La Jolla planning board OKs liquor-sales permit for Valley Farm Market

The newly built Collins Coastal Apartments building — constructed by Murfey Company at La Jolla Boulevard and Nautilus Street — will house Valley Farm Market on the ground floor. The market is scheduled to open before the end of 2019.
(Photo by Daniel K. Lew)

Valley Farm Market’s request for a conditional use permit for off-site alcohol sales was approved (12-0-1) at the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) Nov. 7 meeting at the La Jolla Recreation Center. The request had previously received unanimous approval from the Planning District Ordinance (PDO) sub-committee.

Valley Farm will soon open at 6902 La Jolla Blvd. (at Nautilus Street), where it will lease ground floor space from the Murfey Company. Russ Murfey said his firm renovated the building since purchasing the property two years ago.

As a La Jolla native, Murfey noted: “The communities of La Jolla and Bird Rock have specifically been asking for and wanting a specialty market, and the time has finally come that we have Valley Farm here, ready, able and already in process and steps away from opening.”

The Valley Farm conditional-use permit for off-site alcohol sales is a general liquor license that does not allow alcohol consumption on the premises where it is sold. Valley Farm’s request has been reviewed and approved by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the San Diego Police Department.

Derek Marso said he is Valley Farm’s third generation owner, and noted the first market was opened by his grandfather in 1956. “My biggest goal is to be a part of the community and give back as much as I can, so you will see me a lot,” he told LJCPA.

When asked why La Jolla was selected for Valley Farm’s next location, Marso said he met many local families while coaching a Little League team in Mission Bay, and he was familiar with the area as a surfer.

After meeting Murfey, he said he believed their like-minded, local family companies would work well together. Marso sees Valley Farm as a good fit for the community, particularly because he is a hands-on owner.

LJCPA trustee Kathleen Neil said she attended the PDO meeting where the permit was approved and commented: “I thought your presentation was very thorough, and it seemed like the committee was very good at asking all the hard questions about your liquor license, so I will be supporting it.”

Derek Marso, left, of Valley Farm Market and Russ Murfey of Murfey Company present information to La Jolla Community Planning Association, Nov. 7, 2019, concerning the renovated building on La Jolla Boulevard at Nautilus Street, where the market is scheduled to open before the end of the year.
(Photo by Claudia Baranowski)


Also at LJCPA

“Dredge, repeat” ads: LJCPA trustee Dave Ish reported on full-page advertisements concerning beach groins (aka groynes) in La Jolla Light and The San Diego Union-Tribune that contain misleading information on beach erosion. The ads appeared between Aug.18 and Sept. 7. They oppose repeated dredging of sand and seek support to build groins (long, narrow structures built out into the water from the shore in order to prevent beach erosion) along the coast.

The ad content also includes a call to action to submit contact information in order for a pre-written letter be sent to government officials.

Noting that the ads were “mysterious, couldn’t really figure out who, what, when or why,” Ish requested that LJCPA send a letter to Phyllis Pfeiffer (president/general manager of La Jolla Light) and Jeff Light (publisher/editor of The San Diego Union-Tribune) to “take appropriate action to disclose the source and political nature of these ads, and print a retraction outlining the misinformation and lack of transparency.”

The letter’s intent is to request complete disclosure as to who placed the ads, and not debate the issue of groins and sand replenishment programs. LJCPA trustees reviewed the draft letter and approved sending it as requested (12-0-1).

LJCPA trustee Tom Brady, who also serves on La Jolla Parks & Beaches Board, reported that on Oct. 28: “We (LJPB) approved it (the letter) unanimously, and I would like to thank Dave for his efforts in ferreting this out.”


A panoramic view of the Children’s Pool and its sea wall in La Jolla
(La Jolla Light File Photo)

Children’s Pool: LJCPA Trustees voted 10-1-2 to submit an appeal to the California Coastal Commission after the San Diego City Council voted during its Sept. 17 meeting that the Children’s Pool retaining wall remain. The City determined that a 30-inch retaining wall substantially conforms to a previously approved permit and will stand as is under a Substantial Conformance Review (SCR). LJCPA voted at the June 6 meeting to confirm the recommendation of the Development Permit Review (DPR) sub-committee to deny approval of the SCR.


City Council representative Steve Hadley welcomed: With District 1 San Diego City Council member Barbara Bry’s community rep Mauricio Medina taking on a new role as budget committee consultant, veteran staffer Steve Hadley was introduced as Bry’s new rep for La Jolla. Medina assured LJCPA he will provide Hadley with status reports on all current La Jolla projects and issues. Hadley stated: “We may not be able to get projects to move along sometimes as fast as you like, but we are here to help you ask questions.” He can be reached at


LJCPA membership: With seats open to La Jolla residents, property owners, and local for-profit and non-profit businesses, the community planning board provides input regarding development and City services in the La Jolla community. Membership applications are available at and at the meetings.


La Jolla Community Planning Association next meets 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019 at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St.