Ambitious community projects march forward
by DAVE SCHWAB
Apr 09, 2014 | 882 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Two developments being championed by the Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation (OBCDC) — Saratoga Park and Veterans’ Plaza redevelopment — are forging ahead.

Started in 1993, the OBCDC is a nonprofit created for the benefit of Ocean Beach which seeks to develop resources for revitalizing the infrastructure of Ocean Beach applying the OB “spirit.”

Conceptual plans by OBCDC to construct park improvements for all ages at the foot of Saratoga Avenue adjacent to the Ocean Beach lifeguard station took another step forward during an April 8 public workshop.

“We got input to implement the park plan, which calls for a children’s play area, some exercise stations and maybe some seating,” said Byron Wear, an OBCDC volunteer and former San Diego city councilman. “It was an opportunity for us to hear from the public.”

Wear said the next step now in developing Saratoga Park is to “come back at a second workshop in June and show an actual concept that people can look at and the public can comment on.”

The Saratoga Park project is supported by the Ocean Beach Town Council, the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association and the Ocean Beach Community Foundation and is consistent with the proposed Ocean Beach Precise Plan.

The park project is expected to primarily be a private community fundraising effort.

Work is also advancing on “Life Journey,” a proposed memorial to replace the current Veterans’ Plaza at the foot of Newport Avenue.

The intent of “Life Journey,” as envisioned in the Ocean Beach Veterans Plaza Redevelopment Conceptual Design Package, is to create a new coastal veterans memorial that is “artistic/beachy informal” in design.

Plans call for an artificial rock wall mimicking Sunset Cliffs’ stratified geology with veterans’ names etched into a series of four granite slabs set into it.

Adjacent to the new memorial wall would be inlaid stars representing lives lost in battle. Other artistic flourishes are to include low-lying artistic-themed meandering walls culminating in a family gathering plaza and a disabled-accessible path with decorative walls overlooking the ocean.

“We’re pleased with the progress on the Plaza project,” said OBCDC president Tom Perrotti. “We’ve only been working on it for about a year and we have construction documents done.”

Perrotti said continuing work on Veterans’ Plaza redevelopment is being accomplished with the aid of a $22,500 city grant.

“That chunk of money went toward the RFP for construction documents which have been completed,” he said.

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