Coastal Commission, Meeting Today in Northern Calif, to Decide Fate of 2 Ocean Beach Cottages at end of Cape May

by on July 13, 2022 · 1 comment

in California, Ocean Beach

The California Coastal Commission is meeting today, Wednesday, July 13, and will be deciding the fate of a new development in Ocean Beach that will demolish two cottages at the very end of Cape May Avenue.

Local OBceans are understandably concerned that coastal access will be negatively impacted and understand that the area does flood.

The problem is the Commission is meeting in Ft. Bragg in Northern California – and they’re meeting today.

OB residents want folks, however, to participate in the meeting by remote testimony on Permit #6-20-0375 at 5162 Cape May Ave.

See this Remote Testimony Request form here.

How to participate in the Coastal Commission hearing Wednesday:

Go to the agenda webpage here  and click on “Submit Speaker Request Here.”

Indicate on the form that you would like to speak on a specific agendized item. The item number is W20a (it may just be listed as “20a”). You will then receive a Zoom link.

If you’d like to submit a visual aid (e.g. Powerpoint slides or PDF) to go along with your presentation on, follow the instructions in our Virtual Hearing Procedures here:

Visual aids were due by 5pm on Tuesday 7/12.

Written comments and photos were required to be submitted by last Friday.

This area does flood.

The following letter was sent to the CCC on the development:

I am contacting you regarding the planned development at 5162 Cape May Ave. San Diego, CA. I am a published environmental consultant based here in San Diego and my home is 30 feet from the proposed development. I am noticing some deficiencies in the information that has been made available to us.

Has an EIR been performed on the site? If so can a copy please be made available to us and if one has not been completed is there an explanation for why one has not been performed on a property with such a high chance of negative environmental impact to the California coast?

There is a proposed below grade hydraulic lift on the north side of the property. According to the submitted plans the lift will be within the area that experiences regular winter flooding. Flooding in the area would directly lead to an increased risk of hydrocarbon contamination from the lift that would directly and immediately contaminate the adjacent public beach and beach access.

A second concern I have regarding the public hearing is that instead of it being held in San Diego this month it was pushed back until July 13th in Fort Bragg approximately 700 miles from the property. While I will not have an issue attending the meeting remotely, the majority of people who live around the property are not knowledgeable with current technology and feel they will not be able to attend the meeting.

Is it possible to have the public hearing pushed back to the October 12th California Coastal Commission in San Diego so that the public who will be impacted by the proposed development are able voice their concerns in a proper public forum? It seems from the actions/words of the new developer that the public hearing was purposely set at a location the majority of people being impacted will not be able to voice their objections or concerns.

I personally have witnessed employees of the current owner violating numerous environmental regulations while working on the property including but not limited to; improper disposal of hazardous chemicals, improper storage of hazardous waste/chemicals and illegal dumping of construction debris. The owner cannot be ignorant of these violations because he was on site during said violations. I have zero confidence that the new owner has any concerns beyond making as much money as possible with this project.

I will be submitting a formal letter addressing all of my concerns this week but by rushing the approval of this development I do not believe that the California Coastal Commision is fulfilling their mission statement.

“To ensure that coastal resources are effectively protected in light of changing circumstances, such as new information and changing development pressures and impacts, the Commission is required to review each certified LCP at least once every five years.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Paul Webb July 13, 2022 at 2:12 pm

I’m not writing this to be critical, but to educate you on the reality of the situation. In your request to the CCC you request and explanation for why an EIR has not been prepared for this project. Under CEQA, certain projects are exempt from environmental review. Categorical Exemption Class 3 includes “(o)ne single-family residence, or a second dwelling unit in a residential zone. In urbanized areas, up to three single-family residences may be constructed or converted under this exemption.” In other words, no EIR is required.

When attempting to influence the outcome of an action by a governing body, it’s best to limit your requests to those things that are supported by the legislation you believe supports your position. Asking for things that are not required under the law is a fruitless endeavor.

I know, CEQA is complicated and it does not always function in the way people sometimes want. But the fact remains that it is the law and the project proponents are in compliance.


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