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Mission Beach planning board discusses recent crime, violence in area

Posted at 7:01 AM, Sep 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 10:03:19-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Mission Beach, it’s a place for fun in the sun for plenty of families.

“We brought my daughter here, our grandson. They’re coming here to the pool. We have a yearly pass,” Rosa Limon, who was visiting the area with family, said.

“Yeah absolutely I feel safe,” Kenneth Minnick, who recently moved to San Diego, said.

But in recent weeks, it's seen shootings eclipse its scenery. As ABC 10News reported there were three of them during the summer months and an alleged hated motivated attack on the beach during the night.

“You know what, it’s been kind of like, scary but that’s not going to stop us,” Limon said.

The Mission Beach Precise Planning Board met on Tuesday night to discuss and get answers on how to prevent this kind of violence coming into this beach town.

There was some discussion of how the street vendors in the area could be contributing to the problem for some people on the virtual meeting.

“I think you can attribute some of that to the vendors. But some of it was just there was just a shift in general before the summertime. And then the vendors came in hot and heavy and just added to that,” said Steve Thomas, the general manager of Belmont Park.

Thomas said he did notice a change in some of the people that started coming to the area toward the end of May, early June. Adding that he had spoken to police regarding possible safety issues.

Thomas mentioned that they’ve been working with law enforcement patrolling the parking lot, adding more security cameras in the area and other improvements to help reduce violence.

“We saw this shift back in the pandemic. So much so that I started hired up my security team. I brought EMTs on to my staff,” Thomas said. “I worked with the community to have a Secure Mission Beach initiative.”

The board is in favor of what Belmont Park is trying to do on its own to cut down on violence in the area. A potential solution being brought to the table to cut down on violence: paid parking lots for the Belmont Park area.

“It’s another one of those sense types of solutions that we can work on, that the city makes money and we’re going to set some filters in place,” Thomas said.

As community members look for answers, those who come to Mission Beach for the surf and the sand, not for the shootings and sirens, are glad something is being worked out.

“There should always be, you know, a concern for one’s safety and that’s never a question,” Minnick said.

“It makes me feel better that they’re going do more changes, more improvement that’s going to be awesome,” Limon said.

The planning board is working on sending a proposal regarding street vendors to the City Council.

Some of the board members expressed interested in looking at the option of paid parking areas near Belmont Park more closely.