Lawsuit delays South Mission Beach Lifeguard Station project
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 09/21/15 - 05:26 PM | 7645 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The new South Mission Beach Lifeguard Station is being built just north of the current station. / Photo by Thomas Melville
The new South Mission Beach Lifeguard Station is being built just north of the current station. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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Construction on a new South Mission Beach Lifeguard Station has been temporarily halted by a Superior Court Judge, whose final ruling on whether there is enough evidence to indicate proper procedures were not followed with it, is pending.

“After the summer construction moratorium ended on Labor Day, we got a preliminary court order (injunction) restricting them (city) from commencing construction,” said attorney Craig Sherman representing a citizen’s group named Citizens For Beach Rights. The group, organized by Mission Beach resident Ken Giavara, wants the lifeguard station project to be re-vetted and reconsidered.

San Diego Lifeguard chief Rick Wurts spoke on behalf of the city.

Both the city and the citizen’s group argued their case Sept. 18 before Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal, who is expected to issue a final ruling soon.

Wurts has contended the new planned lifeguard tower was designed in a way that minimizes the impact to public views, arguing the project was reviewed and approved by the San Diego City Council, which follows the standards for public noticing.

Giavara disagrees with Wurts’ perception. Claiming the lifeguard tower project “is decidedly different now,” he contends community planners previously “rejected the building at 3,500 feet as being too big.”

Giavara has also said community planners previously wanted the lifeguard tower “to be built on the same spot as the previous one,” and not “in the middle of the beach.”

City attorneys contend the new tower is in compliance with all development rules. They argued that, if construction work on the tower is delayed, that could cost as much as $1,400 a day, and possibly postpone the project past its expected completion by Memorial Day 2016.

The new 4,000-square-foot Mission Beach Lifeguard Station is proposed to have a three-story lifeguard tower. It would have a ground floor with a first-aid room and storage for rescue vehicles and equipment; a second floor with an observation deck and an administration area; and a third floor housing the main observation tower.

The new tower project is expected to include repair of adjacent sidewalks and curbs, installation of an erosion control barrier, improvement of American with Disabilities Act accessibility, restriping of parking spaces, installation of new signage and installation of a sidewalk from the parking lot to the station entrance.

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