Last call for comments on La Jolla's Scripps Park restroom replacement project

The City of San Diego Development Services Department has prepared a draft Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) report for the Scripps Park Pavilion (restroom facility) project, and is collecting public comments regarding the adequacy of the document until May 21.

The City’s name for this project is the “Ellen Browning Scripps Comfort Station.” A MND suggests the project will not have significant environmental impacts.

The draft MND can be found on the City website at sandiego.gov/city-clerk/officialdocs/ and searching for the project under its City name.

Comments must be received by May 21. Written comments can be sent to: Mark Brunette, Environmental Planner, City of San Diego Development Services Center, 1222 First Avenue, MS 501, San Diego, CA 92101 or e-mailed to DSDEAS@sandiego.gov with “Ellen Browning Scripps Comfort Station” and “Project No. 553076” in the subject.

The existing comfort station was built in 1967 and has aged and deteriorated. The scope of the proposed improvement project includes the removal and replacement of the existing comfort station in accordance with the community-approved conceptual plans.

The restroom plan was introduced in January 2014 and most recently approved in January 2018 by the La Jolla Parks & Beaches (LJP&B) advisory group.

The new restroom pavilion is proposed to have more single-stall unisex toilets than what is currently available, and a men and women’s toilet room. The facility will also feature benches, outdoor showers, ADA-compliant toilets and indoor showers, and storage for beach equipment.

The facility, as a whole, is two buildings with a breezeway in between. One building houses the unisex stalls and the other houses indoor showers and single-sex restrooms and changing rooms, surrounded by exterior features.

As previously reported in the Light, the project is led by LJP&B member Judy Adams Halter. It started, she said, because “Our daughter got married and we had a lot of out-of-town guests and I was embarrassed (when they went to use the old comfort station). We have this beautiful park and a comfort station that looked like a hurt locker.”

The project is a public/private partnership, with preliminary funding coming from local donors and the remainder from the City.

The project is included in the 2019 City of San Diego proposed budget. According to the budget, construction will begin in Fiscal Year 2019 and is anticipated to be completed in Fiscal Year 2021. The most recent budget puts the pricetag at $3,060,784.

Architecture firm Safdie Rabines carried out the preliminary design, and the City appointed Mosher Drew to follow through with a conceptual design. The firms have occasionally presented updates to La Jolla community groups over the last four years.

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