OUR READERS WRITE: Letters from April 19 and April 26 issues of La Jolla Light
Rebuilds are not remodels and that’s for sure!
I’m in agreement with the sentiments expressed in the letter published April 12 regarding the spec home being built at 311 Sea Ridge Drive in Bird Rock. This home is at least five- to six-feet taller than the adjacent two-story rebuilt homes that are at or near the 30-foot height limit established by the California Coastal Commission. The initial plan, previewed in the La Jolla Light, was rejected due to its style and never included an enclosed third story structure, which is now being placed.
I have contacted the La Jolla Community Planning Association, Coastal Commission and City Development, Code Compliance and Code Enforcement departments to no avail as each refers me to someone else, and on and on. No one in the City will look into this or take responsibility for this violation. It’s another example of nonresident developers maximizing every square foot they can squeeze into a small lot, including a basement, in order to maximize their profits. This leads me to believe developers have the City in their pockets!
Please join the fight against dockless bikes
Each dockless bike is a vendor! Each dockless bike is clutter! For the 50 years that I’ve lived in The Village, our local merchants and citizens have worked very hard to NOT allow vendors and clutter on our sidewalks, streets, parks and beaches. Our local merchants are required to obey established rules and regulations, and these dockless bike companies have invaded our community and just run amuck.
At several public meetings last week, three of the dockless bike companies stated: “We have NOT deployed our bikes into your community. All the bikes here have been brought in by riders.”
Imagine the total chaos if each of the five or six such companies do deploy hundreds more bikes — this is their goal!
If this is allowed to continue, it will open Pandora’s Box for all other vendors to bring their clutter to our sidewalks, streets and parks!
I do not know a solution for the situation, but please voice your opinion by contacting your community leaders and local merchants. Together we were able to stop the Deco Bike system from invading our sidewalks, streets and parks, now we must stand together before we are deployed upon!
Solution for the dockless bikes mess
I agree that there are big problems with dockless bikes, and I was disappointed to learn that those tasked with defending the bikes have almost no basic knowledge of local law. However, an outright ban is not the right answer, as the bikes have many positive effects. They take cars off the streets, alleviating traffic and draw tourists (and money) to La Jolla who otherwise would be without transit.
I also have a possible solution to the problem of bikes left in the public right-of-way. If the City steps in, they could force the bike companies to create a map, with community input, of areas where bikes could be left without obstructing the public right-of-way (e.g. bike racks, plazas). Then, the apps would use the GPS on phones to check if people parking their bikes are near the selected areas, and tell them where the nearest area for bike drop-off is.
Should they not park the bike in the selected areas, the app could make them pay a hefty fine, which could be given to the City for investment in bike racks and other green transport options. This would greatly alleviate the primary problem with the bikes.
Please share this idea with the City and the parties involved in the debate.
Trolley stop at UCSD hard to understand
Exactly why does UC San Diego need a trolley stop? This trolley stop for UCSD comes at great expense and inconvenience to the public due to the unbelievably extensive construction required to build it. The students and staff can get bus passes; many students have cars and/or bicycles and feet! Most staff either have cars or get bus passes; some do ride bicycles. I really don’t understand the necessity of a trolley stop for UCSD!
Torrey Pines Road project wasting public funds
There is a complete sidewalk running the length of Torrey Pines Road on one side and a long stretch of sidewalk, though incomplete, running along the other side. Is having a complete sidewalk on one side of the road not enough for the few people who walk up or down Torrey Pines Road each day?
Additionally, there existed a perfectly good bicycle lane until it was torn up only to be replaced. Huh? Seems to me this whole construction project is a complete boondoggle!
Citizens need an emergency app from police
The police department should have an emergency alert app for citizens to install. I want the app, once activated, to only alert me when a very dangerous situation exists. It would be nice if the app could discern my location within a selected radius, and/or “say” a ZIP code or street intersection or the name of my living complex, school, office building, etc. and “say” what was happening there.
Citizens could set the app for a different scale of alerts — like red for the highest (active armed shooter), orange for police or fire department responding to a location, or blue for a major vehicle accident causing major traffic congestion.
My request is prompted by a situation I encountered over the weekend as I was sitting outside Starbucks at UTC mall. An announcement was made over a loudspeaker telling people to not use the elevators, to use the steps. It concerned me as it was the first time I heard such an out-of-doors alert. In this day and age, with all the craziness of shooters/stabbers/bombers/etc., we need an emergency-responders app, especailly considering the ubiquitous prevalence of smartphones.
La Jolla Light policy on election-related letters
In order to be consistent about which endorsement letters advocating for or against a candidate, ballot measure or political party are published in the La Jolla Light, election-related Letters to the Editor are considered advertising. Endorsement letters are subject to a charge of $95 for the first four inches and $20 an inch thereafter.
