OB Planners Take On Luigi’s Lost Parking Lot, Bike Parking Instead of Cars, Roundabouts, Vendor Ordinance and Capital Projects

by on August 9, 2021 · 5 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Geoff Page

Building code violations, bike parking in exchange for car parking, traffic roundabouts, a vendor ordinance, a Capital Improvement Project wish list, and arts & culture news. These were the items of interest that were discussed at the OB Planning Board’s regular monthly meeting, August 4.

Pizzeria Luigi

Board member Craig Klein, who initially brought up what he saw as code violations on the Pizzeria Luigi property at last month’s meeting, had more to say. Klein directed his comments to the District 2 representative, Teddy Martinez.  Apparently, Code Enforcement is involved and has visited the site but according to Klein work is progressing. Klein wanted Martinez to make this a priority.

The new pizza place is on the southwest corner of Newport and Bacon that was formerly a Mexican restaurant, Bravos Cantina. Behind the restaurant is, or was, a small parking lot that would accommodate a few cars.  This has now been blocked off with a low masonry wall and the owner intends to build some covered outside dining there.

The problem is, no permits.  Klein is concerned because this takes away more of the precious little available parking in OB. What this will come down to is whether or not the business is required to provide parking.  The assumption would be yes, but in today’s world where the city is doing away with almost all parking requirements, who knows.

Bike Parking in lieu of car parking

There is a proposed change to the Land Development Code that basically allows a business, or a development, to get out of providing car parking by providing bicycle parking.  The change allows a business to replace its minimum car parking requirement with bicycle parking at a ratio of two to one. If they are required to provide four automobile spaces, they can replace that with eight bicycle parking spaces.

It gets worse. A business could provide a bike rack outside on public property and satisfy the bicycle parking.  Apparently, a business could claim bike parking that was not even in front of their business.

An obvious question was posed about the two to one ratio. Why only two bikes for a car parking space that could easily accommodate four bicycles. Clearly using only two makes it much easier to satisfy.

Board member Kevin Hastings described his view of the proposed ordinance. He said it was, “A developer and business friendly proposal disguised as a pro bike proposal.” Just another way to get around parking requirements.

The board voted to table this one and sent it back to its transportation subcommittee for reconsideration. Some suggestions were to add language saying the bicycle space must be used for bikes and nothing else. Another suggestion was to limit this to one parking space per business.  There are some ideas but, generally, the board was not in favor and the proposed suggestions would probably not be well received.  If you have an opinion on this, contact the board using the mail feature at  http://oceanbeachplanning.org.


Traffic roundabouts, often referred to as traffic circles, are coming to OB.  At least it appears one is coming at Bacon and West Point Loma Blvd. The board has discussed roundabouts a number of times, prompted by the city’s plan to place that one.  The main concern is that a single roundabout will cause confusion for traffic and a better plan would be a series of these. La Jolla Blvd. through Bird Rock is the best illustration of this.

It was clear from the discussion that West Point Loma Blvd needs attention. After much discussion, the board passed a motion requesting the city study West Point Loma Blvd. from Abbot to Ebers for possible traffic calming measures and possible placement of traffic circles at the intersections along West Point Loma.

For those unfamiliar with roundabouts, these are circles at intersections that allow cars to move through without ever stopping.  The benefits are a smoother, faster flow, and fewer emissions from idling cars at a four-way stop.  Demonstrations clearly show that these will allow more cars to pass through per hour than any four-way stop.  But, they are not applicable everywhere.

Vendor ordinance

Teddy Martinez was asked for an update on the vendor ordinance that has taken a very long time to gestate.  The short answer was that it may come to council in September.  Maybe.

The lack of a vendor ordinance is why there has been such a proliferation of vendors down at the end of Newport. Apparently, putting an ordinance together that satisfies state and federal law is difficult. Certainly, the city has had enough time to get it right.

The first version of the ordinance was tabled because of flaws in the information gathering effort.  That has since been corrected and a new draft is ready.  If they don’t come up with something soon, things may get ugly.  This writer has never seen anything like this after 40 years in OB and people are getting very impatient for a solution.

CIP list

The Capital Improvement Project list is updated every year and the planning boards are all asked to provide their lists of projects they believe their area needs. The board created a list and then voted on how to prioritize the projects.  The prioritized list was not available at the time of this writing but here is the list of items:

  • OB Recreation Center improvements
  • Storm drain repair and retrofitting
  • Lifeguard tower with restroom updates that take into consideration transgender safetyand ADA safety
  • OB Library expansion and upgrades
  • Estuary project: fencing to protect wildlife from pedestrians and canines
  • Serial roundabouts on West Point Loma at Abbott, Cable and Ebers
  • Walkable Newport: Closing the streets to vehicular traffic on 4900/5000 blocks
  • OB Parks: Saratoga, Spray and Ebers parks improvements previously requested in recent parks proposal\
  • Pedestrian boardwalk from Dog Beach to the Pier
  • Bike storage lockers located at Rec Center, Spray Street near volleyball courts and Pier area.
  • Rebuild the access stairs south of the pier up to Niagara/Narragansett alley.
  • ADA access to shoreline in the following locations: Dog Beach, Volleyball courts off SprayStreet, Lifeguard tower area or Saratoga Park, Cape May

