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Ocean Beach residents rally to stop controversial construction project

Residents in Ocean Beach rallied Wednesday night against the construction of a new building they said is too big for their neighborhood.

OCEAN BEACH (CBS 8) - Residents in Ocean Beach rallied Wednesday night against the construction of a new building they say is too big for their neighborhood.

During a town hall meeting, Ocean Beach residents rallied behind a plan to stop the construction of the project.

The developer told CBS News 8 the project meets city code, but neighbors said the development is built on lies and they fear this could change Ocean Beach's unique character.

Residents expressed their concern that the project is over the city's 30-foot limit. Further, residents argue the project is two homes on one lot - which is against zoning.

"It really is a behemoth. It does not fit in. It's huge and I don't like looking at it. Honestly, the part that bothers me the most is the lies and the loopholes. Do it right," said Ocean Beach resident Leanne Tabiatowski.

Residents argued the project was able to bypass an approval board as an addition.

"The main thing is to get a stop work order and to make sure that is going through the right process," said John Ambert, Ocean Beach Planning Board Chair.

In an email statement the developers told CBS News 8 they have made modifications. (Read the full statement below)

The Ocean Beach Planning Chair, acting a community activist, will send an email to the mayor and development services requesting a stop work order. They hope the project goes through the Coastal Development for approval.

The Ocean Beach Planning Board Chair is currently waiting for a meeting with the mayor and Councilwoman Lorie Zapf. The mayor and Zapf did not return CBS News 8's request for comment.

Full Statement on behalf of Nelco Properties:

Nelco Properties is a strong supporter of the Ocean Beach community and its residents. With this project we are working to beautify the community and bring increased home values to the surrounding neighborhood. The project conforms to all required municipal codes, city development regulations, and has obtained all required permits; it has been approved by City and County agencies. We take our duty as responsible developers seriously and in that vein, we have complied with all regulation necessary to construct this project. To ensure compliance, we have enlisted independent licensed land surveyors to survey the property. They have certified that the height of this structure is within the allowable 30 feet height limit. All components of this project have been stamped, approved and signed-off on by the City of San Diego to move forward with this project.

We take all concerns raised by our neighbors seriously. Working with our neighbors, we have made some modifications to the project and will continue to keep them updated. The project has exceeded historical requirements, with 40 percent reclaimed materials, plus reclaimed flooring, with the goal of matching the Ocean Beach feel and design concepts.

Unfortunately, there have been some individuals who have vandalized the property, harassed and threatened workers, posted slanderous signs, made anonymous death threats via phone and set the project on fire. We are distressed by this behavior and do not wish have violence or criminal activity in Ocean Beach.

Nelco Properties has only the best intentions to help improve the beautiful City of Ocean Beach while following all the proper protocol and regulations necessary. We are making all efforts to work with our OB neighbors and will continue to do so.

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