La Jolla Parks & Beaches agrees to drive Whale View Point beautification

One task in the Whale View Point project is to ease the transition from beach paths to city sidewalks. (Photos by Ashley Mackin)
One task in the Whale View Point project is to ease the transition from beach paths to city sidewalks. (Photos by Ashley Mackin)
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One task in the Whale View Point project is to ease the transition from beach paths to city sidewalks. (Photos by Ashley Mackin)

La Jolla coast improvement plan has a $2.1 million pricetag and could take 20 years to complete

By Ashley Mackin

The La Jolla Parks and Beaches (LJPB) advisory committee heard updates on two public improvement projects — the Whale View Point shoreline enhancement plan and the Children’s Pool Walk beautification project — during its March 24 meeting. The two projects are similar only in that they both aim to improve public space along the La Jolla shoreline.

Whale View Point

During the meeting, LJPB voted to assume responsibility for implementation of the Whale View Point project via a motion by Rebecca Morales, which stated LJPB would appoint a sub committee to review the plan’s components for feasibility, outline a plan of action, and report back to LJPB within 60 days.

Whale View Point (approximately 0.3 miles long) is bound by 274 Coast Blvd. at the south end, People’s Wall at the north end, the intertidal zone to the west and Coast Boulevard to the east.

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Restoration of the crumbling People’s Wall along Whale View Point is included in the project plans.

Per the design narrative, “The purpose of this plan is ... to restore, maintain and preserve the Whale View Point portion of the Coast Boulevard Park shoreline.” The construction cost estimate is $2.1 million. The project is expected to take 20 years to complete.

The plan is broken down by geographic area, by task level and by cost, so each piece can be completed independently as funds become available. The order in which projects are completed will be up to the subcommittee, which also has the option of fundraising for each component.

The five areas identified as needing improvement include:

1) The Educational Plaza, for which the plan proposes installation of informational signage, plaques and interactive features;

2) The Picnic Ramble, which includes restoration of native vegetation to provide secluded picnicking areas where small groups can barbecue;

3) Whale View Lookout, which requires rehabilitation of the large turf gathering space;

4) The Wedding Lawn, which is not ADA-compliant and which the plan would bring to code;

5) The People’s Wall, which is in need of restoration.

Other minor projects, such as walking surface improvements (paths, trails or sidewalks) and habitat restoration, are also integrated into each of these areas.

Eric Korevaar, secretary for the La Jolla Conservancy, designers of the plan, made the Whale View Point presentation at the meeting. He said the Conservancy “knows it’s a lot of work,” so the group would provide seed money to LJPB, so it would have some funds to start with. The amount has yet to be determined.

Getting the plan to this point has been a focus of the Conservancy for more than seven years, said Conservancy member Anthony Ciani. The process started with community meetings and “La Jollans walking with a notebook making observations and taking notes, sketching their ideas,” he added.

From there, city planners and landscape architects provided feedback on the feasibility of the suggestions, and a report was published explaining the suggestions the city deemed practical.

After the results were reviewed and approved at community advisory groups, the plan (as it reads today) was in development.

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