Candidate Forum March 9, Election March 16 for Peninsula Community Planning Board

by on February 28, 2023 · 2 comments

in Election, Ocean Beach

By Geoff Page

The Peninsula Community Planning Board’s regular monthly meeting, Thursday, February 16, was a relatively bland affair.


The upcoming planning board elections was probably the most important topic of the meeting. The election information is posted on the PCPB home page here.

There are five board positions open for this election. Anyone wishing to run for a seat must fill out an application that can be found on the Elections page titled “2023 Board Member Application.” The titling is a bit odd as it was always was called a Candidate Application in the past.

The requirements to run for a seat are:

  • Candidates must be 18 years of age.
  • Candidates must reside, own property, or operate a business within the PCPB boundaries.
  • Candidates must have attended one regular PCPB meeting within the previous 12-month term. Attending the candidates forum qualifies for this requirement.

The Candidate Forum mentioned in the third bullet will take place Thursday, March 9 at 6:00 p.m. at the Point Loma/Hervey Branch Library using Zoom meeting. The deadline for the applications is also March 9, but at 5:00 p.m. At the forum, the public will have a chance to meet the candidates.

Hopefully, there will be more interest in the elections this year. Last year, the election was cancelled because only five people submitted applications for five seats. This was a bit unusual, as the PCPB usually gets enough candidates to have a competitive election. However, the PCPB website only shows one candidate has submitted an application so far.

If the election is held, it will be Thursday, March 16 in-person at the library from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Voters will need to bring identification to verify residency in the PCPB planning area before casting a vote.

Post COVID Meeting Guidelines

As of February 28, the California COVID state of emergency, declared by the governor, expires. The City of San Diego has told everyone that, effective March 1, 2023, in-person meetings must resume. Board members are interested in continuing Zoom meetings and heard from Planning Department representative Marlon Pangilinan.

What the board heard from Pangilinan was what the Midway-Pacific Highway group heard the day before as recounted here .

Pangilinan said Zoom could continue but that board members participating by Zoom would need to have the address of where they are calling in from published in the board’s agenda 72 hours in advance. And, that address would have to be open to the public to come there and participate. That is not designed to encourage participation by Zoom.

There were questions about hybrid meetings, like the city council and the Planning Commission use, with both in-person and remote public participation. It appears this is possible but presents some effort to manage. This is apparently a work-in-progress

Community Planning Group Changes

Pangilinan gave the same explanation of the Community Planning Group changes to the PCPB that he had given the day before to the Midway group as detailed in the same Rag story cited previously.

The effort required to “reapply” as the planning group for the peninsula is daunting. And, the enthusiasm for the effort is not immediately evident, perhaps because this will be a lot of work ending up with a disenfranchised planning board.

The main purpose the reason community planning groups and boards were created was to be an official part of the land use review system, mainly the permitting system. The requirement to come before the local community planning group is in the permitting cycle review document.

Here is what the new ordinance states:

“Private project applicants are not required by this policy to present their application before CPGs, although the City encourages applicants to conduct robust engagement with CPGs, the community, and project neighbors.”

PCPB member Joe Holasek, who chairs the PCPB Project Review subcommittee said glumly, “I see a real diminution in the role of project review in the months and years ahead.” This was actually an understatement.

The city’s changes severely limit public participation in developments happening around them. And, it discourages participation in planning groups. Why go through all that work to be recognized as the planning group for your area when the reason for being has been removed?

Holasek also said that the PCPB would not be seeing any of the accessory dwelling unit, or ADU, projects. These types of projects are a big part of the development volume as people rush to put in second units because of the “housing crisis.”

The PCPB had reviewed some of these ADU projects and had helped make some better projects with their review. Not anymore. But, it appears the PCPB is soldiering on with plans to do what is necessary to apply for recognition. The application and other documents are due to the city at the end of this year.

Bizarre Tribute

The meeting was bland with the exception of a bizarre tribute to a termed-out board member who filed a lawsuit against this same group of people. Go figure.

Board member Don Sevrens has finally termed out. When all else fails, thank goodness for term limits. The tribute to Sevrens included a PowerPoint collage of smiling Sevrens’s moments over the years.

It is remarkable how old age seems to automatically make people look rehabilitated. But a sweet-looking old man is still the same not-so-sweet man that he was when younger. For a look at the tribute slide show, go here.

A more accurate slide show would include when Sevrens accused former chair, Julia Quinn, and another board member of stealing from the PCPB’s meager treasury to pay PCPB bills. Sevrens made the accusation to the city. It was blatant display of abuse and it was directed at two women.

Sevrens has written The Rag on several occasions critical of this writer and telling editor dude that this writer should be fired from The Rag. He was a bit thin skinned.

In June 2019, Sevrens filed a lawsuit against the whole board alleging a violation of his right to free speech. There is no need to go back into all of that but anyone interested can go here

Those were just the highlights of Sevrens’s tenure that included all manner of disruption and difficulties. What finally silenced him was COVID and Zoom meetings. Why anyone believed this person deserved a tribute is a complete mystery to this observer.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Webb February 28, 2023 at 2:27 pm

So…I guess you’re not going to his retirement party?


JayBird February 28, 2023 at 6:12 pm

Low hanging fruit, But perhaps the tribute was part of his “sevrens” package?


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