022 at 4:03 pm

“Does the community planning board have the power the enforce designs”
I know you’re asking a rhetorical question because you know that the COBs have no power to “enforce” anything. That power rests in the City code enforcement or DSD inspectors.
However, the COBs do carry a lot of weight in approval of aesthetic designs and elevations. Again, they have to comply with the Community Plan.

I suspect you prefer that Community Boards be dissolved so that there is no review. If you prefer to have unrestricted power over your property to do what you want without any community oversight, I suggest you find a place to live in Texas – where anyone can build anything. Ask the folks in Houston who were recently flooded out from a rain storm how that Libertarian utopia worked out for them.


Zack April 22, 2022 at 5:17 pm

I was responding to an earlier post which claimed that CPGs had the power to enforce designs.

Not sure what lax zoning laws in Houston have to do with Hurricane Harvey. Would our stricter zoning laws in San Diego prevent flooding from a hurricane?


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