Bird Rock Council collaborates with Parks Master Plan for La Jolla


At the Bird Rock Community Council (BRCC) meeting on Sept. 4, La Jolla community activist Diane Kane and La Jolla Parks & Beaches president Ann Dynes solicited input for Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s three-year budget to prepare an update to the City’s Parks Master Plan, which was last updated about 50 years ago. The update will scope park needs for the next 20 to 30 years.

“What we’re interested in are specific spots in your neighborhood that you know about that we can flag for potential park or recreation use, to provide that information to the City and see if they can work it into the plan,” Kane told the group of about 20 gathered in the Bird Rock Elementary School auditorium.

“This is the sixth public meeting I’ve gone to,” Kane said, adding that only La Jolla Town Council is left. (Dynes added that La Jolla Parks & Beaches will host a public workshop on the topic, scheduled for its Oct. 22 meeting at the Rec Center.)

When she heard about the Parks Master Plan, Kane said, she checked the last update of the La Jolla Community Plan, completed in 2004, with an eye for “what has occurred as a result of that plan and where we might need to update it.” (Kane worked as a City planner, and at CalTrans, until she retired to, as she put it, “do what I used to do before without getting paid to do it anymore.”)

By 2020, the 2004 Community Plan predicted, La Jolla would come up about 18 acres short on park land.

“As you realize, we’re all built out,” Kane said, “so where are we going to get more park land?”

Kane suggested diverting unused street, utility and sidewalk right-of-way that normally would go to vehicles.

“We’re not talking about massive parks like Scripps Park,” Kane said. “We’re looking at linear parks that can provide recreational activities and some green relief in our neighborhoods and perhaps thread them through our neighborhoods to create opportunities for bicycling, hiking, taking a nice walk or just vegging it up with some trees.”

Kane said she also favors the conversion of existing uses.

“If you have a building that’s past its useful life and is going to come down, sometimes you can grab some of that stuff or join it up with other parcels of land to give us more parks,” she said.

Mary Lynn Hyde, chair of the Bird Rock Coastal Overlook Committee, seemed delighted at the opportunity, declaring that she needed to update her group’s mission statement to include converting overlooks into park land.

Of 18 scenic overlooks mentioned in the La Jolla Community Plan, Hyde said, her group had so far performed a needs analysis on 12-to-15.

“We’ve taken some photos and inventoried each one,” Hyde said. “These are the attributes, these are the pluses. And then we talk about the needs — the bench needs to be replaced or the sidewalk needs to be hosed off or the vegetation needs to be cut back.”

Kane replied that the overlooks are already mapped. However, she said: “What you’re doing is (helpful because) we need people to update the information, because the minute we can get that finished, we can give it to the City and they can put it in their mapping layer and pinpoint this stuff very accurately, so we need to get together.

“I’ll show you mine if you show me yours,” Kane said.

Dynes suggested that she, Hyde and Kane to talk over coffee.

“What you’re talking about reminds me a lot of some of the work we’ve done on Whale View Point and along our coastline,” Dynes said. “You can raise a little money and get a right-of-entry permit. You’ll be amazed at all the cool things you can get.”

When BRCC president John Newsam opened the floor to public comment, a man identifying himself as a Bird Rock resident “opposed to increased density” questioned whether the plan would include increased developer fees. Kane replied that she “got some wind” from the mayor’s office would be increasing fees for new construction.

Andi says hi

New Bird Rock Elementary School principal Andrea “Andi” Frost stopped by BRCC introduced herself.

“I just wanted to come over and let you all see my face,” she said. “I am thrilled to be here and at your service.”

Frost started in June 2018, while outgoing principal Amanda Hale was still “on personal leave” following allegations from parents about not creating a safe environment for all students. At the time, Frost supported the vice principals as they served in temporary leadership roles.After Bird Rock principal Sally Viavada left in summer 2015, three temporary principals served until Hale’s arrival in September 2016. When Hale took another position within the district, Frost was appointed principal.

Frost told the BRCC that she spent part of her childhood on Van Nuys Street.

“If you live on Van Nuys,” she joked, “do not judge me by who I was as a teenager.”

Also at BRCC

BRCC treasure Barbara Dunbar announced that the Bird Rock Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) will hire additional Halloween security — four officers instead of six, as in the past.

“Having the additional security has effectively reduced vandalism and damage to the MAD landscaping and, peripherally, to everyone else who’s around it,” she said. “It’s also reduced the drive-overs and the DUI accidents during that particular evening.”

Dunbar added that City engineers are waiting for first rain before they further evaluate the ponding and roadway drainage problems at Forward Street and the east side of La Jolla Boulevard.

Bird Rock Moves You, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 15, has been postponed.

On Tuesday, Dec. 4, a Christmas party at Wayfarer Bread, 5525 La Jolla Blvd., will replace BRCC’s regularly scheduled meeting.

And nominations are being accepted for new board positions— Bird Rock Community Council next meets 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2 at Bird Rock Elementary School, 5371 La Jolla Hermosa Ave.