Ocean Beach and Point Loma News – April 1, 2022
Rents plummet as thousands of old vacation rentals return to the market
With San Diego’s new short-term vacation rental policy taking effect, local rents have dropped dramatically as thousands of older vacation rentals have returned to the market. The number of “For Rent” signs has increased dramatically in beach communities, especially in Ocean Beach. There is a report of a landlord standing at an intersection with a large sign that read, “I have a good place to rent” followed by his phone number. There is such demand from tenants that rental agencies and many landlords have dropped their strict credit and background check requirements.
SurfRider Cancels “Paddle Out for Clean Water” as Ocean Quality Improves
The Point Loma chapter of SurfRider has just announced that it is canceling its “Paddle Out” scheduled for next month as the Scripps Institute of Oceanography recently released a report indicating that the quality of local ocean waters has improved significantly. Dr Seinfeld told local press: “I have never seen such a change – for the good – in all my years here at SIO.” Then she commented, “Maybe all those years of trying to get clean water worked.”
Local store closes, space opens for street vendors
A local department store on Newport Avenue that primarily catered to tourists has just closed after owners reported a sharp drop in beach towel sales. But the good news is that the owners of the shops at the former site of the theater have reached an incredible agreement with the owner. Under the kind direction of the OB Mainstreet Association, the space has been opened exclusively to street vendors, who pay a nominal fee based on their sales. In fact, dozens of vendors have already moved inside. A number seemed delighted with their new digs. And in another stunning development, not a single vendor was seen in Lower Newport on Farmers’ Market Day.
City apologizes: Point Loma palms safe, forester fired
The City of San Diego sent letters of apology to dozens of occupiers and landlords along upper Newport Avenue and nearby streets, admitting they got the height of the palm trees wrong history interfering with airport regulations. The palm trees are safe and will no longer be at risk, says the city’s letter, signed by Mayor Gloria and Councilman Campbell. It was all a big misunderstanding and a miscommunication, he said. At the end of the letter, he mentioned that the town forester implicated in the controversy had been fired.
OB Library reopens earlier than expected
The Ocean Beach branch of the city’s library system will reopen ahead of schedule, which had been June 30, the end of the fiscal year, an assistant to the director told OB Rag. There had been so much pushback from local citizens as the OB library entered its 3rd year of closure, that library officials rushed, recalled a former popular librarian at the OB branch. OB and have filled other vacancies so it can open by mid-April. 2022.
Midway developer team has been chosen – promises 100% affordable housing and sprawling parks
One of the last half-dozen redevelopment teams vying for the Midway-Sports Arena area project has been chosen by the city. The team’s last-minute entry, titled “No Profit – Housing for the People”, was selected because their plan calls for 100% affordable housing and sprawling open parklands within the city-owned 48 acres. The team, which is entirely locally based, operates on a “not-for-profit” model and is committed to abiding by project labor agreements and hiring only local workers.
THC prevents the latest variant of Covid
A new study just released from UCSD indicates that after extensive research, they have found that THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, actually prevents infection with the latest variant of Covid that is making its way to around the world and the United States. Due to a complicated reaction of the THC molecules of any extraterrestrial virus, the THC attaches itself to the virus and alters its DNA to such an extent that it no longer causes infection and disease and is flushed out by the natural processes of the body. The research also found that Ocean Beach residents had the lowest infection rate in the city.
Funds and assistance pledged to OB planning board
In a remarkable development, the city has made a 180 degree turnaround and is now providing funding and staff assistance to the Ocean Beach Planning Board. The same goes for the other 41 planning councils in the city. The new director of planning announced the change in policy after the city council suspended a council member’s efforts to gut the voluntary planning groups, virtually dismembering them. Funding amounts are not disclosed so far, but staff have been promised to help planning board members. “Personnel assigned to planning groups will be totally neutral,” the new director said, “and they certainly won’t be the developer’s voice in the approval process.”
Mayor Gloria told the press after the council’s decision that he had an epiphany the other night. “I now see community planning groups as invaluable resources and a necessary step in the project development process. Gloria added: “Of course they have their issues, but nothing we can’t solve. Local-level planning groups,” he said, “are the foundation of American democracy.”
Local homeless disappear – into local housing
Hundreds of local homeless people ‘disappeared’ from the streets, alleys and underpasses of OB. Thanks to an innovative new program where landlords can receive up to $3,000 a month to rent a vacant room to a homeless person, many homeless people who used to live on the streets now live in homes in Point Loma and OB. Hundreds of homeowners, some struggling with mortgages or retirement savings, have signed up – and hundreds of formerly homeless people now have their own rooms and their own roof over their heads. Of course, there is a verification process — at both ends — but so far, reports have been favorable that the new program can significantly reduce the number of US citizens living outside.
Upcoming beach cleanup, organized by AirBnb and tourist agencies
Next weekend, a cleanup of the beach and the Ocean Beach neighborhood has been organized by Airbnb and tourist agencies. Cleaning supplies will be available for volunteers and homeless people involved will receive $3 per bag. Hodads is promising free burgers to all attendees. Tourism and travel agencies, colocation companies and rental companies have also promised that out-of-town visitors will receive reduced fees with proof of participation in cleaning.
“Terriers” back at OB
The popular television show “Terriers” filmed in OB about a decade ago, will return to the beach community this coming spring. Initially unpopular with studios and unpopular with some viewers due to its name, the show had a following that won’t back down. And now the producers have just announced that they will begin filming at the end of May. They also said they would hire hundreds of locals as extras and minor characters.