As with other Letters to the Editor, they must be submitted with the writer’s name, address and phone number (only the writer’s name is published). Political endorsement letters may or may not run on our Opinion pages and will be identified as paid letters.
The La Jolla Light retains the right to reject any letter that does not meet its publishing standards and will decide whether a letter is subject to the endorsement-related fee. At this point, the writer will be notified and may decide whether to pay to have it published.
Let’s face it, ‘remodels’ are really ‘rebuilds’
I want to relay a common complaint heard about the “new” homes in La Jolla. From listening to neighborhood talk, it’s hard to ignore the hot topic of housing violations for the remodeling projects we can see sprouting all over town. I am not an expert and easily get lost in the hubbub of property lines, ordinances, major vs minor renovations, permits and what-nots. But as a bystander, I keep seeing old-time La Jolla houses getting plowed down, except for the chimney or some other small corner, and getting replaced by huge housing structures toppling over their fenced property lines.
Two were just added to my street (Bonair Street), one is still in construction. This one seems to be an ambitious three-story structure, squeezed into its property lines like a fat man squeezing into his high school gym shorts.
I share this photos of the construction, and I am sure you have seen many like this one around La Jolla. The Light has written about these housing issues in the past, but I just wanted to relay this information in case the reporters could use it in the future. Thank you, it is always a pleasure to read your publication on Friday mornings.
Short-term rentals lower property values
Readers who own homes in La Jolla may be unhappy to learn that living in close proximity to a short-term vacation rental results in a significant loss in their property value. “Noisy party house next door = $100,000” is the deduction/adjustment on page 2 of a recent appraisal report for our home. This is a real economic impact!
Yes, T.O.T. (Transient Occupancy Tax) revenues do accrue to the City from vacation rentals. But consider that one vacation rental can negatively impact the value (and appropriate use) of five to 10 neighbors. The economic impact on the hundreds (or thousands) of impacted owner-occupied homes in La Jolla alone is so far in the negative that no City politician could dare rationalize a positive economic benefit.
La Jolla residential property owners are the real short-term rental “hosts,” as we unintentionally donate our property values to Airbnb landlords and the City budget.
Who’s regulating dockless bikes?
This morning, walking my dog. I saw two rental bicycles on the beach. The second photo shows one of the green rental bikes thrown onto the cliff below Casa de Mañana. I climbed down and dragged it back up, so it would not continue down into the ocean.
The impact bent the handle bars, so it is not drive-able. As I dragged it up the hill, the bike was talking to me, saying it was calling the police, unless I unlocked it.
I set the bike in front of Casa de Mañana, away from the cliffs. Hopefully, the people at Casa de Mañana call the bike company to retrieve their bike.
The other bike is located south of Children’s Pool, and I left it there, not knowing if someone was using it.
The point is, as in so many locations of the City, these bikes are ending up in places they don’t belong, similar to shopping carts! For someone to just throw the green bike over the edge into the ocean, is callous and totally uncalled for, by whoever did it.
An issue that is coming up continually for this City to consider, is what to do with these rental bikes.
‘Cackling Crones’: Name-calling is not lighthearted
“Cackling crones,” as Inga referred to parking enforcement in a recent column, smacked of sexism and ageism, especially as Inga and I are older women. Parking enforcement officers include both sexes and young, middle-aged and older adults. We need enforcement since the honor system is not working and parking meters were voted down. Parking enforcement officers deserve our respect.
Parking in two-hour spaces versus one-hour spaces might involve walking a block or two. La Jolla is a lovely place to walk. Walking to an exercise class, like yoga, seems supportive of health. My cardiologist says exercise is the biggest factor in the quality of life and how his patients feel as they age.
I love some of Inga’s columns, such as the one on vaccinations citing historical facts. Others rankle. One example is why others can cut back on water use, but since she has grandtots who visit, she should not cut back on watering her lawn. We have wonderful pocket parks in the neighborhood.
Living together, we have to limit privileges, so everyone can have some rights in a democracy. The solution to irritating neighbors is not to suggest violent harm with jokes about “passing along the phone number of my cousin Guido in the Bronx.” This is especially true since some irritated driver in La Jolla already tried to run over a parking enforcement vehicle.
If you print my letter, please withhold my name as you withhold Inga’s real name.
A Defender of Civil Enforcement for Sharing
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Letters published in La Jolla Light express views from readers in regard to community issues. To share your thoughts in this public forum, e-mail them with your name and city of residence to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to La Jolla Light Editor, 565 Pearl St., Suite 300, La Jolla, CA 92037. Letters reflect the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of the newspaper staff or publisher.
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