Second District Councilmember Lorie Zapf, chair of the Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee, said, “2017 will be an exciting year as I will be focusing on job-creation, workforce readiness, reducing burdensome regulations and partnering with our education community. I will also be seeking assistance from our state and federal representatives to get San Diego's fair share of the promised funding to address problems in our communities related to drug abuse, homelessness and crime.”
In Council District 2, Zapf looks forward to “continuing to repave our major roads in Point Loma and Ocean Beach, including West Point Loma Boulevard, Chatsworth Boulevard and also the installation of hi-tech traffic signals along the Rosecrans Corridor. Additionally, we look forward to the designs of the Canon Street Pocket Park and advocating for funding of the Ocean Beach Lifeguard Station in this year’s budget.”
On the business front, Isabel Clark, programs director for Ocean Beach MainStreet Association (OBMA), noted the business improvement district “is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the OB Farmers Market all year long in 2017. Join them every Wednesday starting at 4 p.m. on Newport Avenue between Cable and Bacon streets for fantastic produce, beautiful flowers, delicious ready-to-eat food, live music, local crafts, and the best people-watching in San Diego. Learn more at www.OceanBeachSanDiego.com.
Robert Tripp Jackson, community activist and immediate past president of the Point Loma Association, said he's always admired the Peninsula's fight in its belly.
“When there is a 'common good' being harmed, our citizens step up and fight – quality of life in the village, power lines, billboards, trashy establishments, tacky signage, Sunset Cliffs, water quality, the airport, and in the 1980s with Dana Middle School – are prime examples,” Jackson said. “In 2016 height/size regulations and the flight path over the Peninsula were key topics.”
Pointing out “our citizens stepped up and called for action,” Jackson added the mayor, Zapf and the Board of Supervisors “backed our community 100 percent with these important concerns. It seemed we all found common ground with positive solutions.”
Looking ahead, Jackson stressed ensuring “our common goal for our community is met without deviation and 'bait and switch' methods. We need complete transparency on all levels. Our community needs to understand all points of view, and the practical approaches for positive change.
“Our community can start by getting involved with the Point Loma Association and the Peninsula Community Planning Board. We need to work on the 'common ground and good,' and not have inner fighting. This is how we will be heard, loud and clear, to our elected officials.”
Lisa C. Johnson, president/CEO of the NTC Foundation, discussed her community “wish list” for this year. She noted “2017 is a milestone year that will mark the 10th anniversary of the NTC Foundation’s grand opening of Arts District Liberty Station, with the first arts groups opening their doors.
“In 2017, the NTC Foundation’s will further work to transform the formal military setting of the former Naval Training Center into a vibrant arts district by presenting exciting arts and culture programming for the public, including a free concert series and expanding 'installations at the Station,' temporary art installations throughout our 100 acres, as we strive to keep this destination authentic San Diego.”
Johnson said NTC, over the next year, “will continue working to complete renovations to the remaining 10 historic Navy buildings, and bring in new tenants, while supporting the 120 galleries, museums, artists, studios, restaurants and cafés already here. We are proud of our '10 Years of Progress' and look forward to what the next 10 years will bring to this community treasure.”
Freelance writer/editor/owner Kerri DeRosier said that, topping her community wish list for 2017 is “‘yes’ votes for the Point Loma business improvement district – a process that began in 2012.” She noted “the signed petitions, which reached the city’s threshold, were delivered to the City in February 2014.”
Also on DeRosier's list is a community plan update for Point Loma.
“Single-family homes in Roseville are being scraped and replaced with townhomes/condos with inadequate parking in an area that is already suffering from a lack of parking,” she said. “Alas, the City’s Development Services Department keeps stamping those development plans.”
DeRosier also cited “unscrupulous developers who attempt to flout the city’s 30-foot height restrictions,” advocating “barring them from building anything in the City of San Diego.”
DeRosier also expects homelessness to “continue to be an issue in Point Loma and throughout San Diego. It’s not just a downtown problem, though it is being treated as such. Perhaps a regional task force on solving the homeless problem across our communities is in order.”
Obecian and bicycling advocate Nicole Burgess has “great visions for San Diego to become a world-class bike-friendly city and 2017 will be the year that we really get rolling. For 2017, we will applaud the efforts for Faulconer and other local leaders to take a stronger stance to prioritize the value of bike transportation for our residents, tourists and youth.
“By repurposing our streets with our resurfacing efforts, the City is using tax dollars wisely and this is helping to create awareness and encouragement, while prioritizing safety for all modes of transportation, which in the end, provides opportunities for more people to have a choice to commute safely by bike.”
