Small Victories: Bird Rock Council grateful for infrastructure repairs

After months of requests and reports, two infrastructure needs in Bird Rock got some City attention last month: missing MTS bus benches and an uneven sidewalk that was identified as a tripping hazard in the spring.

The Bird Rock Community Council (BRCC) has been requesting these repairs be addressed via the City’s Get It Done app and e-mail requests, but it wasn’t until District 1 City Council member Barbara Bry attended the BRCC meeting last month that changes were actually made.

Representing Bry’s office, Mauricio Medina spoke at the BRCC meeting Oct. 3 at Lupi restaurant.

In January, MTS conducted a City-wide replacement and upgrade of the benches, but a few along La Jolla Boulevard that were removed were never replaced. Medina said the missing benches were installed since the board last met.

He also said the uneven sidewalk on La Jolla Boulevard at Colima Street, which seems to have buckled at some point, causing part of the sidewalk to lift, would be repaired by the end of November.

As a temporary measure, the buckled sidewalk was highlighted with orange paint and an A-frame barricade to draw attention and deter people from tripping.

Medina said: “City staff let me know they are going to patch the sidewalk temporarily with asphalt and within 60 days (from Sept. 25), will replace the sidewalk completely.”

He asked residents to keep an eye on the sidewalk and notify Bry’s office if that deadline is not met at (619) 236-6611.

Despite the City attention to some repairs, another longtime request has seemingly tested the patience of one resident. BRCC secretary Barbara Dunbar reported the beige netting that surrounds the Midway Bluff vegetation has come down, but likely by an unauthorized resident.

The board has been asking the City to take down the netting for months.

“The netting was put up to help establish the plants atop the Midway Bluff, but it was supposed to come down a year ago. The netting has been pulled down, wadded up and piled next to the plants,” Dunbar said. “So that is not a satisfactory solution.”

Medina said the City would continue to investigate the situation. 

In other BRCC news:

Halloween heads-up: In preparation for Halloween, a busy and “lucrative for children” holiday in Bird Rock, BRCC president Andrew Ward reminded attendees (and continues to remind residents) that trick-or-treating hours will be 5:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31 and that residents are encouraged to turn off their lights at 8 p.m. to signify the end of holiday festivities. 

Dunbar added that police would be on site “with fairly strong presence” for a few hours. “Police want to remind the community they will enforce the social host ordinance, which states that anyone that permits minors drinking in their houses will be held accountable for the (minor’s) actions.

“They are also looking for people consuming alcohol on the streets or in public places. Lastly, they remind people that vandalism includes defacing property, including pumpkins. 

“That’s especially important for teens to know; if they plan to smash pumpkins, it is considered vandalism.” 

She said having police and security on site has, in years past, “made a huge difference” in terms of property destruction. 

Short-term rental meeting update: With a huge turnout expected, the City Council meeting at which proposed short-term rental regulations will be voted upon will be held 1 p.m. Oct. 23 at Golden Hall downtown. Medina advised: “Get there early, especially if you intend to speak.” 

He said Bry drafted a short-term rental ordinance to regulate whole-house rentals in the City of San Diego, of which Medina the main takeaway is that “a homeowner could apply for a permit to rent out their whole house on a short-term basis (defined as anything less than 30 days) for up to 90 days in a year. If they are on-site and just renting a room, they can apply for a permit and do so on an unlimited basis.” 

Medina said Bry is still accepting input on the ordinance at barbarabry@sandiego.gov or (619) 236-6611. 

Four City Council members drafted a memo providing alternative regulations, which Medina criticized as being “more lenient” on the short-term rental industry.

Next meeting: The Bird Rock Maintenance Assessment District meeting, at which the 2017 report and 2019 budget will be discussed, will follow the regular BRCC meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 7 at the La Jolla Masonic Lodge, 5655 La Jolla Blvd. birdrockcc.org

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