Local News

Seven seats up for grabs on planning board: Four trustees, a planner, Realtor, architect and consultant apply for La Jolla Community Planning Association

Eight candidates are vying for seven trustee seats on the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) board. The election is next month, so a candidate’s forum was held during the Feb. 1 meeting to make their acquaintance. Those running for a seat introduced themselves and stated the issues that prompted them to run. A full candidate’s statement for seven of the eight candidates can be found at under “Next Regular Election.”

Current trustees running for re-election include Patrick Ahern, Tom Brady, David Little and John Shannon. New candidates include David Bourne, Diane Kane, Matt Mangano and Michael Morton. Write-in candidates will also be accepted.

Up for election are six seats starting new three-year terms, and one vacancy for a term ending in 2020.

Meet the Candidates

Intelligent Building Services co-founder and longtime real estate investor David Bourne opened. “I feel very attached to the community and am interested in the land-use and real estate issues that affect the community. I’ve noticed deterioration in the local infrastructure and the way La Jolla looks and feels. … I think some wise development in La Jolla could help the downtown become vibrant and bring more people to live in the downtown area.”

David Bourne, Intelligent Building Services co-founder, and Ashley Mackin-Solomon
Diane Kane, former planner and La Jolla Historical Society Preservation Committee chair Light File

Former planner Diane Kane was not in attendance, but submitted a biography to be read aloud by Election Committee chair Janie Emerson. She read that Kane has lived in La Jolla for the past 20 years and she spent her 30-year career at Caltrans and the City of San Diego as a planner. “She is a board member of the La Jolla Historical Society, where she chairs the Preservation Committee … she is a founding member of Citizens for Responsible Coastal Development and is leading neighborhood efforts to rationalize traffic and congestion on Hillside Drive. She has served on the Development Permit Review Committee since 2010.”

Matt Mangano Light File

La Jolla Historical Society supporter Matt Mangano, who helps manage the Bird Rock Maintenance Assessment District, kept his candidate’s statement brief. “I’d like to bring my analytical approach and unbiased opinion to the council,” he said. Mangano asked anyone with questions for him to call (858) 952-1315 or e-mail

Former LJCPA trustee and local architect Michael Morton said he was running due to unease about board processes. “I’m concerned that we’ve drifted away from the common sense that we had many years ago, and how we dealt with projects. I’d like to go back to those common sense rules that served us so well. I’m in favor of property rights and reasonable and fair rules we can share along with other stakeholders. I disagree with some of the rules that have been recently adopted to make project processing harder,” he said.

Michael Morton, AIA, of Marengo Morton Architects Light File

Local builder Pancho Dewhurst also seeks a seat and spoke, but following the forum, he was deemed ineligible due to lack of verified attendance. (Emerson explained that to be eligible for a board seat, candidates must have attended and signed in at three meetings in the last year.)

According to its bylaws: “the LJCPA has been recognized by the City Council to make recommendations to the City Council, Planning Commission, City staff and other governmental agencies on land-use matters, specifically concerning the preparation of, adoption of, implementation of, or amendment to, the General Plan or a land use plan when a plan relates to the La Jolla Community Plan boundaries. … In reviewing individual development projects, the LJCPA shall focus such review on conformance with the Land Development Code, the adopted Community Plan and/or the General Plan.”

— Those who would like to vote must be a current LJCPA member (having attended and signed in at one meeting in the last year) and must bring a photo ID. The election is 3-7 p.m. Thursday, March 1 at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.