PB Town Council to host Mayoral Debate at Mission Bay High auditorium Sept. 18
The Pacific Beach Town Council will present a Mayoral Debate (in place of its general meeting) 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18 in the Mission Bay High School Auditorium, 2475 Grand Ave.
Of the debate, Town Council president Brian White told PB Monthly: “PB’s Honorary Mayor Cathie Jolley and I have teamed up to pull in about a dozen coastal organizations to participate in prioritizing issues and questions for the candidates to address.
“This forum will be focused on coastal issues important to the beach and bay communities. Todd Gloria and Barbara Bry have confirmed their participation.”
Although there are almost a dozen people who have filed to run for San Diego Mayor in 2020, three have emerged as the top fundraisers: La Jolla resident and City Council member Barbara Bry, Assembly member Todd Gloria, and community volunteer Tasha Williamson — all Democrats.
For the race, Gloria raised $650,000 and Bry raised $541,000 during the first six months of the year, according to campaign contribution disclosures submitted in early August. Williamson had the third highest total with $675.
The community is encouraged to attend this free civic event. The primary election is March 3, 2020; the general election is Nov. 3, 2020.
PB loves its first responders! PAESAN event set for Sept. 25
The Pacific Beach Town Council will host its 39th annual Police and Emergency Services Appreciation Night (P.A.E.S.A.N.), 4-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25 at North Crown Point Shores Rotary Pavilion, 3700 Corona Oriente Road, just off of Crown Point Drive at Moreland Drive.
This community event honors first responders — Police Department Northern Division, Station 21 of San Diego Fire & Rescue, the San Diego Lifeguards, and the Park Rangers and Park Maintenance staff of the San Diego Parks & Recreation Department.
This year, the featured first responders are the Park Rangers and Park Maintenance staff, who serve the beach area and PB parks. Their wish list consists of items that will facilitate how they do their jobs — from equipment upgrades to the Polaris ATV that the community purchased for them four years ago, to tools and laptop computers for training.
Mossy Toyota staff will host the carne asada BBQ, while Old Mission Beach Athletic Club members will serve traditional fare, and PB Town Council members will mix up a power-packed PAESAN salad.
The first responders will nominate one of their own to receive the PBTC Service Award. The first Rose Marie Starns Service Award will be presented to Stacey LoMedico, the City’s assistant chief operating officer, in recognition of her 19 years of leadership with the Parks & Recreation Department.
Town Council member Denise Friedman is chairing the event. She can be reached at email@example.com Advance tickets for $5 can be bought at pbtowncouncil.org
First Responders rivalry in the works at 100 Wave Challenge
Teams of surfing firefighters, Coast Guard officers, lifeguards, police officers and paramedics are invited to hit the waves of Mission Beach from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, when Boys to Men Mentoring Network celebrates the 10th anniversary of the 100 Wave Challenge.
The surf-a-thon is the revenue engine of Boys to Men Mentoring Network’s pivotal mission: Guiding and encouraging disconnected, often fatherless boys, on their journey to adulthood.
The intensity and determination these teams carry into the lineup will determine who will earn the title of the Triple Crown Throw Down and possession of the 100 Wave Challenge First Responders Cup, giving them a full-year of bragging rights in San Diego’s close-knit yet competitive surfing community.
First responders who are interested in taking the 100 Wave Challenge and vying for the First Responders Cup may contact Joe Sigurdson at (619) 889-9243. For details on the 100 Wave Challenge, visit 100wave.org
Transit fare changes put in place
A new fare structure for the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) and the North County Transit District went into effect, Sept. 1. These are the first increases in fares in 10 years, a period in which operating costs have climbed by more than 25 percent, according to MTS.
All new fares can be viewed on the MTS website at sdmts.com
The most significant changes include:
- Addition of a $3 Day Pass for Seniors/Disabled/Medicare (SDM) and youth riders for MTS bus, Trolley, Rapid, SPRINTER and BREEZE ($6 for Rapid Express);
- Increase in the Adult Day Pass from $5 to $6;
- SPRINTER/BREEZE monthly pass has been combined with the Regional Monthly pass and will now be $72 to include service on the MTS bus and Trolley;
- Reduce the monthly discounted pass price for youth from $36 to $23 for MTS bus, Trolley, Rapid, SPRINTER and BREEZE ($32 for Rapid Express);
- Increase the monthly discounted pass price for SDM passengers from $18 to $23 for MTS bus, Trolley, Rapid, SPRINTER and BREEZE ($32 for Rapid Express);
- Increase the minimum age for senior discounts from 60 to 65 years (people born on or before Sept. 1, 1959 will remain eligible for reduced fares);
- Create a single one-way fare price ($2.50) for MTS bus, Trolley, Rapid, SPRINTER and BREEZE;
- Elimination of free Trolley transfers to align with bus fare policy.
