Town Council hears about parade, Gliderport and dining

At its November meeting La Jolla Town Council got an update on its upcoming annual Christmas parade and heard from a UCSD representative about Torrey Pines Gliderport and students' desire to establish a dialogue with the community.

The council also debated a request by the Burger Lounge to create a new sidewalk cafe.

Past Town Council president Glen Rasmussen said this year's holiday parade, to be held Sunday, Dec. 2, will emphasize the values of philanthropy, culture and service by honoring local citizens and organizations for their achievements.

"This year's marshals include Mary Wayne as cultural marshal, Las Patronas as philanthropic marshal and Lt. Col. Jay Koppelman will be the military marshal," said Rasmussen. "Lifeguard Jimmy Canale will be the civic marshal. Grand marshal will be Tracy Jarman, fire chief of the city of San Diego."

Rasmussen said citizens who've distinguished themselves through community service will be designated as "cheerleaders," and formally recognized for their contributions. He added citizens can be nominated as cheerleaders via a form that can be filled out and e-mailed, along with a $50 donation to the Town Council Foundation.

Acting Town Council office manager Gail Forbes said vehicles are being sought from the community for parade use. "We're looking for VIP vehicles to transport marshals, politicos and pranksters," said Forbes, "so if you own one, or know somebody who owns one, who'd be willing to loan us a car for a day, call the Town Council office at 858-454-1444."

Anne Cleveland, town council president, said nominees are being sought for five council trusteeships of varying term lengths which will open soon.

Aida Kuzucan, vice president of local affairs for Associated Students of UCSD, addressed the council discussing Torrey Pines Gliderport.

"The university is building a housing unit right across the street from the Gliderport, which is claiming that building will get in the way of their landing path when there are strong winds with one type of light plane they fly," said Kuzucan. "But it (building) will not, in any rational way, affect the Gliderport. Extreme conditions for planes to be flown into the building would prevent them from flying."

UCSD students are willing to explore the possibility of establishing more of a dialogue with the La Jolla community. "Right now, we don't have any relations with the community," noted Kuzucan.

"Apparently, there is a great divide between UCSD and the Village of La Jolla," noted towncouncilman Rasmussen. "Students don't come down here or shop down here."

"We weren't under the impression you wanted college students here," replied Kuzucan.

"How do you think it came about that students got the impression that the Village of La Jolla would not welcome students?," towncouncilman John Beaver asked of Kuzucan.

"There isn't any connection," replied Kuzucan, noting most interaction now between students and the community involves negative feedback from community members complaining about students parking in neighborhoods adjacent to the university.

"I would welcome these students, it would be a wonderful diversity for our community," Beaver said.

Town councilman Trent Bonner suggested it might be a good idea for students and community members to get together on the weekend to get to know each other.

The Burger Lounge Sidewalk Cafe at 1101 Wall St. has applied for the necessary city permits to construct a 122-square-foot outdoor sidewalk cafe area. Towncouncilwoman Sherri Lightner noted parking is the main issue the Council has with the Burger Lounge's proposal. "The existing CDP (Community Development Permit) didn't take into consideration the change in the business from a bakery to a restaurant," said Lightner. "There is no parking required for the Burger Lounge. It's got an outdoor dining area just a little bit more than 200 square feet, and there's a (parking) exemption for 200 square feet of outdoor dining."

"So now we have one more restaurant in the Village with no facility for off-street parking," commented towncouncilman Ed Ward.

Patrick Ahern from the audience said parking requirements with small businesses like the Burger Lounge ought to be considered on a case-by-case basis. "This is a tough one," Ahern said. "The Burger Lounge has created a real dynamic corner. I don't think this is setting a precedent. This is an old permit. It might just be a one-time occurrence."

Town councilman Trent Bonner concurred with Ahern.

"What these folks have done is really bring people to that corner in an area that doesn't have a lot of foot traffic," Bonner said. "Most of the people that are eating there are La Jollans. It's not people driving and parking there."

"It also creates a demand for parking spaces, which limits access to the post office and other facilities in the area," rejoined towncouncilman Ed Ward.

Acting town council office manager Forbes pointed out La Jolla's Planned District Ordinance, the community's blueprint for commercial development, may have a special parking exemption for small, qualified businesses like the Burger Lounge. "Buildings that are historical in nature, or are on very small lots, don't have a parking requirement," Forbes said. "It's to prevent smaller buildings from being transformed into two-story buildings with underground parking. It's to strike a balance there."

   
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