Petition: Lack of development restrictions could wipe out the character of Ocean Beach

OCEAN BEACH - A proposed tweak in the Ocean Beach community plan has led to what some are calling an all-out fight over OB’s soul.

At Dog Beach Dog Wash in Ocean Beach, there are signs of a building fight.

For several days, owner and former OB planning board chair Mindy Pellissier has been busy collecting signatures.

“What's at stake is the character and heart of Ocean Beach,” said Pellissier.

The dispute arose when the city planning commission -- citing a possible conflict with city codes -- removed language from the proposed OB community plan about floor area ratio restrictions.

Those are restrictions that can limit the size of the building on the lot.

Frank Gormlie, editor of the online OB Rag, says without them, Ocean Beach loses its best tool in restricting development.

The concern? The bungalows and other renter-friendly residences of Ocean Beach could give way to the sprawling homes found in other beach areas.

“It will look like Mission Beach. Wall to wall. Giant homes,” said Pellissier.

Gormlie says the uniqueness of Ocean Beach, where six in seven residents are renters -- could be evicted.

“OB is one of the last coastal communities or villages where an ordinary person can live and you don't have to be rich to live at the coast in OB,” said Gormlie.

Back at the dog wash, the hope of preserving that tradition drew 400 signatures for the petition in three days.

In all, organizers say they've collected more than a thousand.

“We are fighting, because what’s on the line is really the future of Ocean Beach,” said Gormlie.

Petition organizers plan a social media and letter-writing campaign before a city council hearing on the OB community plan June 30.

We made calls to the Planning Commission but didn't get a call back.  

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