OB Planning Board to Consider Drastic Changes to Bylaws at Tonight’s Meeting – Wed., Sept 6

by on September 6, 2023 · 0 comments

in Ocean Beach

At tonight’s OB Planning Board meeting, the board will consider a number of drastic recommendations being made by an ad hoc sub-committee. The sub-committee was established to figure out how the Board can comply with the city’s new draconian demands and to make suggestions for changes to the Board’s rules, their bylaws.

The bylaw recommendations, to put it mildly, if implemented, would be the most radical shake-up of the Ocean Beach Planning Board since its inception in 1976.

Now, obviously, a recommendation is a recommendation and doesn’t necessarily represent the majority views of the board members.

But they are drastic and would wipe out much of the progress the Board has made over the nearly 5 decades since thousands of OBceans voted publicly for the first Board in July 1976. The OB board was the very first democratically-elected community planning group in San Diego’s history.

This is how desperate Board members feel — they are under the gun by the city’s “reforms” enacted one year ago and believe they must comply with the renewal application process demanded by the city council.

History and the onslaught of pro-developer policies are crashing down on the small, volunteer panel of OBceans who make up the current and dwindling board. It’s hard not to feel their pain. Some of the recommendations are very cool.

It’s fairly clear that pro-developer policies, heralded by Circulate San Diego and those Mayor Gloria sidekicks on the city council, have resulted in the undermining of just about everything community planning groups have accomplished — all 40 of them. Sure, some had problems, but the “remedy” proscribed by Circulate/ Gloria / Council is meant to kill the patient, not heal it.

By deleting the rule that developers were required to appear before community planning groups when appropriate, the new reforms have slashed the most important task of the volunteer panels: give public input and recommendations to the city on proposed development projects being planned for their communities.

By getting rid of a mainstay of public participation and democracy at the local level of neighborhood that have been provided by the planning boards, the public has been silenced.

Perhaps it will have to take another generation of residents to finally understand what has happened and perhaps take another 20 years of over-densification and corporate management of the neighborhoods before people rise up again — as we did in the 1970s.

We created the OB Planning Board as a way for ordinary people, renters, landowners, businesspeople to have a say in what is developed in OB, after decades of out-of-control over-development of the neighborhood. The Planning Board never had absolute power, of course, but its recommendations were taken very seriously in City Hall.

Here are the OBPB Bylaw Recommendations:

1. Combine all OB Planning Area districts into one district.

2. Reduce the number of Board seats from 16 to 12 and hold 5 of those 12 seats, at minimum, for the following demographics:

a. 2 Renters
b. 2 Residential Property Owners
c. 1 Business Owner

3. Create a non-voting youth member (18–25-year-old) as a 13th seat who would hold all the same privileges as a regular Board member, with the exception of voting.
4. Request to have the OB Planning Area increased in size to widen our Member and community reach.
5. Make permanent, the signature requirements of:

a. 10 for appointment
b. 20 for election

6. 3-year terms for a maximum of 9 years
7. Move meeting nights to another night so that we don’t compete with the Farmers Market

The Ocean Beach Planning Board meets Wednesday night, Sept. 6 at the OB Rec Center at 6 pm.

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