Questions? Call MTS at (619) 233-3004 or visit sdmts.com
Limits for sidewalk vendors proposed
A surge of new sidewalk pushcart vendors across San Diego is prompting City officials to explore regulations that would limit or ban them in many business districts and popular tourist areas. Under recently proposed rules, pushcarts would be banned in such high-traffic tourist areas as the Balboa Park Botanical Building and Lily Pond, Sunset Cliffs Natural Park and the boardwalks in Mission Beach and La Jolla Shores.
They would be prohibited near Petco Park on Padres game days and near the Convention Center when a convention is under way.
They wouldn’t be allowed near bike racks, scooter corrals, tables, benches, parking meters, utility boxes and fire hydrants or within 15 feet of an intersection, building entrance or public restroom.
The City Council’s Economic Development Committee unanimously voted July 25 to forward the proposed regulations to the full City Council, which is expected to consider them in October.
Supporters say the rules are needed to fight chaotic and dangerous conditions created by vendors who illegally dump trash, don’t handle food hygienically and block access to restrooms, emergency lanes or mass transit. Merchant organizations across San Diego, including downtown, Little Italy, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla, spoke in support of the proposed regulations.
Critics of the proposed regulations say they would destroy the fledgling businesses of thousands of low-income residents, many of them immigrants with families. The rules also contradict the intent of a new state law that was designed to encourage a new class of small entrepreneurs, they said.
The state law, which took effect Jan. 1, says any vendor regulations created by cities must focus on solving health and safety problems, not limiting economic competition. It also stipulates that vendors who violate City rules can only be fined, not prosecuted criminally.
The law sets up a problem for City officials; they cannot approve legislation aimed at helping support “brick and mortar” stores over pushcarts. The City legislation must be based solely on protecting public health and safety.
Conrad Wear, a policy aide to Mayor Kevin Faulconer, said the City’s proposed regulations have been carefully tailored to focus only on those health and safety concerns, not economic competition.
The regulations would prohibit pushcarts from having devices that can produce amplified music. The maximum allowed pushcart size would be 6-by-4-foot. They would be allowed to operate only between 8 a.m. and sunset under the proposal. They would be banned across stretches of Newport Avenue, Garnet Avenue, Coast Boulevard, Imperial Avenue, Fifth Avenue, Fourth Avenue, India Street, Kettner Boulevard, Columbia Street and San Diego Avenue.
There also would be a summer moratorium on pushcarts in Balboa Park, Presidio Park, Belmont Park, Mission Bay Park and all City parks near the shoreline in Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla.
Sidewalk vendors would be required to obtain City permits, which would cost $30 per year. Food vendors would also need a County health permit and a County food handler card. Permits could be revoked for providing false information, repeat violations of the City’s new sidewalk vending rules or failure to pay fines. Fines for permitted vendors would be $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second and $500 for the third. A fourth violation would allow the City to impound a vendor’s cart. Fines for vending without a permit would be $250 for a first violation, $500 for a second and $1,000 after that. —David Garrick, The San Diego Union-Tribune
City approves mid-rise housing near new Trolley station in PB
San Diego approved new growth blueprints in August that allow for mid-rise housing and dense urban villages in neighborhoods near new trolley stops in Linda Vista and the northeast corner of Pacific Beach (where Morena Boulevard crosses Clairemont Drive).
City Council members said the new zoning will simultaneously help solve San Diego’s housing crisis, reduce carbon emissions that cause climate change and revamp blighted areas where bicyclists and pedestrians face major challenges.
They said it would be a significant missed opportunity not to allow tall apartment buildings and condominiums along the $2 billion Morena Boulevard trolley line, which is scheduled to begin operating in fall 2021.
Critics say the new blueprints will damage community character, put enrollment pressure on nearby schools and allow upscale housing near the trolley that will only be affordable to wealthy people who don’t use transit.
In northeastern PB, the 30-foot coastal height limit will remain in place, but the plan allows projects with significantly greater numbers of units per acre.
The City Council approved both plans unanimously. Each was supported by the local development industry, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and local cyclists.
Several Clairemont residents spoke against the plan for PB because the affected area includes a slice of Clairemont.
“We just can’t plow through and build things and not expect them to have an impact on the community,” said Julie Wilds of Clairemont Cares.
Residents near both affected areas also complained that neither plan includes a tunnel or bridge across Interstate 5 to ease access to the new trolley stations.
City officials said both plans include such infrastructure as a goal, which will allow impact fees paid by nearby developers to be spent on tunnels or bridges in coming years.
PB residents and some environmentalists lobbied the City Council to declare nearby Rose Creek a public park. But Council members deferred to City parks officials, who recommended delaying such a move.
Both plans create new bike lanes and aim to make the areas near the trolley stations more pedestrian-friendly. A protected bike lane will be added to Morena Boulevard and stretch from Friars Road to Mission Bay Park.
The plan for northeast PB aims to transform the 210-acre area from an auto-oriented commercial corridor into a dense residential village surrounding the new Balboa Avenue trolley station. It would increase the number of housing units allowed in the area near the Balboa Avenue station from 1,221 to 4,729. That’s a near quadrupling of what current zoning allows, and six times the 763 housing units already there.
