Pacific Beach planners oppose new condo project on Shasta Ave.
Published - 07/10/17 - 02:26 PM | 3101 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In June Pacific Beach Planning Group nixed a project, EKO Blok, which seeks to demolish three existing buildings in the beach community and replace them with 30 new detached condo units.

The advisory group vote was three for, eight against the proposal.

The June 28 vote followed a heated exchange over the proposed development, during which one angry neighbor was asked to leave the meeting. Several other neighbors turned out to complain they hadn’t adequately been informed about condominium plans.

Architect Tim Golba gave a slideshow presentation on the condo project located at 3937 to 3977 Shasta Ave. between Fortuna and Roosevelt avenues near Crown Point Elementary School.

“We're not (proposing) removing any trees, there will be no curb cuts, it will have four unique floor plans, we're not asking for any variances or deviations on this project and we're not taking any new parking off Shasta (Avenue),” Golba said. “It is a unique opportunity that doesn't come along very often.”

Golba said IKO Blok has environmentally sustainable elements designed to meet the city's aggressive Climate Action Plan calling for taking steps to lessen development's carbon footprints and greenhouse gas emissions.

“This is in a transitional zone meant to be a bridge between single-family homes and surrounding multi-family types of developments,” said the architect.  

Golba added project carports are being done in such a way as to allow green roofs to be constructed.

PBPG member Eve Anderson asked if developers would be willing to put in a deed restriction disallowing the condos from being turned into short term vacation rentals. Developers, who were present, said they would agree to such a stipulation.

Asked by a neighbor about the timeline for project development, Golba replied, “No timeline has been established yet,” while adding, “all 30 units will probably be built in two phases, which typically take six to seven months to build.”

The project site was formerly owned by Arc of San Diego mental health services.

One neighbor stepped forward challenging the property's sale, contending, “That property was given by the Navy to help disabled adults and was never supposed to have been sold.”

Developers responded that Arc was forced to sell the property because the organization “was facing financial difficulties.”

Neighbor Molly Stewart spoke for some at the meeting in saying, “No form of public notice went out by the city. It was really word of mouth.”

A member of Golba's team answered that attempts were made to contact residents near the project via a variety of means.

Another neighbor said they would never have know about the condo project, or about it being on the planning group's agenda, if they hadn't seen a notice posted on Next Door social media. 

Noting the project met eco-friendly PB's “environmental checklist,” PBPG board member Chris Olson nonetheless said, “I'm opposed,” adding he thought more could be done with project design. 

“There's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do something really unique and awesome with models in the design, maybe making a green belt friendly to bicyclists and pedestrians,” Olson said.

In other action:

* Paula Gandolfo noted no property whatsoever has thus far has been designated for community garden space in ongoing planning for revitalization of the De Anza Cove and regional Mission Bay Park. Gandolfo pointed out it’s a golden opportunity to find more public gardening space in a community desperate for it.

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