San Diego

Protesters Clog IB's Plan for Beach-Side Public Bathroom

The city acknowledged concerns from the opposition and said it will invest money into the Pier instead.

Protest from dissenting residents clogged up Imperial Beach’s plan to put a public bathroom and shower station near the water.

The IB City Council on Wednesday sided with the protestors who fought against having a restroom and shower facility, or "comfort station" as the city called it, so close to their homes.

It was planned to replace a parking lot at the intersection of Seacoast Drive and Beach Avenue between two condo complexes. One protestor told NBC 7 in June that the proposed 450-square-foot bathroom would have landed within 15 feet of his dining room window.

On Wednesday protesters flooded the City Council meeting with matching shirts and a matching message.

"We don't need a bathroom where people can congregate and do drugs and maybe sexual offenses maybe towards children that are walking to school or are maybe on the beach,” one protestor said.

Dozens of people signed up to speak at the meeting, and before that a petition opposing the plan garnered hundreds of signatures.

All of that was apparently enough for the City Council to close the lid on the project for now. The council decided to reallocate the $1.8 million for the comfort station towards sprucing up the pier as many residents suggested.

The reallocation of funds was music to Port Commissioner Dan Malcom's ears.

"Putting the money into the pier, that iconic structure that's been here for so long, really builds on what we have already done,” Malcom said.

Malcom wants the pier project finished by the summer of 2020, and says the revamp would make the pier a destination for tourists and something residents will look forward to.

"There's already infrastructure to handle the increased visitation. It’s in a great part of town right there.,” he added.

It’s unclear if the comfort stations are completely off the table or will be brought up later on down the road.

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