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Daily Business Report — Feb. 1, 2013

Plans to Overhaul Regulations for Outdoor
Dining Announced by City Council Members

City News Service — Three San Diego City Council members announced Thursday that they plan to overhaul regulations that make it difficult for restaurant owners to offer outdoor dining. At a news conference at the OB Noodle House in Ocean Beach, Councilwoman Lorie Zapf said restaurant owners face a lengthy, expensive and unpredictable permitting process under the current city code. One proposal calls for a “sidewalk café” option for restaurants, which would be allowed a single row of tables within 4 feet 6 inches of the building as long as a clear path of travel on the sidewalk is maintained, without a barrier in between. The idea is set to go to the Planning Commission next month and the City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee — chaired by Zapf — in March. “For smaller restaurants which simply want to add a few tables outside, like the OB Noodle House, fees that are upwards of $10,000 before construction costs, are an impossible ask by the city,” Zapf said. “The proposal coming before my committee would significantly reduce the costs and time associated with adding a small sidewalk cafe, allowing neighborhood restaurants to add a few more tables to accommodate more business.” Council President Todd Gloria, who represents eatery-laden Downtown, Hillcrest and North Park, said he is on board with the idea. Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who represents coastal areas of the city, said with San Diego’ great weather, the city shouldn’t penalize restaurants patronized by people who want to devour their meals outdoors.

Gregory Canyon Pits Water Against Trash

The new landfill proposed for Gregory Canyon in North County would be a replacement for the San Marcos landfill that closed back in 1997. About 200 people showed up to the Army Corps of Engineers’ hearing to argue for and against the project that has been in the works for more than two decades, KPBS reports. Very few new landfills are being sited in California because they are so difficult to get permitted. Gregory Canyon is east of Interstate 15 on Highway 76, next to the San Luis Rey River. The project developers, Gregory Canyon Ltd, said it will have the most state-of-the art landfill liner in the world — more than 7 feet thick. Supporters pointed out that the public has voted for this landfill twice: in 1994 and 2004. Mike McSweeney of the Building Industry Association said the project is essential for new growth. Newly elected County Supervisor Dave Roberts said people promised nuclear power plants would never leak, but San Onofre did: exactly a year ago. He, along with many opponents of the landfill,  took the long view, and said the liner might last a lifetime, but that isn’t enough. The landfill will be there forever.

Midway Museum Fires 14 Employees for Alleged Sale and Recycling of Metals

A group of 14 employees have been fired from the Midway Museum in connection with the alleged sale and recycling of metals from the historic aircraft carrier, according to a museum spokesperson, reports NBC San Diego. According to a newsletter sent by the museum to its volunteers, 14 employees from the Midway’s engineering department were recently axed. The newsletter states that metals such as steel, copper and aluminum — which are highly valuable in the recycling business — were allegedly taken from the aircraft carrier for recycling, but only a portion of the proceeds were returned to the Midway. “This involves several hundreds of thousands of dollars over several years,” the newsletter added. “All those involved in this activity are no longer employed and are no longer welcomed on board.” The newsletter named facilities manager and former Navy master chief Vic Zambrano as the ringleader in the alleged metals scheme. He has been with the Midway since 2003.

Three New Members Join the
Citizens Bond Oversight Panel

Three new members have joined the Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee, the volunteer group overseeing the spending of voter-approved bonds for construction projects at Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa. They are La Mesa resident Dexter Levy, a retired construction and labor relations executive; Alpine resident Dona Christensen, a retired land developer and real estate investor; and El Cajon resident Charles Fouquette, a retired construction industry supervisor, labor representative and vocational trade instructor. Construction projects are being paid for with proceeds from a $247 million bond measure approved by East County voters in 2006.

Real Estate Investment Firm
Changes Name to BBL Inc.

BCL Inc., the San Diego-based real estate investment firm, has changed its name to BBL Inc., reflecting the 2012 addition of Steve Bollert as a principal joining founding partners Casey Brown and Paul LeBeau. The name change comes as the company continues an acquisition strategy that over the past year resulted in $130 million in property purchases including the Bank of America Tower at 450 B St. Downtown, One Pacific Heights in Sorrento Mesa, and Regents Park Financial Center in University Towne Centre.

Sparling Promotes Two Staffers to Associates

David Smith and Joe Dews have been promoted to associates of Sparling, a specialty consulting firm. Smith is a lead project manager for the Technology Services Group in the Southwest region. He has been with Sparling for eight years, designing numerous projects in that time, including Temecula Valley Hospital, Hawaii Medical Center West, Seton Medical Center, Loma Linda University Medical Center and several buildings for Qualcomm, among others.Dews is an electrical engineer with 12 years of professional experience. Dews’ work includes military, advanced technology, education, civic and medical projects. His current projects include San Diego County Waterfront Park and parking structure, Mesa College Cafeteria/Bookstore/Stockroom, US Air Force F35A Hangar, USACE Education Center, Camp Pendleton Area 41 and more.

International Women’s Day to be
Celebrated March 10 in San Diego

Women’s Empowerment International will host a March 10 event to celebrate International Women’s Day and the achievements of first-generation women entrepreneurs in San Diego. The free event will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center, 404 Euclid Ave, San Diego. Attendees will meet recipients of microfinance loans and business consulting services provided by WE, the International Rescue Committee, Accion San Diego, ErasePoverty and PCI Global. They will learn how microfinance can move women toward financial self-sufficiency in San Diego and internationally. To register, get directions and more information, visit www.womenempowerment.org.

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The Daily Business Report is produced by SD METRO.

Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865. manny@sandiegometro.com.

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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

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