La Jolla Parks & Beaches tables special-use permit moratorium again

Michael Dorvillier and Laurel McFarlane (standing), reps for the spring La Jolla Concours d’Elegance, ask the La Jolla Parks & Beaches advisory group on Jan. 27 to recommend issuing a permit for their event.

Discussion of a moratorium on endorsing new special-event permits at Scripps Park was continued for a second straight month by the La Jolla Parks & Beaches (LJP&B) advisory group on Jan. 27, when the group could not come to enough of a consensus to float a motion.

“Up until today, our committee has advocated no more events in Scripps Park until the City completes its Master Parks Plan,” said trustee Mary Ellen Morgan, who presented the item. “But it’s been pointed out to us, over and over again, that this could take years. So we would like to amend our moratorium so that if someone holds a new event that is free to the public, we would consider recommending it for a special-use permit.”

Morgan cited July 4th Fireworks and Concerts in the Park, which are both free events, as examples of new and free events LJP&B should support.

“We want this motion to strongly support our stand against vending outside and inside the park,” she said. “How can we be against making money adjacent to the park and be pro making money in the park?”

Trustee Patrick Ahern countered that LJP&B does not recommend for-profit events to the City anyway, and trustee Tom Brady added that the City already favors charitable events, and actually says so on its permit applications.

“I think we’ve got enough safeguards,” Brady said, “and I don’t think we can discriminate against groups that want to come in.”

The issue will again be discussed at LJP&B’s February meeting.

Concours d’Elegance green-lighted

LJP&B recommended a permit for the 16th annual La Jolla Concours d’Elegance, coming April 17-19 to Scripps Park.

Event reps Michael Dorvillier and Laurel McFarlane asked for access to the park beginning on Thursday this year, instead of the traditional Friday, since construction on the new La Jolla Cove Pavilion will cause logistical issues by covering up the ramp traditionally used to load vehicles onto the grass from the park’s north side.

Three trustees abstained from the vote and one, Morgan, strongly opposed the recommendation. She questioned how much of the park would remain open to the public during preparations. (Dorvillier said all of it.) She also asked the presenters to refrain from placing signage on the fence, so that passersby could look through the fence and see the ocean. (Dorvillier replied that they wouldn’t have a view of the ocean anyway.)

Rough go for dog park idea

La Jolla resident Lisa Matthews failed to garner a motion from LJP&B to recommend her proposal to get a dog park built in one of two grassy locations off the La Jolla Bike Path.

“The idea of not being able to have a dog in any of our beautiful parks, except in the morning and at night when you can’t see, is unfair,” she said.
But two trustees stated that dog parks have been discussed before, and always run up against neighborhood opposition due to parking, noise and safety issues.

LJP&B chair Ann Dynes informed Matthews that she had chosen “a very contentious issue” to get behind.

“Dog parks are the No. 1 most popular request to the Park & Rec Department,” she said. “We all agree they should be somewhere, but we can’t agree on where. And have you looked at City’s regulations for building a dog park? It’s unbelievable. It’s 30 pages long!”

Trustee rebuked

During the public comment section, LJP&B trustee Jane Reldan presented a letter from the California Coastal Commission, titled “Notice of Violation of the California Coastal Act,” that reaffirms its stance that removing wrack (seaweed) from Children’s Pool Beach is illegal.

The letter did not specifically mention LJP&B trustee John Leek, a beach-access advocate observed by the Light removing seaweed from that beach in July. However, Leek was cc’d.

“I just want to go on record that Mr. Leek is in violation of the Coastal Commission,” Reldan said, looking in Leek’s direction. “If you want to do clean-ups, you have to apply for a Coastal Development Permit.”

Leek replied: “You’re quite correct to have this in public comment. The letter is not addressed to us, so it’s not addressed to any members.” (The letter was addressed from the California Coastal Commission to City of San Diego district manager Dan Daneri.)

Also at LJP&B …

  • New trustee (and freelance Light reporter) Claudia Baranowski took her seat on the board for the first time
  • LJP&B unanimously voted to write a letter to the City recommending the repair or replacement of nine benches along Coast Boulevard, as needed.
  • LJP&B unanimously voted to ask the City what would be necessary to add two benches and a garbage can to the pocket park at the ocean end of Camino de la Costa.
  • LJP&B unanimously voted to re-elect John Shannon as treasurer. Ann Dynes will continue as president and Bob Evans will continue as secretary. (No vice president has been identified at this time.)

— La Jolla Parks & Beaches next meets 4 p.m. Monday, Feb. 24 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.