Something’s Happening at Abbott and Muir — Could It Be the Return of One of OB’s Most Controversial Projects?

by on April 4, 2023 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

UPDATE: Geoff Page spoke to a gentleman on the site who told him that they plan to build 3 townhomes.

An alert member of the OB Planning Board, Tracy DeZenzo, sent us these photos of “something happening at Abbott and Muir.”

The large, empty lot at the southwest corner of the intersection has been vacate for decades. Since 2015, developers who wanted to build on the lot have appeared in front of the OBPB with various plans to harness those wild weeds. And one set of plans became very controversial and was continually rejected by the Board.

But we have not seen the new plans and can only speculate at this point. Perhaps they’re the old plans now that the “rules” have been loosened up.

Here’s some background to the controversial project:

Start here;

… and here in 2017

… and here there’s new designs also in 2017…

…and here again in 2018 (the last report I could find). And then we stated:

On the OBPB agenda is one of the most controversial projects – now redesigned – to appear before the Board – 3 new condos to be constructed in the vacate lot at Abbott Street and Muir Avenue.

The project has been controversial because its original design has been way out of line with the OB Community Plan. And the project has been before the Board numerous times. Here’s what we reported when it was scheduled to come before our volunteer planners back in July of 2017:

2150 1/3 Abbott St. – Controversial Project Downgrades to 3 Condos

… On the agenda, but by far the most controversial project, is the permit to build 3 residential condos for a total of 6730 square feet, on that large, empty 7500 square foot lot at the intersection of Abbott and Muir.

Original design of condos at Abbott and Muir – but with 4 condos. The new plans have only 3 condos.

This is one of the most controversial projects ever to come before the review panel and the full board – because the 2-story project has been before the full board or the review panel 3 or 4 times, each time getting rejected or postponed.

The project originally called for 4 condos, and was continually rejected by OB planners for violating OB’s floor-area-ratio. Now, it looks like the developers have figured out they can only build three condos on the lot.

In June of 2015, the developers appeared before the Project Review panel and requested a variance around the floor area ratio. This was denied 8 to zip. (See details here.)

When the project came before the full OB Planning Board in September 2015 – the board took on the issue of developers requesting variances to the FAR because they complied with the City’s “green program”, tabling their decision on the project until after the board had determined its own standards.

Philip Covington’s project returned to the OB planners in May of 2016, and again the FAR exceeded OB’s standards, and again the board tabled its decision to allow Covington time to come up with a new design that would meet with the board’s approval – and recommendation. Apparently, he has, for the original 4 condos has been dropped to three, hopefully to meet the FAR.

We have not seen the new design, but expect it will look like the old design, minus one condo.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Geoff Page April 4, 2023 at 3:23 pm

A check of the city’s permit site showed there are three addresses on this site, 2158, 2162, and 2166. Each one is described as a single family home.

“(1) new 2-story SDF on a vacant lot. Scope to include attached 2- car garage; 2nd floor decks; roof deck; covered patio with outdoor kitchen and CMU walls.”

There is no “SDF,” looks like a typo for SFD or single family dwelling. These are described as “row homes” in the permit. The permits also state “One Family Detached.” They all appear to be separately permitted.

This does not sound like the project the OBPB reviewed.


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