Arts and culture

As related by Arts & Culture Commissioner and OB Planning Board member Tracy Dezenzo:

San Diego/Tijuana are semifinalists in the 2024 WORLD DESIGN CAPITOL bid. The World Design Capital® (WDC), designated every two years by the World Design Organization™ (WDO), recognizes cities for their effective use of design to drive economic, social, cultural, and environmental development. The designated city showcases best practices in sustainable design-led urban policy and innovation that improve quality of life. The decision should be made in October, so cross your fingers for our bid. For more info visit https://home2024.com

The City of San Diego Arts and Culture Commission has launched a Request for Interest (RFI) for Fiscal Sponsors who may be interested in working with CCSD applicants who may not meet our CCSD eligibility requirements. Our hope is not only to create a reference list that can serve as a resource for prospective CCSD applicants to use when researching fiscal sponsors, but also to encourage more nonprofit organizations to consider alternative ways to support arts and culture in San Diego.

Deadline for RFI’s: Sunday August 22, 2021 at 11:59pm

If you or any organization you know are interested in becoming a fiscal sponsor some things to know are:

  • Fiscal sponsors need to be registered as either a 501c3 or 501c6 and have at least 3 years of history
  • Fiscal sponsors do NOT need to be arts and culture organizations
  • Fiscal sponsors can apply to OSP funding (if they meet OSP eligibility requirements)
  • Submitting a RFI does not have any binding obligations with the City or with any prospective CCSD applicant (so an organization can submit the RFI but will have all the freedom to decide whether or not to move forward with being a fiscal sponsor for any interested CCSD applicant)

Additional information and the RFI is located at https://www.sandiego.gov/arts-culture/funding/fiscal-sponsorship.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Greg August 9, 2021 at 11:00 am

“The main concern is that a single roundabout will cause confusion for traffic and a better plan would be a series of these. La Jolla Blvd. through Bird Rock is the best illustration of this.”

Ain’t that the truth! That project has transformed Bird Rock from highway style pass-through into a vibrant walkable community. It would be great to see more arterials in OB get a slow streets (sexy streets) treatment to provide a safer and more livable community. West Point Loma is a great start for our East-West arterials and I hope it can be applied to some of our parallel North-South arterials that are in abundant supply. Why does every North-South arterial have to be car-centric? Sunset Cliffs and Catalina can always be highway style pass-throughs so let’s start thinking about making Abbot, Bacon, and Ebers safer for those who live here! Sorry Cable-heads, even though I live on that street the bus makes it a harder sell. :(


kh August 9, 2021 at 12:34 pm

Getting out of OB on a summer weekend, Sunset Cliffs northbound backs up all the way to WPL. This can back up WPL all the way to Bacon. WPL at Nimitz backs up to Ebers. That backup line has become longer ever since the extension of the bike lane has narrowed the driving lane, preventing cars from going around the left turn traffic.

Entering OB, it also backs up past WPL/SSC. Cars trying to get in are forced to wait several signal cycles to get through. Not to mention the backups that happen at SSC to WPL westbound due to tourists getting stuck in the right turn lane leaving the freeway.

Increasing traffic flow along WPL will not correct any of these issues. Roundabouts, by design, funnel all cars from all directions into the same single lane, to simplify the flow of traffic. They work great in the right location. But what happens when a roundabout backs up? Nobody can pass in any direction. Also keep in mind most of the driers will be visitors seeing this for the first time, every time.

At least when a stop light or stop sign backs up, cross traffic can usually still flow, as well as turning traffic if there’s a turn lane.


Geoff Page August 9, 2021 at 11:18 am

Here is the prioritized CIP list.

The number on the left is the priority level of that individual project that goes into the city’s CIP database. They are not ranked sequentially or compared to each other.

Priority Description

1 Pier retrofit or replacement including addition of marine education center, wave energy capture, improved bathrooms, extend stairs down to the beach.
1 Lifeguard / Police substation tower including safe, monitored and ADA compliant restrooms.
1 OB Library expansion and upgrade.
3 ADA access paths/mats to the shoreline in the following locations: Dog Beach, Volleyball courts off Spray Street, Lifeguard tower area or Saratoga Park, Cape May
4 Storm drain repair and retrofitting to address flooding and sea level rise.
5 OB Rec Center improvements
5 OB Parks: Saratoga Beach Park, Spray St Park (Brighton Ave), Veteran’s Plaza, and Ebers St Park improvements previously requested in our recent parks proposal
6 Estuary project: Fencing to protect wildlife from pedestrians and canines
6 Rebuild/replace the public access stairs south of the pier up to Niagara/Narragansett alley.


kh August 9, 2021 at 12:18 pm

The bike parking substitution applies to Eating and Drinking Establishments within the CN, CO, or CV commercial zones. We don’t have any of these in OB. I sent the relevant code language to you and the Board members. It was passed by Council and effective March 2021 for most of the city, but it will not apply in the Coastal Zone unless/until it is certified by the Coastal Commission, which they are scheduled to rule on by May 2022.


Geoff Page August 9, 2021 at 12:30 pm

Thank you, kh. There was enough information from what you sent me for another short article. Interesting stuff.


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