Plan for Mexican restaurant draws La Jolla panel’s challenge over parking

A Mexican restaurant wants to move into this La Jolla building at 1026 Wall St. Photo: Dave Schwab

By Dave Schwab
Staff Writer

Puesto Mexican Street Food, a new sidewalk café proposed at 1026 Wall St. in the Village, has been told by La Jolla Planned District Ordinance (PDO) Committee they will need assurance of guaranteed parking as well as a Coastal Development Permit for their project.

“What we’re asking for is a shared-parking agreement that are recorded documents,” said Deborah Marengo, a member of the PDO Committee which is charged with ensuring rules and regulations regarding parking, signage, colors and materials used in building in La Jolla are adhered to.

Shared-parking agreements, added Marengo, are a long-term agreement that sufficient parking will be provided in the long- and short-term.

“If you have an agreement for parking with Ace Parking which manages a parking lot, what if Ace goes away and Sunset comes in?” asked Marengo. “What happens to the management contract?”

Melissa Young, principal designer for studioMYID in an e-mail, said via e-mail, “We are working to fulfill all of the requirements of the La Jolla PDO and are looking forward to the next meeting.”

She added that “the Puesto team is excited to bring a new high-end Mexican fast-casual restaurant to La Jolla. Puesto will serve authentic Mexican food with fresh locally grown natural ingredients.”

Orrin Gabsch, another PDO committee member, echoed Marengo’s concerns, saying several businesses in the Village that have been converted into restaurant space do not have shared-parking agreements in place.

“I see all these current violations going on and nobody’s enforcing it,” he said.

“If you’re going to construct a restaurant in La Jolla, there’s nothing even in the PDO that you have to go back and satisfy this requirement (shared parking),” added committee member David Little.

“We need to see a shared-parking agreement that has been properly recorded,” agreed PDO chair Ione Stiegler, who added after the meeting the proposed restaurant lies in several overlapping planning zones — coastal, parking impact, transit and La Jolla Community Plan.

“They need more parking and a Coastal Development Permit because of the intensification of use,” Stiegler said. “It’s the intensification of use that triggered the parking requirement.”

Reza Ghasemi, who owns a rug store at 1030 Wall St. adjacent to the proposed restaurant, said he wants more specific information about the development’s remodel.

“I’m a next-door neighbor and it’s going to affect my business,” he said. “I need more details on the railing, the on-site sidewalk café, your ventilation, etc.”

Stiegler said the restaurant project would also have to go through La Jolla’s Development Permit Review (DPR) Commmittee, as well as the city’s coastal development process, before it can be passed along to La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA), La Jolla’s advisory group to the city on land use, for a final recommendation for or against the project.

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Posted by Dave Schwab on May 23, 2011. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

7 Comments for “Plan for Mexican restaurant draws La Jolla panel’s challenge over parking”

  1. Bird Rock Native

    If memory serves, this location used to be a food establishment back in the 60's.

    And of course Marengo is going to try and oppose it, it's competition. What do you expect?

    • SD Local

      Marengo's automatically against it because her husband didnt get the remodel job. If he did, believe me the "requirements" would be less stringent considering her placement on the board

      • Same Old Story

        It's ALWAYS the Marengo Show. He didnt get the project, so they will absolutely try to crush any competition's chance of moving forward. They are like children stomping their feet because the game didn't go their way. They do not play nice. Period. Unless it benefits them in some way. Last time she was involved in a "fundraising" style board, she was in hot water with the city. How easily people forget.

  2. Serge Issakov

    Why does every La Jolla retail business need to have parking dedicated to it? The village is a walking town – people walk from their homes, people walk from their offices, people walk from their hotels. That's who this will serve. That's what should be encouraged… walking and bike riding, not more car driving.

    It's difficult and expensive enough to risk opening a business like this already. I, for one, am discouraged by all the empty business space. We should make it easier and cheaper to open a business here, not more and more difficult. Discouraging business with parking requirements is the opposite of what we should be doing.

  3. la jolla visitor

    Yes the village is a walking town, but does every corner need to have a new food restaurant. We need new and innovative businesses that will stay long term! Also, Ace parking is one of the last good places to park-tourists can park there and walk around the village. If its totally being occupied by diners where will our visitors park?? When there are special events held in La Jolla where will those folks park?? These last few parking spaces should be for visitors who enjoy coming to La Jolla for the day

    • James

      So you want to regulate what businesses people can open and where? There's plenty of parking in La Jolla the problem is directing people to it! there are structures and lots that go unused everyday.

  4. Yahoo for Puestos!

    Yay!! La Jolla might actually get a good and HEALTHY Mexican restaurant with natural (hopefully organic!) ingredients! I find restaurants in small towns in Idaho with better mexican food than La Jolla. Alfonso's, Jose's and Su Casa hopefully will get a clue and create non-oily/greasy, non-"out of a can", made-onsite food using fresh ingredients too! Puesto's, we're waiting eagerly for you to open! (Keep it casual- also you don't need parking…just look at Burger Lounge!)

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