La Jolla Planners to consider bylaw change March 7


At the next La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) meeting, March 7, the general membership — not just trustees — will have the opportunity to vote on a proposed bylaw revision that addresses the extent to which a trustee must remove themselves during the course of a presentation and vote.

Recommended by LJCPA trustee Dave Gordon, and discussed at the Feb. 7 meeting at the Rec Center, the proposed change would allow a trustee to stay in the room even when they are also the project applicant or have another direct economic interest.

The current rule states: “Any trustee of the LJCPA with a direct economic interest in any project that comes before the LJCPA or any committee must disclose the economic interest and must recuse from voting and not participate in any manner as a trustee for that item on the agenda. In the event of a recusal, the individual must remove him or herself from the room prior to discussion if that individual is not part of the presentation.”

Previous arguments in favor of this rule included that an applicant could discourage a trustee from voting negatively against their project by giving voting trustees looks, using body language or making scoffing sounds if they are in the room.

Gordon’s recommendation would allow the individual to stay in the room during discussion and a vote, but he or she must disclose any economic interest and must leave the trustee seating area.

He explained: “I looked at the bylaws of all of San Diego’s other planning groups and … Council Policy 600-24 (which identifies responsibilities and to establish minimum operating procedures governing the conduct of community planning groups when they operate in their official capacity). There are 42 planning groups in the City and LJCPA is the only one that requires people to leave the room. The rest just say to have them leave the seating area and not participate as a board member. I thought that was perfect because, especially at the sub-committees, we’ve had trustees (who are also applicants) who have had to leave the room and we can’t ask them questions. I’m just trying to make things consistent with what the City asks us to do.”

LJCPA trustee and local architect Brian Will, speaking in support, said: “A committee like this needs to have, among its members, experts in the field; people who are engaged in the San Diego Municipal Code every day. And sometimes, not often, (applicant/trustees) bring our own projects and that puts us, as practicing architects, in a difficult position. We can’t adequately defend our client’s position if we’re forced to leave the room. I think a vocal announcement that you are recusing yourself and removing yourself from the committee table is adequate.”

Alternatively, trustee Dan Courtney joked: “Personally, I feel more comfortable when those involved with a project — who are my friends with whom I’ve sat on this board for years — are outside the room before I jump on their project.”

A vote to put the item before the general membership at the March 7 meeting passed 8-4-1.

In other LJCPA news:

Slurry Work: Representing the office of City Council member Barbara Bry, Mauricio Medina announced several areas slated for street slurry sealing in the coming months. A work schedule was not announced.

  • The Village: The streets that surround The Bishop’s School, proceed along Draper Avenue toward La Jolla High School, portions of Pearl Street, La Jolla Boulevard down to Fern Glen, Rushville Street, Arenas Street and more (see map below).
The Village streets slated to be paved with slurry in the coming months are indicated by a yellow bar.

Bird Rock: Folsom Drive, Camino del la Costa, Waverly Avenue, Beaumont Avenue between Camino de la Costa and Forward Street, Bird Rock Avenue between Beaumont and Bellevue avenues, Bellevue Avenue between Bird Rock Avenue and Forward Street, Waverly Avenue between Bird Rock Avenue and Forward Street.

Hidden Valley: Much of Via Capri, from Via Avola and Rue de Anne, and then again from Rue Adriane and Rue Denise; as well as feeder streets to Via Capri including Via Avola, Via Capri Court, Via Rialto, Rue de Anne, Rue Michael, Rue Adriane, Rue Denis; and Rue de Roark.

More on McLaren mural: Although the La Jolla Planned District Ordinance advisory board (PDO) discussed the controversial McLaren marquee — which depicts a McLaren car over a dealership where they are sold, leading some to question whether it’s art or advertising — LJCPA trustees are asking for a formal PDO vote.

The PDO committee hosted a brief discussion during its Jan. 14 meeting, at which time chair Deborah Marengo announced the City’s Neighborhood Code Compliance department had reviewed the sign and determined it meets the terms of a “mural” and is therefore art and not an illegal billboard, as some have argued.

LJCPA trustee Glen Rasmussen opined that the City’s findings shouldn’t have stopped the PDO from making a decision.

“If someone complained to Code Compliance, that is a City complaint,” he said. “The City does not have jurisdiction over what it says in the PDO or the sign ordinance. The PDO committee should still act on it.”

LJCPA chair Bob Steck said he would ask the PDO to take up the issue again and vote.

After the meeting, City spokesperson Arian Collins told La Jolla Light the display is actually still under investigation at Neighborhood Code Compliance.

“Apparently, at one point the case was marked ‘closed’ in error, which caused the confusion. But it’s still under investigation and there is no update this time,” he said, indicating that no decision had been made on whether the work is a mural or an unpermitted advertisement.

Shores PRC bylaws: After a lengthy debate about whether to approve a La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee (PRC) charter revision at the LJCPA level, the board agreed to let the La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) have one more crack at it. Trustee and PRC chair Gordon recommended the bylaw update in mid-2018 to change whether an applicant/trustee would need to leave the room during a presentation, codify election protocol and update the meeting schedule.

LJSA chair Janie Emerson argued that PRC is a joint committee between LJSA and LJCPA, and therefore both bodies should approve the charter changes (a notion on which City Planner Marlon Pangilinan disagrees).

LJSA had a discussion on the bylaws at its January meeting, but did not vote. As such, Gordon agreed to have the bylaws heard again and voted on at the next LJSA meeting, Feb. 14. The determination will be reported in a future issue.

New ANAC appointee: La Jolla resident Matthew Price was named the LJCPA representative to the San Diego Airport Noise Advisory Committee (ANAC). Price has been involved with the airport noise issue since 2017, when the La Jolla Town Council formed its airport noise sub-committee, and Price offered to be a liaison between the Town Council and ANAC meetings. LJCPA chair Steck said: “He is very knowledgeable on the subject and I have received very good feedback about his involvement thus far (as the representative from the La Jolla Town Council).” A motion to ratify Price’s placement passed.

La Jolla Community Planning Association next meets 6 p.m. Thursday, March 7 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.