MAD’s Enhance La Jolla seeks community ideas

After years of development, planning, presentations, fundraising and outreach, the Maintenance Assessment District (MAD) for The Village was approved by the voters affected in mid-November. The votes were ratified by the San Diego City Council on Nov. 15 and now Enhance La Jolla (the organization that will manage the MAD) is finalizing its 501(c)3 status. With that, the group will be ready to act. 

The assessments – which will mean about half a million dollars annually for maintenance in La Jolla — will start to be collected via a property tax bill in late 2017 for use in 2018.

“We applied for 501(c)3 status about three months ago, and now we’re waiting to hear back,” said Enhance La Jolla chair Bill Tribolet. “Once we get our 501(c)3 status approved, we can start doing capital improvements, which means we can raise other money in addition to the assessments that will go toward improvements in town that supplement City services, and carry out what the community wants. The City Council vote was a big step, but it was just one step.”

Once it receives 501(c)3 status, Enhance La Jolla can apply for grants from the La Jolla Community Foundation for capital projects. Enhance La Jolla would like community feedback on what kinds of projects to carry out. Early ideas include new and upgraded trash cans; benches; enhanced signage; traffic calming projects, such as roundabouts; park improvements, in partnership with La Jolla Parks & Beaches Committee; La Jolla Recreation Center improvements, in partnership with La Jolla Park & Recreation Committee; tree canopies on main thoroughfares; and public art.

Tribolet said in speaking with fellow La Jollans, he’s begun to gather ideas. “Some say the sidewalks need to be more consistent and in better shape. Others have suggested hiring private security to patrol The Village. The Belvedere Project would be a big one, but it’s one that is often mentioned. If someone thinks we need fountains or new trash cans, we could look into that. We’re open to things that would make the community a little warmer, more inviting and more attractive.” 

Those with ideas are encouraged to attend quarterly Enhance La Jolla meetings, which will be publicized and open to the public. The board consists of 12 members that include commercial and residential property owners, community members at large, and representatives from the La Jolla Community Foundation and La Jolla Village Merchants Association. They are: Tribolet, Steve Haskins, Ed Witt, Mark Dibella, George Hauer, Kathryn Kanjo, Leon Kassel, David Marino, Andy Nelson, Phyllis Pfeiffer, Hans Peter Wagener and Nancy Warwick. 

“Our job as a board is to hear people’s ideas, prioritize them and see if we can get funding for them. However, La Jollans need to have a say in it because it’s our community and we want to do what’s best for our community,” Tribolet said. “If there are things people think ought to be done, they can communicate that with the board (via enhancelajolla.org).”

In addition to collecting capital project ideas, throughout 2017, the Enhance La Jolla board will meet and seek the best maintenance contracts so they are in place and ready to go when the maintenance assessments are available to carry out cleanup efforts in 2018. Enhance La Jolla meeting dates will be posted at enhancelajolla.org and published in La Jolla Light. 

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