The development would replace the two houses at 4824 and 4836 West Point Loma Blvd.
While some residents appealed the project, the City Council unanimously denied the action Nov. 20.
Patricia Hausman, a 31-year resident who appealed the project, said the development doesn't fit with the "character" of Ocean Beach "” which is known for the old-style homes built in the early 1900s.
"You're going to come into Ocean Beach and think, "˜What is that?'" she said.
Hausman lives three parcels away from the proposed project. She said the proposed homes would be at the Ocean Beach entryway "” which is known locally as a historic corridor with old single-family homes on each side of the street.
But while the proposed homes may be too big for Hausman's taste, the project fits within community planning guidelines and the law, said Tim Golba, one of the architects who worked on the project.
Golba said his company, Golba Architecture, did everything to keep the units detached rather than build a "big-box" structure, which is also allowed in the multifamily zone.
The lots can legally fit eight units, but Golba said they would only build seven: five single-family homes and a duplex.
"They're 950-something square feet, which leaves them in a very small-sized footprint, which we thought was respectful to the history of the neighborhood," he said.
Golba said planners wanted to keep the homes detached and relatively small. The only way to do that was to build a three-story home with the garage on the bottom, the living room above and the two rooms on top, he said.
While many residents on the Peninsula would rather keep the homes small and the population density low, the city is moving toward redevelopment and increased density.
"These are zoned for multifamily, and what you should be looking for is well-done multifamily [development] rather than stick your head in the sand and ignore the facts," Golba said.
The project and the response it garnered from the community speaks to the ongoing debate in the Peninsula communities over redevelopment. The movement to protect the older homes has gained some traction.
According to Pat James, president of the Ocean Beach Historical Society, about eight years ago Ocean Beach resident and community leader Priscilla McCoy started working to protect some of the old-style cottages with an official historic designation for Ocean Beach.
If a cottage was built before 1930 and stands in mostly original condition along with other criteria, it can be designated as historic, James said.
Because of McCoy's work, Ocean Beach has been designated a historic cottage district.
"Therefore, many of us feel that anything pre-1930 should be considered historic," James said.
Many of the cottages along West Point Loma Boulevard had small boats that owners could take into the bay right from their backyard, he said. Back then, Mission Bay was known as False Bay, he said.
But while some residents may feel that way about OB history, the San Diego Historical Resources Board did not recognize the cottages in question as historic, James said.
James said he spoke against the project at the appeal.
"It's your property, but we have concerns for the character and the historic heritage of the community," he said.
The Ocean Beach Planning Board deadlocked 5-5 when it came before them earlier this year, he said.
James said many people in the community feel the same way about Ocean Beach history as he does.
"We really feel that we have a rich history, possibly the richest history of any beach community in the county, and we're proud of that fact," James said.
For more information on the Ocean Beach Historical Society, visit www.obhistory.word-press.org.