La Jolla Planners elect new members, OK 4 requests for support

The La Jolla Community Planning Association elected seven board members as part of its annual election March 1, and approved a hodgepodge of requests, ranging from supporting the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance car show to asking for a letter explaining a questionable development practice. The meeting was held at La Jolla Rec Center.

The election results, from most to least number of votes, are: La Jolla realtor Patrick Ahern, Bird Rock consultant Matthew Mangano, 51-year La Jolla resident Tom Brady, La Jolla Historical Society member Diane Kane, Realtor John Shannon, longtime community volunteer David Little, and write-in candidate and La Jolla Shores Planned District Advisory Board member Suzanne Weissmann. As the lowest vote-getter, Weissmann will serve the remaining two years of a vacated term. The other candidates will serve for three years. They will be sworn in at the next meeting, and officers will be appointed soon after.

Four green lights

1) Concours car show: LJCPA approved the requested temporary street closure and no parking areas related to the 14th annual La Jolla Concours d’Elegance car show, slated for April 6-8 in Scripps Park. The event was set to be heard at the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation advisory board in February, but there was not a quorum, and could therefore not be voted upon. Applicant Michael Dorvillier said the footprint, street closures and timeline have not changed from previous years.

The fundraiser brings classic cars to Scripps Park and fences off the area, so only those that paid admission can see them. There is also a free component along Coast Boulevard, in which cars line the street and are free for public viewing.

In the past, there was some degree of controversy due to the event closing a large majority of the park from the public. The response has always been that the event is a fundraiser, and needs a certain amount of exclusivity to ensure it is profitable. The beneficiary is La Jolla Historical Society.

Those in favor of the event called it a “world class event” and a “benefit to the local merchants and the community.” Those opposed said the park should not be largely closed off to the public and visitors that come to see or swim in The Cove. All said, the board voted to support the event 11-2-1.

2) Construction moratorium: Following the La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory group voting to waive the summer construction moratorium to accommodate the Children’s Pool Walk beautification project, LJCPA followed suit. Waiving the moratorium would allow the City to save time and money and get the project done to beautify the sidewalk area above Children’s Pool and improve pedestrian flow. The City intends to start work in June. The board voted to support the waiver 13-0-1.

3) Serial permitting clarification: Trustee Phil Merten, hoping to gain clarity on a practice known as “serial permitting” used to bypass the Coastal Development Permit (CDP) and Site Development Permit (SDP) process, drafted a letter to submit to the City. The board reviewed and debated the letter before voting to send it in, 14-0-1.

Merten explained: “Under our current municipal code, if someone leaves 50 percent of existing exterior walls in place, one could expand that building (without a CDP or SDP). What we’ve seen in The Shores is, half the building is torn down under this process and as soon as that building meets the minimum requirements for final approval (chiefly working plumbing and electricity), the developer tears down the other side under the same process. So you effectively have an entire tear-down and rebuild of a house that is substantially larger that does not undergo the CDP process.” It is reportedly being done in Bird Rock, as well.

Although Merten acknowledged the practice is “fairly rare,” trustee Mike Costello said he was worried about it “catching on.”

“It’s just such an obvious thing once you see it done,” he added. “I wonder how long it will take for people to start saying, ‘I can do that.’ I think the time to act on this is now.”

Merten drafted a letter asking the City if there is a policy on this, what it is, whether it has been codified and what is being done about projects that are already using this process, which the board agreed to support.

4) Defending the 30-foot height limit: Greater San Diego resident Geoff Page is making the community-group rounds to garner support for a letter he’s written asking the City Attorney to opine on “how the Development Services Division believes height can be measured according to Proposition D” (Passed in 1972, Proposition D limits building height to 30 feet).

In speaking to the LJCPA, he said the issue is developers building planters at ground level and arguing that is where the 30-foot height should start. The letters asks the City Attorney to formally respond. Without adding anything of their own, the board agreed to support sending the letter, 12-2-1.

In other LJCPA news:

Pipe replacement project: City traffic engineer Steve Bliss introduced a plan to replace more than four miles of sewer pipes in the Mt. Soledad area of La Jolla, which is expected to start in December 2018 or January 2019 and be complete by August 2019. Most of the work will be trench-less and crews will “slip-line” the existing sewer lines with a new coating by opening a hole in the ground and snaking a tool through to coat the pipes.

Bliss said residents within 300 feet will be notified when the design is complete (around June), when the construction bid is awarded and right before construction begins by way of door hangers. He added there would be no disruption to services.

UCSD facility to open: The new UC San Diego Outpatient Pavilion has been completed and could open as early as the end of this month. According to the UCSD planning website: “The nearly 150,000 square-foot facility houses several programs and services, which thereby provides extended support to the Jacobs Medical Center. Specific program uses include ambulatory surgery, outpatient imagery, physical therapy and disease-specific clinics that focus on pain, urology, musculoskeletal care, breast health and infusion.” The facility is located on the east campus neighborhood.

La Jolla Community Planning Association next meets, 6 p.m. Thursday, April 5 at Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.