At its annual Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) meeting, Nov. 7 at the La Jolla Masonic Lodge, the Bird Rock Community Council (BRCC) discussed 2017 accomplishments, changes to improve the District and what the future holds. The MAD meeting took place immediately following the BRCC meeting.
The MAD was set up in 2005 to maintain the landscaping associated with the roundabouts along La Jolla Boulevard. The BRCC assumed responsibility for some maintenance services in 2006, and for all landscaping in 2009. Since then, the MAD has consistently received positive inspections by the City. BRCC manages the MAD and determines what could be funded through MAD assessments.
BRCC secretary Barbara Dunbar reported that since last year, MAD funds provided a number of projects and services to the community. “The MAD paid for security on Halloween, which reduced a lot of (what could have been) problems. There were a lot of kids in the area and a lot of cars in the area, but there were no major issues and a lot less littering.”
The MAD also paid for a three-section guardrail, which “greatly improved safety for area school children and deterred cars from driving up onto the sidewalk,” Dunbar said. “We are also working to replace landscaping as needed, it contributes to a decrease in accidents and the severity of accidents.”
Additionally and unfortunately, Dunbar said one of the guardrails struck by a hit-and-run driver at 4 a.m. on Oct. 21, needed to be replaced. “One section of the Colima guardrail was knocked down by a silver Mercedes. We know it was a silver Mercedes because we found parts of it,” she said. (Anyone with information about this incident is asked to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org)
One ongoing project is what Dunbar calls a “revitalization” of the roundabouts. “The initial plants and soil were pretty bad, so we’re adjusting that. We’ve added river rocks to protect irrigation and reduce water use,” she said.
A challenge for the coming year is supplying the dog-waste bags provided to the community. “We have a limited quantity of dog bags available at stations along La Jolla Boulevard that we put in. They are added every few weeks and are for emergencies only. They’re not intended to be an unlimited free supply. But what seems to be happening is people are taking all of them as soon as they’re stocked, which is a sad thing. People are supposed to be going out with their dogs with a bag in hand,” Dunbar said.
In other BRCC news:
Overlook oversight: Following removal of the netting around Midway Bluff Overlook vegetation by an anonymous resident, the BRCC and City Council District 1 field representative Mauricio Medina discussed which City department should maintain coastline overlooks. The Midway Bluff Overlook was replaced in 2016 and the netting was put in place to help the vegetation on site take root, but it was supposed to be removed long ago.
Medina pointed out that since the area is not a street nor a park, the responsible department is tricky to find. Further, he said, the City is limited by budget constraints, so he recommended a garden club or volunteer group assist with the maintenance.
Dissatisfied with the response, Dunbar said: “It’s a City responsibility to take care of the overlooks, and that’s a problem because there are problems at other overlooks, too. Since it’s a City’s responsibility, the City should be paying for it. If we do it, we’re not getting the benefits our taxes pay for. I don’t want to see us do any more of City responsibilities than we need to. Next thing you know, we’ll be fixing potholes.”
As a compromise, a group of residents formed an ad hoc committee to find a solution to overlook disrepair. Although in agreement, Dunbar said she still wants to “put pressure on the City” to maintain it.
Halloween a treat: The Bird Rock Neighborhood Watch chair reported that Halloween — a busy holiday in Bird Rock — was quiet, despite the large number of people involved, and trick-or-treaters respected the pre-determined hours, 5-8 p.m., which led to “less rowdy behavior.”
Colima trip hazard resolved: Making good on its end-of-November deadline, the City repaved a sidewalk on La Jolla Boulevard to smooth out a section that buckled, creating a trip hazard. City crews patched the uneven sidewalk as a temporary measure in October, and completely repaved the sidewalk in early November.
Holiday party: Next BRCC gathering will be its holiday party, 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 5 at Cali Street Tacos, 5521 La Jolla Blvd. There is no January meeting, so the next meeting is 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6 at a location to be determined. — birdrockcc.org