La Jolla Town Council retreats to move forward

La Jolla Town Council president Ann Kerr Bache, right, swears in three new trustees during the group’s June 27 retreat — Sullivan Solar director of community development Tara Hammond, retired corporate vice president Jerri Hunt and commercial real-estate broker Jeff Chasen — all of whom call La Jolla home.

On Thursday, June 27, the La Jolla Town Council (LJTC) held a closed-door meeting at the La Jolla Professional Building, 1150 Silverado St. For two-and-a-half hours across a cramped conference room, 12 of the 16 Council trustees hashed out which La Jolla issues they should address during the remainder of 2019, and how to shape the monthly meeting agendas.

It was the community group’s second retreat, which is now a biannual event.

LJTC’s July meeting — 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 11 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. — will focus on adopting recommendations on short-term vacation rentals to send to the San Diego City Council to consider when it takes up the issue again. (The City must wait a year since its last compromise ordinance was rescinded on Oct. 22, 2018.)

Also at July’s meeting, LJTC will receive an update on SB 330 and SB 50 from real-estate agent James LaMattery — who insists that the Senate bills unravel La Jolla’s 30-foot construction height restrictions — and offer rebuttal time to any government representatives wishing to participate.

Kerr Bache didn’t have a firm schedule for the rest of 2019, but said that upcoming forums are likely to focus on public safety, dockless-scooter regulations and a Q&A with District 1’s City Council candidates. Also, she said, the issue of a shuttle from UTC’s Mid-Coast Trolley Station to The Village would be revisited, since LJTC’s May 9 forum on the matter “left things hanging.”

Kerr Bache said she was pleased with the retreat’s results: “We have a really great group and we’re unafraid to look at all sides of the issues La Jollans consider important.”

Kerr Bache held LJTC’s first retreat on Jan. 22, so that meeting topics and agendas could be decided by the whole board instead of just her. “It’s everybody’s Town Council, and I want it to be a more collaborative effort,” she said.

Closed-door meetings of LJTC don’t violate the Brown Act (the 1953 regulation guaranteeing the public’s right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies and advisory boards) because LJTC is a private organization.

“You can’t get anything done with more than 12 people in a room,” Kerr Bache said. “We have a tremendous set of capabilities with these trustees, who are all volunteers, but you can’t take full advantage while you’re sitting behind a table and being polite with the public.”

— To learn more, visit