Peninsula planners oppose land reuse project on Harbor View Drive
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 09/29/17 - 12:48 PM | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A proposal to reconfigure three existing lots with two residences on a steep hillside containing environmentally sensitive habitat on Harbor View Drive was unanimously nixed by Peninsula Community Planning Board in September.

The agenda item asked for permitting at 3328-3340 Harbor View Drive on a 0.97-acre site containing 0.27 acres of environmentally sensitive lands.

Several Point Lomans turned out at the Sept. 21 advisory group meeting to protest the land reuse proposal, claiming it was the wrong project in the wrong place, on a steep hillside plagued by landslides and water runoff.

PCPB planner Mark Krencik gave the group's subcommittee's position on the proposed development.

“This project is asking for three permit applications for three existing lots to create three reconfigured parcels,” said Krencik. “The site would allow up to nine development units per acre on three parcels totaling 27,000 square feet, with probably 7,400 square feet of sensitive habitat.”

Krencik said the applicant submitted the project for PCPB review about a year ago. He added Martinez Street in Point Loma underneath the Harbor View Drive hillside has a history of slope instability.

Land surveyor Tony Christensen of Christensen Engineering discussed the details of the proposed land reconfiguration.

“These are the only three lots in the entire block being reconfigured,” Christensen said. “We're only asking to reconfigure these lots, not increase their number. There will be no grading done on any of the property that is sloped.”

Former Councilmember Byron Wear led a community presentation against the project. Noting he participated in the last update of the Peninsula Community Plan in 1986, Wear likened this project's proposed reconfiguration to that of the old Jessop estate located atop a 100-foot cliff. That reconfiguration, too, was successfully opposed by neighbors.

“Geotechnical engineering is challenging on this site that has lots of water runoff that has not been mitigated,” Wear said. “This project is out of character with the other houses that are on Harbor View Drive.”

Peninsulan Frank O'Dwyer also testified against the project, arguing that reconfiguring the properties there would “disturb the hillside with devastating consequences to neighboring property. I urge you to take a closer look at this.”

Patrick O'Neal from the audience urged the board to “reject this project as improperly noticed,” pointing to the risk of landslides. He felt developers should be required to do a water quality management plan. He added the property's owner has already listed the property for sale.

“There are very few people sitting on this board that can arbitrate these geotechnical reports,” noted PCPB member Jim Hare. “When it comes down to the final word on land safety, we have to trust city staff.”

Community planner Don Sevrens made a motion to oppose the project on grounds that it “wasn't in keeping with the community plan and is on an unstable hillside that's had several landslides.”

The advisory group vote against the project was 9-0-1.

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