Reader Rant by Concerned Neighbor: Overnight Closure of Sunset Cliffs Parking Lots Will Push Campers onto Residential Streets

by on October 25, 2021 · 5 comments

in Ocean Beach

By Nearby Concerned Resident

A community safety issue has been identified by our concerned neighbors’ group. A proposal for Coast and Mission Bay Parking Lot Gate Closures that will affect Sunset Cliffs outlines overnight gate closures and signed overnight parking restrictions to improve public safety and reduce illegal activity.

(See Proposed Parking lot closures)

A number of neighbors on residential streets that these parking lots border are concerned these lot closures and restrictions will push overnight parking onto residential streets and don’t see any provisions in this proposal to address this safety issue.

For example: Ladera Street, Cordova Street and Devonshire Drive all have experienced overnight parking of vans, campers as well as oversized vehicles. Furthermore, it’s been brought to our attention that the San Diego Police Department is no longer issuing citations for vehicle habitation due to an impending lawsuit. This leaves citations only for “oversize” vehicles and vehicles parked for over 72 hours.

During the Covid19 pandemic Sunset Cliffs Linear park (Sunset Cliffs Blvd from Adair to Ladera Streets) was closed. This closures pushed traffic and parking into the residential streets (Devonshire Dr.; Adiar, Osprey, Cordova, Hill St).

Our residential streets and neighborhoods experienced the following: reckless driving, littering, urination and defecation on streets, in alleys and on lawns.

Requests to our District 2 Council Representative Jen Campbell for assistance were referred to another elected official’s office and nothing was done to address these public safety concerns.

These activities peaked during the ocean bioluminescence every evening for two-weeks. During these two weeks these activities were being broadcast on the local news station while our requests for assistance went unanswered.

I recognize these activities were related to the unique situation of Covid. However, we continue to experience overnight camper parking and sanitation issues on our residential streets. This is sure to increase with the proposed lot closures and parking restrictions unless the impact of these closures on the bordering neighborhoods is addressed now.

One of the “Intended Outcomes” listed on this proposal is “Improvements in feelings of safety for park patrons, nearby residents, and visitors to the parks.” However, just closing and restricting parking in these lots without addressing the impact on bordering “nearby residents” will simply move the problems from one place to another.

Here are my suggestions for “nearby residents” who have concerns about this proposal:

1. List your concerns and offer suggestions. If the response to your suggestions are “we can’t do that” don’t let the conversation end there. Instead, ask for options of what can be done to address your concerns.
2. Use the attached “Contact Information List” I created to send your concerns. (I researched and created the contact list to encourage you to make this an opportunity to have your voice heard in the community.)

If you agree with my concerns, feel free to build upon them. For example: the “Background” sections list: the illegal campers attracting gang members, and large parties. You could also reference the “Key Outcome” of “Improvement in feeling of safety for park patrons, nearby residents, and visitors to the park.” Consider, addressing the impact these closures on nearby residents as I did and offer suggestions and/or ask for their options of how your concerns will be addressed.

Thank you in advance for your commitment to a safe and livable community. A concerned “nearby resident.”

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Gravitas October 25, 2021 at 3:39 pm

Bravo! For writing this column. The van dwellers and overnight parking has already spread into residential areas…including Point Loma in a around Shelter Island, etc.

Surely, the Council can fix one problem without creating others….this is what they have done with the homeless crisis as well. Move from downtown to Hillcrest, to Bankers Hill, to Mission Hills and local parks.


Douglas Blackwood October 25, 2021 at 9:07 pm

Jen (Incompetent) Campbell continues to ignore residents!


kh October 25, 2021 at 9:11 pm

The author should take their own advice. I see nothing in here offering up solutions. They seem to be advocating to continue allowing overnight camping in the beach lots.


Paul Webb October 26, 2021 at 9:33 am

I think the better solution here would be to enforce existing laws on habitating in vehicles (I know there’s a lawsuit, but keep enforcing until you win or lose), enforcing traffic laws, enforcing open container laws, enforcing laws limiting noise.

I know that many violators of these laws will just ignore the citations, but if they get enough a bench warrant will be issued and they’ll spend time in jail. Maybe even have their vehicles impounded.

While we’re at it, how about enforcing laws on motorcycle noise? When my mother was in hospice care for the last year of her life, I went to the LA area every week to be with her and spell my sister to give her a break in her care giving. I drove through Redondo Beach back and forth to her hospice facility each day I was there, and there were large changeable message signs at the city limits on each side of the city warning of strict enforcement of muffler laws. We need that here.

A while back I was getting gas at the Shell station on W. Point Loma when an extremely loud un-mufflered motorcycle pulled in (BTW, I’m hearing impaired so if I think it’s loud, it’s really loud). The rider got off and removed his helmet. Then he removed his ear plugs! I asked him if he had extra plugs for the rest of us and he just called me an a**hole and went inside. I guess it could have been worse.


Geoff Page October 26, 2021 at 10:14 am

Great response, Paul! But, yea, it could have been a bit worse for you. Using humor to make a point is just plain lost on some people.


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