The Ocean Beach Town Council is releasing the following statement in response to the proposed Target Express in Ocean Beach. This statement is based on feedback received from community members at the public forum we hosted on August 23rd, 2017, as well as numerous emails and social media communications received over the past few months.
As a designated 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, the Ocean Beach Town Council (OBTC) is dedicated to expressing the will, representing the welfare, and sustaining the spirit of the community of Ocean Beach. Some of the many ways our organization does this include providing forums for the discussion of community issues, communicating the views and needs of the community to relevant parties, and taking appropriate action on community issues.
Recently, in response to numerous calls, emails, and social media messages related to the lease of the Antique Mall building on Newport Avenue to Target for a Target Express, we held a public community forum. The communications we received from our membership, as well as Ocean Beach residents and business owners, have been mainly opposed to the presence of Target Express, with a few expressing support for the idea of having a large retailer to provide convenience and some being ambivalent.
The Ocean Beach community has a long and proud history of supporting locally owned and operated retail stores, restaurants, and business operators. The OBTC believes that small, locally owned businesses are vital to maintaining the strong fabric of the Ocean Beach community and are a primary reason residents remain here and tourists return year after year to visit our shores and stores.
The OBTC urged the owners of the Antique Mall to seriously consider options other than leasing the space to the second largest discount store retailer in the US. Further, we fully support the Ocean Beach Planning Board’s decision to oppose any future permits for the off-site sale of alcohol across the Ocean Beach planning area, which includes the proposed Target location.
The OBTC will continue, as we have always done, to encourage residents and tourists to support the variety of independent, locally owned businesses that help to make our community the special place that it is.
If the owners of the Antique Mall building and Target Corporation continue to move forward with their lease agreement, disregarding the clear and expressed will of the community, the OBTC would call on the Target Corporation to uphold, abide, and respect the resolution of the Ocean Beach Planning Board and OBTC to refrain from off-site sales of alcohol. OBTC would implore the Target Corporation to respect and support our community with a community benefits agreement addressing the following issues:
- offer no products for sale that are already available elsewhere in Ocean Beach or that would be in direct competition with our local independent businesses;
- keep sidewalks and alleyways surrounding the business free of litter, graffiti, and loitering;
- dedicate 5 percent or more of profits derived from the OB storefront to directly supporting organizations and initiatives in 92107 that benefit our community;
- limit the impact of corporate branding & storefront signage and consult the Ocean Beach Planning Board to ensure any signage is in compliance with the sentiment of the Ocean Beach Precise Plan;
- make improvements to infrastructure surrounding the property to mitigate the effects of increased traffic, deliveries, and parking congestion;
- commit to hiring local residents into primarily full time positions with living wages and benefits;
- submit to a semi-annual review of adherence to these standards.