TAKING A STANCHION: Town Council opposes La Jolla CPA vote


On Sept. 13, La Jolla Town Council voted 10-1-1 to rebuke the La Jolla Community Planning Association’s (LJCPA) Sept. 6 decision (by a vote of 13-2-1) to make permanent a six-month pilot parking program at the foot of WindanSea’s Playa del Norte.

Since Town Council lacks LJCPA’s authority to make official recommendations to the City, this latest vote primarily serves to send a message to LJCPA, the City and the community at large that this was a bad decision.

At the meeting — presided over by trustee Cody Petterson in the absence of Town Council president Ann Kerr Bache — Harold Copperman of 6767 Neptune Place narrated what he identified as the same slideshow shown at the LJCPA meeting. It featured captured security-camera video of vehicles going the wrong way, as many as six cars parking on the overlook at one time, and near-accidents involving minors.

From April 18 through Aug. 31, Copperman said, 4,907 violations were observed — most of which were wrong-way driving.

After the presentation, Northern Division Police Capt. Kevin Mayer took the floor in apparent solidarity with Copperman, saying police have been “overwhelmed” with the number of calls from this area. He indicated that numerous citations were written for wrong-way driving, but that “the challenge with parking issues is that they drive away.” Mayer added: “I do not have enough resources to solve this problem.”

Speaking during public comment, La Jollan Sally Miller told Council told trustees: “You have not heard the other side. I don’t see one person here on the opposing side of this discussion, and they did a very long presentation (at the LJCPA meeting), just like Mr. Copperman.”

The sole opposing vote was cast by trustee John Shannon, who is also a trustee of LJCPA.

This “battle of the bollards” has raged since neighboring Neptune Place residents reported ongoing noise, vandalism and drug use by those who illegally park on Playa del Norte, prompting the placement of stanchions to prevent such activities in March 2017. After LJCPA voted to ask the City to remove the stanchions on Dec. 7, 2017, Town Council also voted to rebuke that recommendation at its Jan. 11, 2018 meeting.

The pilot parking program was suggested by District 1 City Council member Barbara Bry as a compromise. It created two, 15-minute parking places — with no parking at night — so beach-goers could still pull up and view the ocean and surfers could unload their gear, yet motorists couldn’t loiter and disturb neighbors.

Also at Town Council...

Event approvals: Requests were unanimously approved for temporary street closures and no-parking zones for the 10th annual La Jolla Art and Wine Festival (Oct. 6-7 on portions of Girard Avenue, Wall Street and Silverado Street) and for the 15th annual La Jolla Concours d’Elegance at Scripps Park, April 12-14.

Styrofoam ban: District 3 City Council member Chris Ward attempted to rally support for an ordinance banning Styrofoam that he said he expects will come up for a Council vote in late October. “This would make us the largest jurisdiction in the State of California and would, hopefully, tip the scale toward a statewide ban,” Ward said, adding that “what really alarmed me is one-third of our fish test positive for plastics.”

— La Jolla Town Council next meets 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.