A Fond Farewell: Sherri Lightner makes last official visit to Shores Association

San Diego City Council President Sherri Lightner attended the Oct. 12 meeting of La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA), telling trustees, “This is the last LJSA meeting that I will attend as your Councilmember.”

Lightner, a Shores resident, is finishing her second (and last) term as District 1 representative and said she’s working hard to close some loose ends and “get some things done in the area before I leave. I have enjoyed working with you and I hope that you continue on in your efforts. It has been a great privilege to serve you and represent you.”

She informed trustees of a meeting 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Golden Hall, 292 C St. where the City Council will discuss short-term vacation rental issues. “I know this issue has had a significant amount of comment from the beach communities,” she said.

Lightner also reminded everyone of the lengthy Nov. 8 election ballot and encouraged them to vote down the ballot.

Shores improvement projects

In the past few months, LJSA trustees have been trying to come up with a list of things that they’d like to see improved in their community. Finally, the list was formulated at the October meeting, and at the top sits a project to create a “signature boardwalk” for La Jolla Shores.

Trustee Angie Preisendorfer explained, “The boardwalk is just ugly. We should have a signature boardwalk, a signature look.”

Trustee Richard “Monte” Montemarano insisted there are liability issues with the state of the seawall-adjacent sidewall. “There’s a 2-foot section all the way down that’s cracked. It’s almost like where the seawall is hitting cracks on the sidewalk, which is just a mess.”

Lightner representative Justin Garver pointed out the La Jolla Shores boardwalk uniqueness as an American with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant structure. “It’s one of the few accessible ones because there’s direct access from the street to the beach,” he said.

Garver highlighted the possibility of obtaining money from the Regional Park Improvement Funds or even consulting the Park & Rec Department for future grant openings. “This type of project is going to have a significant cost, it certainly could use some community advocacy to the Regional Park Improvement Fund Oversight Committee, and prioritize trying to find some funding.”

Other LJSA improvement projects include repainting the La Jolla Shores parking lot, including a pass-though lane to avoid traffic congestion when a car is stopped on the right lane; re-paving Viking Way; repainting pedestrian crosswalks; and creating a drop-off lane closer to the surf zone.

Summer season lifeguard report

Lt. Rich Stropky of San Diego Lifeguard Services told trustees the summer of 2016 was the busiest for the lifeguards in over a decade. “I don’t know if it’s the weather, the water or the way the sand moves the rip currents around, but the last record of water rescues was set in 1993 with an annual total of 4,443; by Sept. 15 last month, we already beat that.”

In July alone, he continued, the lifeguards performed a total of 4,102 rescues, well over the 1,807 average for the month. In August 1,279 water rescues were performed, and in June, 1,707. “We are happy that everything went well,” Stropky said. “And again, thanks for the support from those who give us the ability to do our jobs, especially Council President Sherri Lightner, who has done a lot for us.”

He also answered questions about the overcost and delays with the Children’s Pool Lifeguard Tower. “I know for a fact that it’s going to be the best tower that we have,” he said. “There are some hiccups, some plumbing issues, but there’s a plan to work it out. We would like to be in there already, but everybody is working toward that.”

Utility and street work update

San Diego field engineer Steve Lindsay provided an update on the construction taking place on the Shores’ right-of-ways. “As you can tell, we’re on Camino del Oro, probably for another two weeks,” he said. “They got slowed down because they found some really bad soil that couldn’t support the streets, so they had to take that out,” he told trustees. “Of course, if we start getting deeper, we need to have the Native American (history) monitors that make sure everything is done properly.”

Next week smaller projects will start on Avenida de la Playa, such as pothole repair. Bigger construction work on the street will resume when the pipeline that needs to be replaced arrives. “I want to start excavating as soon as the pipe arrives. I don’t want the hole open and waiting on the pipe, so it’s a timing thing,” Lindsay said.

LJSA next meets 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9 at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Martin Johnston House, 8840 Biological Grade.