San Diego

Court Hearing Looms for Disputed Beach-Area Project

An abandoned Mission Beach school could give way to townhomes/duplexes, but a court dispute is brewing

A bitter dispute over a planned 59-unit housing development in Mission Beach is headed to court.

Neighbors who oppose the project, which is proposed for the site of a long-abandoned elementary school on Mission Boulevard, north of Belmont Park, say it has too much density for their already-crowded neighborhood. They also want the developer – McKellarMcGowan – to include more parking, and a larger community park.

Their attorney, Corey Briggs, has filed two lawsuits challenging project approvals by the city of San Diego and, more recently, the state Coastal Commission. The more recent lawsuit, filed by “Mission Beach Citizens for Responsible Development,” alleges the Coastal Commission violated the state Coastal Act and other environmental protection laws when it approved the development.

The first lawsuit, against the city, is scheduled for a significant hearing on February 16.

According to the developer, the Mission Beach development includes two separate, adjoining projects on land once occupied by the Mission Beach Elementary School. Both will have three-story townhomes and other structures, and the developer said all the buildings will conform to the 30-foot coastal height limit that governs new construction in that area.

The combined projects – 12 units on the south side of Santa Barbara Place and 47 on the larger portion of the parcel north of Santa Barbara Place – will have 118 parking spaces, or two spaces per unit. The developer also plans to build a .32 acre park along the south side of Jersey Court.

But opponents are adamant that the project should have more parking spaces, and a larger community park.

A spokesperson for the developer told NBC 7 that “the project will revitalize a long-vacant eyesore in the middle of Mission Beach.”

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