Ever since the Ocean Beach Planning Board has begun recommending how the beach community should grow, they have given fast-food franchises the cold shoulder; OB’s only existing such establishments either managed to circumvent the board or they entered the community long ago. Now, however, the anti-franchise wall may be cracking: although the planning board turned down a proposed Winchell’s Donut stand in September, the regional coastal commission rejected that recommendation, and the state commission now has refused to hear any appeal from the OB board.
Although their legal options have been exhausted, several board members aren’t letting the issue die. Unimpressed by promises of a “natural” Winchell’s doughnut in the experimental stages, a group of the franchise opponents have formed People Against Winchell’s (PAW) and started a petition drive; they also promise to picket the site at Sunset Cliffs and West Point Loma boulevards this afternoon and to flood the community with bumper stickers exhorting those with a sweet tooth to “Boycott Winchell’s and Save OB.” Unintimidated, Winchell’s representatives say they expect to start construction Friday, while property owner Chris Stavros merely sounds bewildered. “I grew up in the community and it stumps me that I’m getting such an opposition… If I had all the people around saying ‘God we don’t want that,’ Christ, I would be thinking differently about it. But the only opposition is coming from a few people on the planning committee.”