OB election a chance to get involved
by Sebastian Ruiz
Feb 13, 2008 | 395 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ocean Beach stakeholders who want to become involved in local land-use issues have a chance to make a difference and run for the Ocean Beach Planning Board in 2008. Board members stress community involvement "” or a lack thereof "” could play a crucial role in reflecting residents' wants and needs when the board updates the community's precise plan this year.

Seven of the 14 seats are up for occupancy, in addition to two unplanned vacancies, when residents vote Tuesday, March 11 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave.

Potential candidates have until Monday, Feb. 25, to turn in an application packet to board representatives to establish their eligibility to run.

"It's an exciting time to serve on the Ocean Beach Planning Board. We have challenges in 2008 that this community has not seen in decades," said OBPB chair Landry Watson during a board meeting Feb. 6.

To qualify, a candidate must live, own property or have a business license registered in one of the seven districts of the Ocean Beach planning area. Candidates must also obtain and submit 35 signatures from residents or business owners in their district to run. Successful candidates serve for two years.

Applications are available by contacting a board member. Downloadable applications are also available at the board's Web site, www.obpb.org.

Completed applications can be submitted by mail to: Ocean Beach Planning Board, P.O. Box 7090, Ocean Beach, 92167.

Several incumbents and at least one new candidate have already begun talking with community members and gathering signatures to run.

Among them are Faith Hussey, a Realtor and fourth-year Ocean Beach resident, and six-year incumbent John Gawronski.

Planning board members said community participation would be helpful when updating the community's precise plan at the same time the city is updating its general plan. The Ocean Beach precise plan update would affect land-use issues in Ocean Beach for the next 20 years.

In other planning board news:

"¢ City representatives asked the Ocean Beach Planning Board to solicit community opinions concerning lack of parking and other transportation issues.

As part of a study to be included in the community plan update, city traffic engineer Shahriar Ammi asked the board to assess difficult parking areas in Ocean Beach from "least" to "most difficult."

The city would use that information to help relieve parking and traffic pressures in the area, he said.

"¢ The board also approved with an 8-1 vote the expansion of South Beach Bar and Grille, 5059 Newport Ave., to include replacement of two residential rooms upstairs with more commercial space. The board approved the action on the condition that the upstairs doors would remain an exit only.

"¢ The board unanimously approved the construction of a two-story residence with a garage at 4630 Pescadero Ave.

"¢ The board voted unanimously to send a project back to the board's Land Use Committee.

The board recommended that the proposal to demolish an older existing residence to build a new residence at 4742 Cape May Ave. be reevaluated for its bulk and scale.

The Ocean Beach Planning Board acts as an advisory board to the city for community developments regarding land-use issues.

The board is made up of two representatives from each of the seven districts in the planning area bordered by Froude Street to the east, the San Diego River to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west and Adair Street to the south.

For more information visit www.obpb.org.
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