Burgess noted that “by investing in bikeways for the new Downtown Mobility Plan our city will become a bike mecca. To top it off, SANDAG will be implementing more than 100 miles of protected bikeways in the City of San Diego and with city collaboration, we will help create bold new ways to move through our city.”
Burgess added that, “Our united pedaling voice must be taken seriously at the top, to transform our streets for safety, sustainability and health. I visualize an increase of riders taking the streets by bike, to enjoy their community, to become active and healthy, while escaping the hassles of traffic and parking. It’s an amazing transformation to become a bike commuter and offers fantastic rewards for all.” Contact Burgess at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how to enjoy your commute by bike.
In 2017, retired city councilmember/community advocate Byron Wear said, “I will continue to work on community-based projects including fundraising for the final phase of the Ryan/Peninsula YMCA on Valeta Street, planning a new OB Children's Playground honoring Ruth Held near the beach at Tower 2, development of a joint-use regional aquatic center for the Peninsula, and the beautification and enhancement of Nimitz Boulevard.
“In addition, I will work on gaining approval for a new Aquatic Safety Center for our Junior Lifeguards and other aquatic programs in Mission Beach, and building and collaboration for more joint-use swimming pools throughout San Diego to teach urban kids to swim, and take steps to 'Continue the Conversation' on racism through education, awareness and understanding.”
In 2017, Point Loma High School principal Hans Becker said “students and staff are looking forward to the first phase of our whole site modernization that includes stadium improvements,” adding “the Point Loma Field Use Agreement will be followed closely.”
Airport activist Casey Schnoor noted “while notable community accomplishments were made in 2016 with the new FAA ZZOOO waypoint two miles south of Point Loma and the Airport Authority Noise Advisory Subcommittee, airplane noise and airport operational issues continue to cause a constant daily problem for residents in Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Fleetridge, Mission Beach and Pacific Beach.”
Schnoor added “some of the issues are documented by data offered by the Airport Authority that indicates curfew violations and missed approaches have been, and continue to, increase while total operations remain flat. These data increases directly conflict with the broad FAA statement that (prior to the Nov. 10, 2016 initial implementation of new Metroplex routes) 'nothing has changed' and helps to explain in part the public perceptions over 2015\2016, while illustrating the magnitude of a growing problem that will likely deteriorate further if unchecked as SAN traffic increases over time.”
Community watchdog Schnoor said that, looking forward, “community participation at ANAC and the ANAC Subcommittee, while continuing to communicate directly with the respective political representation and community planning groups, will be critical to maintain awareness and retain focus on the issues to work towards solutions with the Airport Authority and the FAA.”
Jon Linney, community advocate and chair of the Peninsula Community Planning Board, looks forward to 2017 being “the year of substantial progress on the Peninsula’s newest park.” He noted the proposed pocket park site on city-owned land at the upper end of Avenida de Portugal along Canon Street was little more than an idea for 26 years.
“One possible vision is taking shape,” said Linney. “Community advocates have bounced around design concepts on what we call Portuguese Village Park and, yes, we even have pictures. We’ll begin a series of public presentations soon to foster the civic discussion.”
Linney added the park vision “includes lush vegetation, striking monuments celebrating the neighborhood’s history and culture, and play centers to spark children’s imagination. We believe it can be unlike anything we have ever seen. The formal design and approval process will kick off later with public workshops. Meantime, we as a community can talk about what can be.”
Community activist and planner Don Sevrens noted there were “a number of community successes (from 2016) we can build on this year. The eyesore on Plum Street has been addressed. The 40-foot outrage on Evergreen has been lopped, the Municipal Code has been revised to prevent future abuses, and safeguards are being written to protect Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla. Let's have a public discussion on guiding the future of the entire Roseville neighborhood including the creation of public spaces.”
Sevrens added, “Avenida de Portugal can become a dream street, capped at the ends by the Portuguese consulate and a special park All it takes is our vision and our energy.”
Sunset Cliffs Natural Park has two major projects in process: 1) the Hillside Improvement Project, which is a major California Coastal Conservancy grant project including native habitat restoration and safe access trails in the park’s 50 acre hillside section, and 2) design of the long awaited comprehensive drainage plan for the park. The Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Council is pleased that the City has budgeted for much needed ranger services and increased lifeguard attention for Sunset Cliffs and other shoreline parks.
The Sunset Cliffs Natural Park Council, the officially recognized advisory group for Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, meets at the Cabrillo Recreation Center from 6:45 to 8:15 p.m. on the first Monday of every month with exceptions for holidays. The next meeting will be held on Jan. 9. The public is welcome.
Chamber of Commerce
Peninsula State Farm agent Matt Kalla, on behalf of the Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, said “we would like to see the passing of the proposed business improvement district for Point Loma.”