Where should the money go? Residents asked to identify La Jolla infrastructure priorities
If you go
What: Community budget discussion
When: 6 p.m. Aug. 1
Where: La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.
Information: firstname.lastname@example.org or lajollacpa.org/cip.html
CIP Citizen Engagement App: Weigh-in online or using a smartphone by posting capital improvement priorities at infrastructure.opensandiego.org
By Pat Sherman
For the second year in a row, city officials are asking La Jollans to tell them what infrastructure projects and capital improvements they would like to see the city spend money on in its 2015 fiscal year budget — from sidewalks and park and recreation centers to sewer repairs and bikeways.
La Jollans are asked to offer suggestions during the next meeting of the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA), 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1 at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.
Similar discussions are taking place across the city during meetings of San Diego’s other 41 community planning groups.
La Jolla Community Planning Association board vice president Joe LaCava will lead the discussion. A list of final recommendations will be voted on and compiled during the Sept. 5 LJCPA meeting.
LaCava said it is important for people to understand what the city considers to be infrastructure and capital improvement projects, which would, for example, include building a library, but not increasing an existing library’s hours (an operational expense).
While filling potholes (considered maintenance) would also not be allocated under this process, adding a two-inch thick layer of asphalt to a street would be considered, as would repairs to broken sidewalks.
Though the discussion is organized by the LJCPA, LaCava said it is intended to be the uniform recommendation all La Jollans.
“We’re just trying to get people excited and interested and participating in the process,” he said.
The target date for having recommendations consolidated and submitted to the city is Oct. 1.
Last year was the first time the city asked communities to help craft their own priorities. Of the 225 projects identified during community planning meetings across the city, only 12 were allocated for funding, and none in La Jolla.
However, LaCava, who also chairs the umbrella group overseeing the city’s 42 planning groups, says La Jollans should not to get discouraged. If anything, he said, it’s more of an incentive for residents to be engaged in a thoughtful dialogue about the budget process.
He said last year’s meetings should be viewed as a trial run, during which community members got their feet wet for the long run. The 12 projects that did receive funding tended to be smaller in scale — something to consider when evaluating this year’s priorities, he said.
“La Jolla focused on the bigger ticket items last year,” LaCava said. “I think the least expensive one was about $250,000. This year, folks might feel differently and choose more modest projects, which have a greater likelihood of getting funded.”
Another option, LaCava said, is to reaffirm, in part or in full, last year’s list of recommendations.
LaCava provided the following list of La Jolla projects recommended in 2012, many of which were previously approved by the LJCPA after discussion during monthly meetings and subcommittees. (LaCava will offer more information on some of these projects during the Aug. 1 meeting.)
Parks and Recreation
1. Coast Boulevard Sidewalk Improvements at Children’s Pool (restore and enhance last remaining segment)
2. Scripps Park Restoration
3. Enhancement of South Coast Boulevard Park and walking path along Coast Boulevard from the climbing wall to its southerly end
4. Coast Walk Parking Feasibility Study (restoration of as many as six parking spaces on Coast Walk)
1-3. Torrey Pines Road Corridor Project (phases 1-3)
4. Belvedere Promenade project on Prospect Street (convert northbound Prospect Street between Girard and Herschel avenues to pedestrian only; convert southbound Prospect to two-way traffic)
5. Sidewalk at Rock Park/La Jolla Hermosa Park (connect sidewalks on west side of Chelsea Avenue with south side of Camino de la Costa)
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