Windansea Stanchions Replaced: La Jolla Planners form sub-committee to explore alternatives

Although the stanchions outlining a no-parking zone at the foot of Playa del Norte in Windansea Beach were reinstated in accordance with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s orders, members of the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) are not giving up the fight to establish an alternative parking configuration in that area.

Discussed at the Dec. 6 LJCPA meeting at the Rec Center, the board voted to establish an independent committee to explore alternative parking options and bring a recommendation back for an endorsement. The committee includes LJCPA trustees Glen Rasmussen, Patrick Ahern and Phil Merten, who will provide updates in the months going forward.

The issue centers on a striped, no-parking area at the foot of Playa del Norte where it meets Neptune Place, where experimental parking configurations have been implemented.

First, the area was blocked with stanchions, drawing the ire of surfers who use the spot to view the waves.

Then, in April, City Council member Barbara Bry implemented a six-month pilot program to permit two 15-minute parking spaces to placate the surfers, but this drew the ire of nearby residents. She also compiled an ad-hoc committee with representatives from both sides of the issue to resolve the matter.

The residents contend they are troubled by noise and alleged drug use by those using the parking spots. Their other concern is the traffic safety issue associated with drivers proceeding the wrong way on a one-way street to make a U-turn to access the spaces.

A meeting was held the evening of Nov. 27 at the La Jolla Riford Library with ad-hoc committee members, moderated by National Conflict Resolution Center mediator and land-use lawyer Cary Lowe, who were tasked with developing a common understanding to determine the steps needed for a solution.

However, the next day, Mayor Faulconer announced the stanchions would be put back, and they were in place the week of Dec. 3.

The LJCPA sub-committee would like to explore options that allow for parking, but deter wrong-way driving. They would meet and cull design options from local architects, and should a favorite emerge, they would bring that recommendation to the LJCPA for support, and then to the larger ad-hoc committee with both sides for discussion. It is unknown when the ad-hoc committee would next meet.

The LJCPA sub-committee’s work would run parallel to the City’s “next steps” that emerged from the Nov. 27 meeting: Conduct a parking survey to provide a clear answer as to whether there’s a parking shortage in the neighborhood, and therefore answer why every possible space should be preserved; arrange a meeting with City traffic engineers to discuss proposed alternative designs and get staff evaluations; request a City Attorney opinion on potential liability to the City for the various arrangements.

In other LJCPA news

Ryan project rejected: Following a negative vote from the LJCPA Development Permit Review sub-committee (DPR) in November, the Ryan project for the consolidation of two lots at 5673 Linda Rosa Ave. in Bird Rock was denied again. Associated with the lot consolidation is a remodel to add a second-story to the existing one-story house. DPR trustees opposed to the consolidation said the resulting house would put “too much density on the front lot, impacting the streetscape and the neighborhood scale.”

The two lots are currently divided by a “paper alley” (one that is on a map, but not necessarily a usable one on the street), and tying the two lots together for a combined lot size of 5,720 square feet, which would allow the applicants to increase the allowable square footage of the house. As part of the presentation seeking approval for the lot consolidation, the applicant’s representatives showed renderings of how the house would be remodeled.

Citing concerns with the designs, DPR and LJCPA trustee Mike Costello called it “an in-your-face kind of a massive thing to look at” and that “the obvious motivation for tying these lots together is to get more lot are to get more floor area.”

A motion to affirm DPR’s findings passed 13-2-1.

Marine Room handrail approved: LJCPA voted to approve the installation of a handrail to be affixed to a wall adjacent the south side of the Marine Room restaurant to improve safety on the often slippery beach access, which slopes down from the street to the sea. After garnering approval from the La Jolla Shores Association in November, LJCPA trustee Patrick Ahern had equal success at LJCPA, when the board voted 14-0-1 to support the installation.

The handrail solution reportedly has the support of neighbors and lifeguards, and the intent is to have the project privately funded. The tentative pricetag is approximately $3,800.

Cave Street demolition: After clarifying a “misunderstanding” regarding the Babak project, LJCPA voted 12-2-1 to support the demolition of a one-story house at 1271 Cave St.

Applicant’s representative Bejan Arfaa said the property has been abandoned for almost a year and there are mold issues. “It has become a nuisance and we would like to demolish it,” he said.

After the demolition, the land itself would be sold, and there are no plans for what would go in its place. DPR voted 3-2-1 that findings could not be made for the project due to, among other reasons, “proposed construction is a de-facto permanent fence until future development.”

DPR chair and LJCPA trustee Brian Will said DPR favored landscaping over a fence. After some discussion about who requested the fence and why, Arfaa said there was “a misunderstanding” and that construction plans do not include a fence.

“If you could remove the construction fence as part of your proposal, I could support this project to demolish,” Will said.

A motion to approve the demolition with a note on the construction plans that reads no fence will remain once demolition is complete passed 12-2-1.

Charter revisions on hold: Approval of the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee (PRC) charter changes was postponed to a future meeting, as trustee LJCPA Helen Boyden expressed a number of concerns she would like to see addressed before the board votes. A motion to postpone the vote on the revisions passed 11-3-1.

— La Jolla Community Planning Association next meets 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.lajollacpa.org

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