PB Planning Group supports pedestrian-friendly changes to Mission Boulevard
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 01/25/20 - 01:15 PM | 3750 views | 3 3 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In January, Pacific Beach Planning Group approved recommendations on how to make Mission Boulevard more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly.

The advisory group also overwhelmingly opposed a proposed second-story single-family home expansion with the addition of a companion unit in Crown Point.

PB community planners on Jan. 8 green-lighted a letter to the San Diego Planning Department concerning the Mission Boulevard Public Spaces & Active Transportation Plan. That plan is an ongoing study to reconfigure the boulevard to better accommodate non-vehicular traffic and includes roundabouts.

PB Planning Group’s recommendations call for:

- Pocket parks and/or pedestrian promenades on Ocean Front Walk from PB Drive to Diamond Street;

- Closing Oliver Street to non-emergency service vehicular traffic and developing it as a pedestrian promenade all the way from Ocean Front Walk to Mission Boulevard;

- Redesigning Mission Boulevard to include much wider sidewalks on both the east and west sides of Mission Boulevard, and much-improved pedestrian- and bike- crossing facilities east-west across Mission Boulevard;

- Roundabouts at every current signaled intersection along Mission Boulevard from PB Drive to Diamond Street;

- Sufficient ride-share/drop-off locations;

- Creation of a mobility hub accommodating placement of a mass-transit station and/or shuttle service near the beach to facilitate convenient and affordable transit from beach areas to nearby communities;

- Widening the boardwalk from Grand Avenue to PB Drive wherever possible, recapturing public right-of-way from businesses encroaching on public space and eliminating vehicular access on Ocean Boulevard from Thomas Street to Grand Avenue.

GRANNY FLATS

Arguing new rules making it easier to build companion units (granny flats) to alleviate the housing crunch has gone too far, PBPG also voted 10-1-1 to oppose plans for redeveloping a lot at 3535 Promontory St. 

The group vote followed a presentation by applicant Igor Prokopenko, who made his case for redeveloping the parcel, which has been a rental property.

The Promontory project is seeking permitting to remodel an existing dwelling unit to convert a garage into living space, construct a new garage and add a second-story addition for a total of 3,697 square feet. The project would include construction of a new companion unit of 1,151 square feet with the entrance on Ingraham Street.

Neighbors came out strongly against the proposal. They argued short-term tenants there have been problematic, while insisting the redevelopment as proposed, particularly the second-story home addition and large-size companion unit, are out of scale and character with their neighborhood.

PBPG board members sided with neighbors. Eve Anderson expressed displeasure with the lack of any parking proposed for the redevelopment. 

“I agree with everything the neighbors have said,” noted board member Joe Bettles, who added he generally favors building more granny flats as one answer to the present housing crisis.

“This is what you’re getting,” said board member Scott Chipman, about the new more-relaxed rules now allowing companion units to be built in the front, as well as the back, of properties.

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