OBPB discusses street vending ordinance, hears Airport Authority update
At the Ocean Beach Planning Board (OBPB) meeting Sept. 4 at the Rec Center, discussion centered on the ordinance proposed by City officials to put limitations on street vending, following the passage earlier this year of a state law to allow it, and the Airport Authority’s development project for Terminal 1.
Street Vending Senate Bill 946
The City Council’s Economic Development Committee voted unanimously July 25 to forward proposed regulations to SB 946 to the full City Council for consideration in October. SB 946, which went into effect Jan. 1, was intended to help low-income and immigrant communities start businesses without having a storefront or investment capital. The resulting challenge has been a wave of sidewalk vendors popping up in the coastal communities, including OB.
OBPB chair Andrea Schlageter said the chief issue is vendors taking advantage of OB Town Council events and the OB Farmers Market to sell wares without paying the fees and taxes that everyone else is required to pay to be at these events. Treasurer Craig Klein added they therefore can offer lower prices, putting the hometown stores at further disadvantage.
Schlageter explained that if passed, the City ordinance would 1) put a stop to any street vending without a license; 2) require set up on a sidewalk wider than six feet; 3) require shut down by 10 p.m.; and 4) forbid vending on the beach or pier.
To be classified as a vendor, an individual must apply for a $30 vending permit. The ordinance limits how close a vending booth must be from schools, fire hydrants, emergency stations, above ground structures, etc. And only mobile vendors, such as ice cream trucks, would be allowed in residential areas.
Furthermore, any vendor selling unpackaged foods must obtain a food handlers license. Currently, sidewalk vendors selling food in OB are not required to have the license.
In response to the question of how the ordinance will be regulated, Schlageter responded that Parks and Rec pesonnel would be able to enforce the rules, as well as code compliance officers, lifeguards and police. As of now, she explained, the police cannot ticket sidewalk vendors as SB 946 legally allows vendors to be there for the time being.
Craig moved to support the ordinance, and the motion passed 8-4-1.
Airport Authority on Terminal 1
A presentation on the expansion of nearby San Diego International Airport’s Terminal 1 was given by Brendan Reed, director of planning & environmental affairs at San Diego Airport Authority (AA). By way of introduction, Reed said in 2018, San Diego’s Airport served 28 million passengers, of which 1 million were international passengers — almost a 20 percent increase from 2017.
He added that in 2004, when the AA was formed, it served 30 domestic markets and three international. Today, it serves more than 60 domestic and 11 international markets. An economic impact study conducted in 2018 discovered the airport contributes about $12 million to the local economy.
Reed assured meeting attendees the airport would maintain its single runway and would not be adding any others. The main course of action right now, he said, is replacing Terminal 1: “No one has argued that Terminal 1 should not replaced because it is just not a modern, efficient terminal.
“There’s not enough space in the waiting areas by the gates. Forget about trying to get a beer before your flight because there’s only a couple of concessions. We have three different security checkpoints, so if you happen to go through the wrong one, you actually have to come out of security to get to a different gate.”
He went on to explain the issues with traffic congestion caused by the “half-moon shape” of the curb.
The new Terminal 1 will be sporting several upgrades. These include an on-airport roadway, which will take all inbound airport traffic off of Harbor Drive and deliver those passengers, without traffic signals, to Terminal 1. Additionally, Terminal 1 will have a dual-level roadway in front of the terminal, similar to Terminal 2, which splits arrivals and departures to free up curb space.
A parking plaza in front of Terminal 1 has also been proposed, Reed said.
Part of the new Terminal 1’s parking lot will be reserved for a future transit center, where Amtrak, the Trolley, the Coaster and, eventually, High-Speed Rail will stop. This area is approximately where the existing Terminal 1’s surface lot is now.
Since fall 2018, the AA has held some 100 meetings with various agencies and community groups to receive feedback on the new Terminal 1. There were six themes that arose from the entirety of meetings, Reed said, which the AA has responded to with project refinements.
Request 1: Use a more updated aviation forecast, which states how many flights Airport Authority thinks it’s going to have.
Refinement 1: Using 2018 data, the AA updated the forecast, which was recently approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Request 2: Ask FAA if the Airport Authority can use money for certain improvements. Reed later told Point Loma-OB Monthly via e-mail, “These improvements, which align with the City’s Downtown Mobility Plan, include installing bicycle lanes, re-timing traffic signals and adding turn lanes.”
Refinement 2: The AA has submitted that request.
Request 3: More transit connectivity.
Refinement 3: Two solutions will be implemented: 1) a designated transit station area will be equidistant from Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, and 2) an electric shuttle service from Old Town Transit Center to San Diego International Airport (to complement the existing MTS bus service from Santa Fe Depot until a longer-term solution with fixed-rail to the airport, can be implemented). The electric shuttle service should be in place by the first quarter of 2020.
Request 4: Less vehicle parking and more bicycle parking.
Refinement 4: The AA reduced the size of the parking structure in front of Terminal 1 by removing 2,000 stalls (from 7,500 to 5,500). The surface parking, seen when cars first enter the airport, will be removed, so there will be a net increase of 650 stalls since 2018. After that, there will be no additional parking. There will be covered bicycle storage for 50 bikes for use by employees and passengers.
Request 5: AA be consistent with the San Diego Climate Action Plan (CAP) and Community Plan.
Refinement 5: Although the City doesn’t include the airport’s emissions in its CAP, the AA used the City’s “CAP Consistency Checklist” to ensure that best practices for reducing carbon emissions are being incorporated into the proposed project.
Request 6: AA adapt to the sea level rise.
Refinement 6: Through a FAA grant, the AA developed a Climate Resilience Plan that assessed the potential future impacts of various climate stressors, such as sea level rise, on the airport. The plan also identified strategies that the AA will pursue to prepare for those future impacts. Thew new CRP can be found at san.org/green
Reed also stated the AA has negotiated an agreement with its airline partners to ensure they would pay up to $500 million for onsite and off-airport transportation improvements, which could include the future transit station.
A copy of the draft EIR will be released the week of Sept. 16, and an electronic copy will be accessible at san.org/plan
The public is encouraged to submit comments within the first 45 days after the draft’s release. Certification of the final EIR and project consideration by the AA is set for January 2020.
—Note: There will be a public workshop, 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at the Airport Noise Authority Office, 2722 Truxtun Road in Point Loma to address commercial jet noise issues. For more on airport expansion and jet noise, read La Jolla Light’s recent guest commentary at bit.ly/LJLAirport