Guest commentary: Tree wells getting attention in The Village as utility box art project progresses

For details about Enhance La Jolla and the Maintenance Assessment District, visit
For details about Enhance La Jolla and the Maintenance Assessment District, visit

La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District report


The La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District marked three years in operation in October. With schedules established for janitorial, landscaping and pressure-washing activities, attention has broadened to public right-of-way improvements.

Three Chinese elm trees have been ordered for installation in empty tree wells on Silverado Street between Prospect Street and Eads Avenue adjacent to the La Jolla Woman’s Club. Following approval from the San Diego city forester to plant the tree species in this location, LJMAD is now working to arrange installation of the trees.

The trees are paid for through an effort by the La Jolla Garden Club, La Jolla Rotary and the Woman’s Club. Enhance La Jolla is paying for the installation.

LJMAD will oversee planting of the trees and their maintenance. Just as with the 21 jacaranda trees planted on Pearl Street in December 2020, these trees have a lifetime warranty and will be replaced at no cost should any fail.

Landscaping of three large tree wells on Ivanhoe Avenue at Wall Street has begun. Four yards of Arizona river rock and 30 5-gallon iris plants will be placed in these tree wells, resembling the landscaping design accomplished on Wall Street in front of the Athenaeum. Work is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving.

A collaboration between Enhance La Jolla and the La Jolla Village Merchants Association will soon result in several San Diego Gas & Electric utility boxes featuring La Jolla-themed art and directional signage. Artists are preparing mockups of artwork for these boxes, which involves hybrid designs of paint and decorative vinyl. SDG&E must inspect each utility box before work can proceed.

Results from the recent Enhance La Jolla board of directors election were announced during the October board meeting. Of the six seats up for election, four incumbents held their positions and two new directors were named.

Those reelected are Ed Witt, residential property owner representative; Peter Wagener, commercial property owner representative; and Andy Nelson and Phyllis Pfeiffer, each representing the La Jolla Community Foundation.

New to the Enhance La Jolla board are Brian Miller and Rick Sparks. Miller is owner of Geppetto’s Toys and represents the La Jolla Village Merchants Association. Sparks is a partner of JMRS Investments and is a commercial property owner representative. Efforts to further familiarize Miller and Sparks with LJMAD operations continue in earnest.

Each director will serve a three-year term.

Quarterly meetings of the Enhance La Jolla board will occur on the following dates in 2023: Jan. 19, April 20, July 20 and Oct. 19. All meetings will be held from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 700 Prospect St., La Jolla.

If you see an issue needing attention in the district, please call Enhance La Jolla at (858) 444-5892 or email

Mary Montgomery is manager of the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District.