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
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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