La Jolla community-group boards to preview Streetscape plans

John Unbewust, district manager of La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District (MAD), gives a progress update to the La Jolla Village Merchants Association board at its Jan. 8 meeting at the Riford Library.

The boards of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA), La Jolla Town Council, La Jolla Community Planning Association and the La Jolla Historical Society will preview Enhance La Jolla’s Village Streetscape Plan at a closed-door meeting Thursday, Jan. 16.

“We need the support of all the stakeholders within The Village to establish a final plan,” said John Unbewust, manager of the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District (MAD), at the Jan. 8 LJVMA meeting.

After input from the forum, Unbewust said, the plan will be tweaked and then employed to attract public and private dollars.

“We’re giving La Jolla a new vision and a new look,” Unbewust explained. “It’s not just pie-in-the-sky. It’s basic stuff like more uniform street lighting and vegetation.”

Unbewust also updated LJVMA on the work his organization has accomplished in the past three months. For example, he said, it took a crew an entire evening to remove the dirt that had accumulated for the past 20 years at the corner of Fay Avenue and Pearl Street.

“Now we’re going to launch into a more frequent dust-off,” he said, “and start a process of basic maintenance on a more frequent basis.”

In addition, seven concrete trash receptacles were repainted on Wall Street, Unbewust said, with another 8 to 12 on Girard Avenue scheduled for completion before February. And Enhance La Jolla has begun two new weekly programs: scooping dog poop off the street and sweeping any sand and water that accumulates on pedestrian ramps following rain storms.

“I have seen handicapped folks having to traverse through the mud just to get across the street, and that’s not acceptable,” Unbewust said.

Because of all that’s gotten done so far, Unbewust said, he’s begun to see something he hasn’t seen in 15 years: merchants and residents sweeping their own sidewalks.

“Maybe I’m more excited about maintenance than I ought to be,” he said, “but I live in The Village.”

Also at LJVMA …

Later meetings: The board unanimously voted to move its monthly meeting from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Riford Library, beginning with Wednesday, Feb. 12, since it’s more difficult for merchants to leave their stores earlier in the afternoon.

Bridge study: LJVMA voted to approve support for a City study of the La Jolla Scenic Drive connector bridge project. Natalie Aguirre, who represents LJVMA on the La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board, presented the agenda item, explaining that perpetually snarled traffic along Torrey Pines Road creates a negative experience for potential La Jolla shoppers.

Strategic plan: The board unanimously approved the 2020 strategic plan devised during December’s meeting, including changes made by the LJVMA marketing committee.

Enjoya the time change: The board voted to move the starting time of its monthly Enjoya La Jolla sip, shop and stroll event from noon to 3 p.m. every second Saturday “when sensible.” It also voted to partner with Out of the Ordinary Adventures on its scavenger hunt, coinciding with its March 14 event.

Fireworks update: Deborah Marengo and Darcy Ashley were scheduled to present an update on the July 4 fireworks, but were unavailable. So LJVMA president Brett Murphy said the merchants will consider moving the July Enjoya La Jolla event to July 4 weekend, to attract more tourists who might patronize shops in The Village.

Window winner: Sigi’s Boutique won LJVMA’s first holiday décor contest, a decision cast by more than 200 ballots.

New associates: Voted in as new associate members were Tracy Henry of Express Employment Professionals, 4340 Genesee Ave., Suite 210, and John Justin Maxwell from Horizon Professional Window Cleaning, which does not have a fixed La Jolla address.

Financials: Murphy reported that LJVMA had $116,000 in the bank as of Dec. 31, with $124,000 in assets and liability.

— La Jolla Village Merchants Association next meets 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12 at the Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave.