Pacific Beach Q&A: Meet Matthew Winter, president of beautifulPB

Pacific Beach Q&A: Meet Matthew Winter, president of beautifulPB

Where did you grow up?

Durango, Colorado.

What do you do for a living?

I'm an architect.

Are you married? Got kids?

I'm married to April Winter and have a 7-year-old daughter, Scarlett, who attends Pacific Beach Elementary School.

Give us a brief history of your involvement with Pacific Beach governance.

My involvement, originally started with a project that was meant to provide direction to the City of San Diego about what the Pacific Beach community would like to see happen in the area bounded by Mission Boulevard, Pacific Beach Drive and Grand Avenue. We approached this planning effort with a blank slate and held over 36 meetings with various stakeholders and created a new plan for Pacific Beach.

This project created many counter-intuitive (constructive?) responses and became known generically as the PB Parks Project. The City has a $400,000 SANDAG grant to study the area.

The PB Parks Project came at a time when there was a lot of distrust between stakeholder groups after the alcohol-on-the-beach ban, so our group, beautifulPB, made a concerted effort to connect with many other stakeholder groups. When we created our nonprofit, we had board members who also served on the Discover PB and PB Planning groups.

I also spent several years on the the PB Town Council.

If you could wave a magic wand and make a wish for PB come true, that wish would be:

That there was a gondola tram between the new Balboa Trolley Station and the beach! It would connect the final mile between the two, helping augment the Metropolitan Transit System and also provide a spectacular amenity for beach visitors.

Also, I wish for the creation of a Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) in Pacific Beach. This would take us to the next level for funding and infrastructure improvement above and beyond the usual expectation for tax dollars and City services. This has been done in Little Italy; you may notice the MAD staff in red jackets busy watering plants, power-washing sidewalks and picking up litter.

What is your favorite thing about PB?

I like the diversity of people from all ages and incomes that have congregated in one of the most beautiful settings in America.

What is your top priority for PB improvement?

That would be the functionality and continuity in projects and groups. With all volunteers on the various boards, it is hard to keep projects going over time. There is much turnover in the roughly 40 non-profits in PB, which makes it difficult to balance short-term and long-term goals.

What is one thing you want people to know about the beautifulPB board?

Our group is extremely passionate about sustainability, but also in connection with livability.

Do you have a favorite spot for relaxing in PB?

Any restaurant with outdoor space!

How would you spend a $5,000 gift to PB — no strings attached?

I would spend that money on improvements to a permanent storefront on Garnet Avenue where all the nonprofits could meet and where Discover PB could display the Garnet Vision Plan to the public.

This place would be open for meetings to any of the over 40 nonprofits currently functioning in Pacific Beach — the Community Collaborators sub group, beautifulPB, PB Town Council, PB Planning subcommittee, etc.

The more connections the better to give Pacific Beach a stronger voice in the larger San Diego community.

You can reach Matthew Winter through beautifulpb.com

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