Our Readers Write: Cleanup; short-term rentals; Hyatt Regency
Letters to the editor:
Cleanup was a triumph of community cooperation
The community owes a thank you to a partnership between La Jolla Parks & Beaches Inc. and La Jolla Kiwanis that launched an overdue cleanup of the La Jolla Bike Path and Starkey and Via del Norte parks.
La Jolla Kiwanis provided an initial grant of $2,000, which has been boosted by additional community donations totaling close to $4,000 to date.
Approximately 90 volunteers filled three 40-foot roll-off trash bins donated by EDCO. La Jolla Golf Carts provided a cargo-equipped cart that assisted in the delivery of an additional 60 trash bags to Starkey Park. San Diego Parks & Rec graciously offered to haul the 50-gallon bags to the city landfill, while an additional six bags of abandoned trash from the surrounding slopes were picked up for disposal by San Diego Environmental Services.
Volunteers, adhering to COVID-19 guidelines, appeared throughout the day to clear areas of weeds, encroaching vegetation and potentially dangerous dry brush. Residents worked alongside teens from the Seaside chapter of National Charity League, Lion’s Heart, the Boy Scouts and the National League of Young Men.
This was a shining example of the community working together for the benefit of all. We applaud our hard-working volunteers and hope many more will join us in the future.
The goal remains to keep the path, the 17 acres of designated open space as well as the mini-parks safe and clean for all to enjoy. Thank you to the community for supporting this ongoing effort.
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Protecting neighborhoods should be first priority in short-term rental debate
I appreciate the continued coverage in discussions of short-term rentals. A proposed ordinance to amend the municipal code to include short-term rentals is putting the cart in front of the horse without already enforcing the current zoning laws.
It is my understanding that the proposal stems from an agreement that San Diego City Council member Jennifer Campbell brokered between two private organizations, Expedia (VRBO) and a hospitality workers union. I commend the effort, but it is without input from community groups like the La Jolla Community Planning Association or the Pacific Beach Town Council. This is a neighborhood issue and should be negotiated within the communities it affects, not the corporations or management service companies that benefit from the illegal activity.
Creating a process to track, manage and enforce against hosts who don’t follow the rules is a great goal, but if history is any indicator, that may take years. We need enforcement now of the existing zoning laws.
STVR licensing through a system of tiers and limiting the number to 0.75 percent of the city’s housing stock means nothing to a homeowner when a vacation rental business is operating in your neighborhood now due to lack of enforcement. STVRs are a commercial enterprise. Residential zoning is residential zoning. Whole-house short-term rentals are a disruptive and inconsistent use of that zone. Period.
My friend, neighbor and future City Council member Joe LaCava has said so succinctly: “Let’s start enforcing the law, then have a conversation with the platforms about what we can do.”
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Hyatt Regency’s new paint is a loss for the community
As a contemporary architecture buff and one who has spent many happy times at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla, I am appalled by the “trendy new look” (“Iconic Hyatt Regency La Jolla hotel gets a trendy new look,” Oct. 29, La Jolla Light).
What was truly an icon and a recognized architectural triumph has been transformed into an inflated Motel 6. When I first saw the white paint, I believed it might be some kind of protective coating, except that the sandstone underneath needs no painting. What are the new owners thinking? To “renew” the inside — which I have not seen — after these many years is understandable, but were any architects or local residents consulted?
My business, small as it may be, will be directed elsewhere now. The large convention groups the hotel management is no doubt courting will probably not be aware of this travesty, nor will they care. More’s the pity.
This is a loss for the community and for the future.
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