South Mission Beach lifeguard tower construction can continue, court rules

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SAN DIEGO – A ruling Tuesday clears the way for construction of the long-planned South Mission Beach lifeguard station to continue.

The Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday that Superior Court Judge Katherine A. Bacal was wrong to block construction of a new lifeguard tower for South Mission Beach in 2015, according to San Diego City Attorney’s spokesman Gerry Braun. The court ruled the site development permit was valid and had not expired, as argued by the opponents of the project.

Construction of the three-story tower had begun in 2015, but was halted after project opponents complained that the new tower would block the ocean view for residences and people who bought homes in the area since the approval of the permits were not notified of the project. The opponents proposed moving the tower further south.

The lifeguard station project was first introduced in 2003 and receiving support from the Mission Beach Precise Planning Board two years later. City permits were approved in 2006, but construction was delayed due to the economic downturn in 2008. The construction project was revived and broke ground in 2015.

The new tower will replace a 40-year-old wooden structure currently used by San Diego lifeguards. It is expected to give lifeguards a more efficient view of the ocean and accommodate more staff and equipment.

It’s not clear when the project will be restarted. The city has a construction moratorium at the beaches between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

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