Our Readers Write: La Jolla cityhood, cottages, Coast Walk

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Letters to the editor


Here’s hoping for La Jolla independence

At this time, I ask how many San Diegans have driven the streets of La Jolla, experienced the abysmal emergency response times or noticed the lack of funding or attention to things the city of San Diego should be proud of, including parks and public restroom facilities.

This jewel of a community has been widely disregarded or put on the back burner by so many public officials for years of varying administrations of all political parties. I have had a front-row seat for these issues the past 15 years of being an active member in the community.

I fully support and endorse Trace Wilson and the Association for the City of La Jolla. They must be given the opportunity to explore the options for the taxpaying citizens of La Jolla and then begin the democratic process and see what is fair and right for all parties involved.

In closing, I would like to announce that I’m leaving San Diego for a new and exciting opportunity in the Midwest for my family and I. I would like to thank the people of La Jolla for letting me represent them on the La Jolla Town Council, La Jolla Shores Association and La Jolla Village Merchants Association. It’s been an honor and a privilege.

I look forward to returning to an even better and hopefully independent La Jolla in the future. Thank you all for all the memories over the years!

Chuck Merriman

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Fond memories of the cottage life

Many thanks for printing the story about Charlie Marsden’s former occupancy of both the Red Rest and Red Roost cottages, then always full of very happy tenants who took lovely care of them (“Former La Jollan shares memories of living in two iconic cottages,” April 13, La Jolla Light).

I dearly loved those cottages and the gray one to the right of them, where my mother, my four children and I lived for the approximately two happiest years of our lives. It stood directly across the street from the stairs to The Cove beach, and I could actually afford the rent!

I believe “our” cottage was the original “bath house” at The Cove, with living space upstairs and showers and changing cubicles below.

In January 1968, my mother died, and in June my children and I were evicted to make room for yet another ugly, unimaginative, multistory building. Both events were devastating to my children and me.

I will always be grateful that my family and I had the opportunity to live in that beloved gray cottage at The Cove and across the street from Scripps Park.

Chloe-Alexa Mile

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Who really owns Coast Walk?

Over the past few weeks, there has been a bit of an argument in the letters section between Melinda Merryweather and Brenda Fake regarding the possibility of widening Coast Walk.

This is unfortunate, since both Ms. Merryweather and Ms. Fake have done so much over the years to benefit La Jolla.

As part of Ms. Fake’s argument against widening the road (“No need to widen Coast Walk,” Our Readers Write, April 6, La Jolla Light), she makes two claims that concern me greatly — namely that “the adjacent property owners own the ‘fee title’ in and beneath the entirety of the traveled road known as Coast Walk” and “the city of San Diego does not own any of the land along and adjacent to Coast Walk. The only interest the city has is in the form of an easement … defined by the extent of the asphalt paving.”

I assume Ms. Fake (who lives on Coast Walk) only recently came to the idea that “the boundary line of the property owners on and along Coast Walk extends to the mean high tide line … of the Pacific Ocean.”

The nonprofit organization Friends of Coast Walk Trail (which Ms. Fake chairs) indicates [on its website] that “the trail is a dedicated city street” and that the organization obtained a right-of-entry permit from the city to make improvements to the trail.

The organization takes donations from the public for these improvements and has done a wonderful job. However, if improvements are actually being done on private property owned by one or more of the organization’s officers, that information should be disclosed and might call into question the nonprofit status.

I had seen notices of a major planned development on multiple parcels near the beginning of Coast Walk (not Ms. Fake’s parcel). Being curious about where the new land ownership idea came from, I looked up some records of survey in the area. Interestingly, the preeminent land surveyor along La Jolla’s coast, Mr. Michael Pallamary, recently submitted two very extensive records of survey.

ROS 24185, filed Feb. 18, 2022, shows property boundaries as I had remembered, with a large public right of way between the parcels and the ocean. However, ROS 24382, filed July 11, 2022, no longer shows this public right of way but rather shows property lines of adjacent parcels extending to the mean high tide line, based on a purported reversion right.

I believe that everyone who uses Coast Walk and Coast Walk Trail should be concerned about this new survey work, which attempts to show that what was previously considered a public right of way is not actually owned by the city.

Licensed surveyors such as Mr. Pallamary have a lot of authority in determining land ownership. I, for one, am publicly claiming prescriptive easement rights to access all of Coast Walk and the Coast Walk Trail, which had until recently been considered public right of way.

Eric Korevaar

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What’s on YOUR mind?

Letters published in the La Jolla Light express views from readers about community matters. Submissions of related photos also are welcome. Letters reflect the writers’ opinions and not necessarily those of the newspaper staff or publisher. Letters are subject to editing. To share your thoughts in this public forum, email them with your first and last names and city or neighborhood of residence to You also can submit a letter online at The deadline is 10 a.m. Monday for publication in that week’s paper. Letters without the writer’s name cannot be published. Letters from the same person are limited to one in a 30-day period. See the full policy at ◆