It would also break up the “megablock” between I-5 and Mission Bay Drive that extends from Garnet to Bunker Hill Street. The goal is fostering a traditional street grid to ease commuting to the trolley. That area is dominated by auto dealers, gas stations, budget motels and fast food chains.
In addition, the intersection of Grand Avenue with Mission Bay Drive would be reconfigured to allow pedestrians to more easily cross Mission Bay Drive on their way to the trolley station.
Most of the new housing allowed in the proposed blueprint would be in an area bounded by Rose Creek on the west, Figueroa Boulevard on the east and north, and Grand Avenue on the south. — David Garrick, The San Diego Union-Tribune
City issues handbook with facts on building ‘granny flats’
The City teamed up with the San Diego Housing Federation, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR) to write the “Companion Unit Handbook,” a guide to help homeowners navigate the process of constructing a companion unit (granny flat) on their property.
To view a copy, visit bit.ly/CompanionUnitHandbook
The handbook explains:
- A property’s zoning, and issues such as setbacks and parking;
- Companion unit design and construction;
- Permitting requirements;
- Supporting documents and resources.
Paradise Point to become Margaritaville
Guests at Mission Bay’s Paradise Point resort will next year find themselves wasting away in Margaritaville, as the Jimmy Buffett hotel and restaurant brand will become the new name and face of the 44-acre vacation destination.
In July, Pepplebrook Hotel Trust, the publicly traded real estate investment trust that owns Paradise Point Resort & Spa, executed a licensing agreement with Margaritaville Holdings to convert the property to a Margaritaville Island Resort. To assist with the transition, Pebblebrook plans to spend $35 million on an extensive renovation that includes upgrades to the 462 casita-style guestrooms, enhancements to the hotel’s existing five pools, and the addition of attractions that should be inviting for guests and locals alike.
While there are no details yet on what the renovation will encompass, Pebblebrook says new features could include additional bar and dining concepts, a performance stage and possibly changes to the pool areas.
Ultimately, the overhauled resort should provide a more luxurious setting for Buffett fans to nibble on spongecake or watch the sun bake. It’s scheduled to open in 2020, although plans are still preliminary, and City and state agency approvals are required. Real estate tracker CoStar pegs Paradise Point’s sticker price as just under $189 million. Paradise Point will remain open during the planned transition, which is expected to wrap up sometime next year. —Jennifer Van Grove, The San Diego Union Tribune
Wellness Lounge hosts Friend Fridays
The Wellness Lounge specializes in Integrative Medicine, a form of medical therapy that combines practices and treatments from alternative medicine with conventional medicine. Included in the lounge’s services are chiropractic treatment, massage, acupuncture, cupping and yoga therapy. Wellness Lounge has a new location on the water, at 1548 Quivira Way, to make water fitness possible through stand-up paddle board yoga and hydro-bike fitness classes. The lounge hosts retreats, workshops, classes and team-building exercises.
Wellness Lounge also hosts weekly Friend Fridays that are open to the public and include a potluck, music jam sessions, a bonfire and entrance to classes for purchase. These evenings feature three classes beginning at 4 p.m.: Happy Hour witch includes a glass of JuneShine Hard Kombucha (or other non-alcoholic drinks) and a full body stretch course with aromatherapy and yoga bolsters; and Mindful Hatha Fusion 6-7:15 p.m., which begins with a group Ohm, sound bath and meditation, moves to a mindful yoga flow and then brings participants into an extended relaxation with hands-on neck massage.
The classes close with Yoga Trapeze, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Drop-in classes are $20. The community may join the potluck 5-6 p.m. and onward through the evening, or the Campfire Jam 8:30-10 p.m. to mingle for free. For more details, visit wellnessloungesd.com
Save PB has tips for residents on homelessness issues
The Save PB Group recently sent out an e-mail titled “What can residents do when homeless encampments, drug dealing or other illegal activities threaten public safety?” The Group pointed out that the San Diego Police Department has two teams that focus on problems occurring with homeless individuals — the Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) and the Neighborhood Policing Division (NPD) — and provided the following information on how residents can best use these teams’ services.
In the Northern Division, NPD has five police officers who handle homeless encampments and chronic offenders, such as someone persistently occupying a sidewalk. They explain resources available to the homeless, conduct field interviews, make arrests, check for warrants, issue notices for clearing encampments, and impound belongings left behind. NPD responds to reports (including Get-It-Done reports) and patrols Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, La Jolla, Clairemont, UTC, canyons in Clairemont and Rose Creek, and all of Mission Bay Park. Work hours are 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. Contact NPD via sandiego.gov/get-it-done or the police non-emergency line (619) 531-2000 or (858) 484-3154.
If a problem persists, e-mail Community Relations Officer Larry Hesselgesser at firstname.lastname@example.org
HOT helps homeless individuals and families who want services. The team provides field assessments for eligibility and referral to available resources such as public assistance, crisis intervention, comprehensive case management, drug/alcohol rehabilitation placement, and psychiatric/medical treatment placement. Work hours are 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. (619) 446-1010.
—Compiled by PB Monthly staff from local reports