Tarnishing Our La Jolla Jewel: ‘Commercial trucks don’t belong in neighborhoods’

• Tarnishing Our La Jolla Jewel: ‘Commercial trucks don’t belong in neighborhoods’

I’ve supplied photos of two commercial vehicles used by Hike, Bike Kayak on Avenida de la Playa that are parked on the streets of the Shores every day and are used to store kayaks that do not fit within their business locations. Not only do these vehicles constitute blight on our neighborhood, but their use as overflow storage is not permitted by applicable provisions of the municipal code.

Moreover, these vehicles are only a small part of the fleet of at least 10 additional dirty, rusty, sand-filled work vehicles used by kayak merchants in the conduct of their business that are also parked on the streets of the Shores every day.

None of the kayak companies operating in the Shores pay for sufficient space to conduct their business within their locations and all rely on public areas to support their businesses — whether that be parking work vehicles on the street, storing kayaks in vehicles parked on the street, assembling tour groups on the sidewalk or in the park, etc.

Enough is enough. At a minimum, the residents of the Shores should not be subjected to these two eyesores parked daily in our neighborhood. More broadly, I question why the residents of the Shores should be expected to continue to subsidize these businesses by allowing them to operate in a manner that produces so many negative externalities on the neighborhood. The work vehicles, the failure to rent adequate space to conduct their business, all of it, are simply economic choices made by these business owners to increase their profits.

This is particularly absurd, given that kayak rental generally is not a permitted use within the provisions of the La Jolla Shores Planned District Ordinance and there is no possible way to construe the kayak business as currently conducted in the Shores as being consistent with the stated goals of the La Jolla Shores Planned District. Although my short-term goal is to remove these two particular vehicles from our neighborhood, I also want to shine a light on these businesses and how they affect our neighborhood. The ultimate goal is to force these operators to complete the noticed, public process required by the La Jolla Shores Planned District Ordinance. We need to formally amend the permitted uses in the Shores Commercial Zone to include the kayak rental business as a condition to their continued operation in the Shores Commercial Zone.
— Reuben Rosen, La Jolla Shores


• Editor’s Note: La Jolla Light reporter Ashley Mackin looked into the situation and spoke with the owner of Hike Bike Kayak, David Teafatiller. Acknowledging the problem, Teafatiller said it causes him equal frustration because this is the second time his truck has been vandalized, causing him expense and aggravation to clean it with a chemical solution that loosens the paint, making it easier to remove.

Teafatiller said the first time his truck was vandalized, he called the police, who said there was nothing they could do unless the vandal was caught in the act. The second time it happened, business was so brisk, busy staff could not clean the truck for two weeks.

Furthermore, Teafatiller said his truck has had the air taken out of its tires and eggs thrown at it, and that anonymous notes have been left on the windshield telling him to move the truck.

Teafatiller explained that the truck is used for loading and unloading kayaks to transport to the beach. Acknowleding the limited parking in the Shores, he said he must leave the truck wherever there is a space available near his business.

Teafatiller requested that before an upset community member leaves a note, he or she come speak with him in person about their concerns.

Similarly, Chris Lynch, co-owner of Everyday California (formerly OEX) has also experienced forms of “tampering” with his vehicles. In the past, Lynch said, people have left dead fish in the back of the company long-bed Chevy truck, which is used to transport kayaks. Lynch said his personal truck, which has the company logo on the side, was egged earlier this week.

However, Lynch said he does not face the same Hike Bike Kayak parking issues because his new location comes with parking for vehicles. Lynch said he hopes the community will come to appreciate the businesses and clients they bring to the Shores, and he’s hopeful the vandalism across the board, will stop.

• Fellow La Jollans: Please send La Jolla Light your leads of Village eyesores and we will go after the perpetrators. E-mail the scenarios and attach a photo, or call us and we’ll investigate who or what is Tarnishing Our Jewel! Reach Editor Susan DeMaggio at (858) 875-5950 or e-mail susandemaggio@lajollalight.com

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Posted by Ashley Mackin on Jan 31, 2014. Filed under News, Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

6 Comments for “Tarnishing Our La Jolla Jewel: ‘Commercial trucks don’t belong in neighborhoods’”

  1. Ben

    Really? As if our economy isn’t suffering enough? These are small businesses just doing their best to exist in this tough economic environment. Give them a break! Stop complaining about the trucks, instead, be happy that there are successful small businesses that make an exciting outdoor recreation possible for thousands of people a year who would otherwise not be able to afford the sport. And the vandals are the ones you should be whining about, not the small business owners. The vandals are the only criminals in this situation. So instead of wasting time writing a ridiculously whiny article, why don’t you help the business owners clean the trucks?

    Now to all you kayaking business owners, thank you! Thank you for running small, successful businesses in our community. Thank you for providing a valuable service that allows people to enjoy our spectacular environment. Thank you for staying tough and never giving in to the vandals or to these whiny locals who have more time to complain than they have to help. You guys are awesome, keep up the good work!

    • Charlie Williams

      Ben, the business are choking themselves off as well as alienating the neighborhood and public access to the beach. The imbalance is what people are talking about not whining about. The Kayak business is effecting the neighborhood negatively. People are expressing their frustration and the business are not responding to the effect on people whom have a real stake in the issue. Leadership requires someone to work with everyone whom has a stake. The kayak business and the neighborhood have big issues own their hands and they need to be addressed. Is there a leader in the Kayak community? Is it you?

  2. Bill

    Ben,

    Are you an apologist for these kayak companies? Are you, perhaps, connected in any way? Seems suspicious.

    The trucks need to go. It’s simple: if the truck remains in the same spot for more than 72 hours, call the non-emergency SDPD number to have it towed. You can also go online for the same purpose. The law has already worked in a nice balance: 72 hours in the same spot before getting towed. Neighbors do not want unsightly trucks in the neighborhood. This is also why we have rules against RVs parking in the neighborhoods.

    Non-emergency SDPD number: 858-484-3154.
    Here’s the website for reporting a vehicle in violation of the 72-hour rule:
    https://www.sandiego.gov/police/services/units/traffic/abandonedvehicle/inoperable.shtml

  3. Susan

    While I can see both sides of this issue, I think David Teafatiller, owner of Hike, Bike Kayak, missed a great opportunity to apologize to the residential community whose streets he is borrowing at no cost solely for his business’s benefit. Instead of making excuses (“busy staff could not clean the truck for two weeks” — seriously, did he really say that?) he could have made a heartfelt mea culpa and pledged to find the time or use some of the proceeds from all that “brisk business” to hire someone to clean up the trucks and keep them spiffy. While I don’t personally mind all that much about the kayaks or even the commercial vehicles, certainly a smart business owner wants to ingratiate himself to the community — not make excuses and alienate the neighbors.

  4. Charlie Williams

    With all do respect for small business and what it stands for. Zoning and permitted land and public use ordinances are put in place to protect the citizens as well as small business. That said, the list of violations and encroachments of the rules designed to protect both citizens and business have been disgracefully ignored by the Kayak operators. The overcrowding by the kayak business has essentially destroyed the ambiance and livability of the neighborhood and business area. As it sits right now a business that coukd add ambiance and character looking to open in the Shores can not operate. We were better off when La Jolla Kayak and a few local providers were thx primary provider. They cared about the business as well as the effect on the neighborhood. The Kayak business today is one for a single reason, profit, at the expense of our community. Next time you stroll through the shores notice how many buildings are dedicated to Kayak rental and Kayak storage. Surely that was not the plan for our neighborhood.

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