House construction at Ebers and Greene at a standstill
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 04/14/17 - 06:32 AM | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The structure hasn't been worked on in months, and its exposed wood is deteriorating. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
The structure hasn't been worked on in months, and its exposed wood is deteriorating. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
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What's up with the controversial housing development at 2269 Ebers St. in Ocean Beach?

More people are wondering that as they drive by the skeletal structure at the corner of Ebers and Greene streets, which some believe is oversized and out of character with the surrounding community.

The structure hasn't been worked on in months, and its exposed wood appears to be deteriorating.

Ocean Beach Community Planning Board chair architect John Ambert said he knows some of what's going on with the stalled development.

“The contractor for the project had his contractor's license suspended for failing to comply with an arbitration award,” said Ambert, who added, “The loan/mortgage for the project appears to have gone into default, and currently is in pre-foreclosure.”

Ambert's understanding is the project “could be sold as a short sale, sent to cash auction, or the owner can file for bankruptcy. I do not know which of these options will happen — or what the next steps are in this process.”

Councilmember Lorie Zapf's office in District 2, which includes the Peninsula, said the project had been on hold but should have resumed.

“There was a stop work order put on it,” said Zapf aide Ryan Purdy, adding, “Our understanding is the developer came up with a plan to get things back in order, and the final project was going to not be above 30 feet and not block anybody's views.

“The stop-work order should have been lifted once they (city) reached an agreement with the developers and the project was green lighted,” Purdy said. “It's mysterious it's not being worked on.”

“The 2269 Ebers St. project is a total disaster … and is not making progress,” concluded Ambert. “There are multiple issues with the project.”

Ambert however disputed the contention that the status of the project's permitting was clear.

“A stop work order was never issued for the project by the city of San Diego, only an inspections corrections notice with specific elements to correct, back in October of last year,” he said.

Ambert said he was told by the city's planning department that “the project has submitted for a construction change, and is being redesigned to enclose the two buildings together and make them to look more like one building.”

Noting “we do not really know what is happening with this project,” Ambert said the OB Planning Board “is very disappointed by the city's review process. This project skirted around the rules to avoid the Coastal Development Permit as an 'addition.' They submitted as a ministerial, 'over-the-counter process 1.’

“Thus, the OB Planning Board did not get the opportunity to review the project,” Ambert continued. “It was only when the community raised hell about what appears to be two units being built in a single-family zone, and the developer posted the renderings on Facebook, that we found out about it.”

The housing project's developer, Nelco Properties, previously said, “Nelco Properties is a strong supporter of the Ocean Beach community and its residents. With this project we are working to beautify the community and bring increased home values to the surrounding neighborhood.

“The project conforms to all required municipal codes, city development regulations, and has obtained all required permits; it has been approved by city and county agencies.

“We take our duty as responsible developers seriously. We have complied with all regulation necessary to construct this project. To ensure compliance, we have enlisted independent licensed land surveyors to survey the property. They have certified that the height of this structure is within the allowable 30-foot height limit. All components of this project have been stamped, approved and signed-off on by the city of San Diego to move forward with this project.”

Nelco, and the architects involved in the project, could not be reached by the Peninsula Beacon for further comment.
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