7 elected to La Jolla planning board as trustees eye Village Streetscape designs

Images depicting the proposed La Jolla Village Streetscape Plan are presented by architect Mark Steele during the La Jolla Community Planning Association meeting March 5, 2020 at the La Jolla Recreation Center. His firm received a $75,000 grant from the La Jolla Community Foundation to study and develop a streetscape vision for La Jolla.
(Photo by Claudia Baranowski)

The La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) membership elected five new and two returning trustees during its meeting March 5, 2020 at the La Jolla Recreation Center. They are: Patrick Ahern, Helen Boydon, Larry Davidson, Greg Jackson, Bob Steck, Ray Weiss and Suzanne Weissman. All will serve three-year terms except Boydon, whose term is two years. Forty-eight percent of the membership cast ballots in the annual election. Members in attendance were eligible to vote on motions presented along with trustees.

Also at the meeting, renderings of the initial phase of the proposed La Jolla Village Streetscape Plan were presented by Phyllis Pfeiffer, chair of the La Jolla Community Foundation (LJCF) and architect Mark Steele, president of M.W. Steele Group. The plan intends to create a pedestrian promenade along Prospect Street, improve crosswalk safety and corner pop-out areas on Girard Avenue, expand art offerings and enhance overall street experience in The Village.

Pfeiffer, who is also president and general manager of La Jolla Light, announced that the Foundation has raised $1.1 million toward the Streetscape work and is in the process of hiring a fundraiser. The estimated cost for the privately funded project’s first phase is $10 million.

The design team included architects Jennifer Luce, Jim Alcorn and Paul Buss and landscape architects Todd Fry and Jennifer Phelps. Steele assured that: “Speaking as an architect and designer, nothing we are proposing hasn’t already been done by a lot of other cities.”

The renderings were presented as conceptual designs and will be beneficial for further fundraising. Once engineering begins, traffic matters and landscape considerations will be discussed in detail.

Trustee Diane Kane recommended “cultural zone” coordination to plant a variety of mature trees. Pfeiffer responded that the project will “keep what is good and make it look like it is planned, but also versatile” so that it “looks like a village that has been here for a long time.” When trustee Jim Fitzgerald asked if the project will include something unique to identify La Jolla (“putting ocean view and natural setting aside”), Pfeiffer shared that the sea horse motif, currently seen on benches, will return as a signature theme.

Read more about the Village Streetscape project in the La Jolla Light story, “La Jolla Community Foundation unveils Village Streetscape Plan,” at

In other LJCPA news

Special Meeting with UCSD: Janie Emerson, president of the La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA), reported that representatives from community planning organizations, including La Jolla Community Planning Assocation’s Dave Gordon and Traffic & Transportation’s Dave Abrams, met with UCSD reps on Feb. 28 to discuss a special community meeting specifically regarding UCSD’s Future College Living & Learning Neighborhood (FCLLN) and generally, regarding UCSD’s Long Range Development Plan (LRDP). After receiving input from residents and business owners, Emerson said campus development plans would be more appropriately heard at a meeting within the community rather than meeting on the campus. (Approximately 150 people attended an open house concerning FCLLN on the UCSD campus Jan. 22.)

The newly proposed meeting would be co-hosted by LJCPA, LJSA, La Jolla Town Council and La Jolla Traffic & Transportation with UCSD as presenting partner.

Anu Delouri, assistant director in UCSD’s Community Planning Department, said she participated in the Jan. 22 meeting and noted UCSD agrees that an open house in the community is important — particularly for all to understand the 2018 LRDP and accompanying Environmental Impact Report. Further, she explained that a traffic analysis is in process to obtain current data to see if recommendations from previous analysis included in LRDP remain valid.

Trustee Gordon noted “the biggest uproar lately” relates to the details of the design of the FCLNN buildings, which was not part of LRDP. As such, he recommended a brief LRDP overview be included for the community to see the big picture, with a focused presentation on the impending Future College project to be situated on the 10.9-acre parking lot adjacent the La Jolla Playhouse.

The project is scheduled to be reviewed and approved by UC Regents in coming months. Trustees and eligible members voted 28-0-1 for the co-hosted community meeting to occur by March 31, or as soon as practical so results from anticipated traffic analysis can also be discussed. (See related story, on the front page of this issue.)

Shores PDO: LJCPA trustees and eligible members voted unanimously to form an ad hoc committee to review the La Jolla Shores Planned District Ordinance and design manual relating to Municipal Code updates. Items from the Development Permit Review (DPR) committee will not be affected and can be routinely submitted to LJCPA. Further, trustees and members voted 26-0-1 for this ad hoc committee to submit 2021 code updates to LJCPA by a December deadline.

Government reps updates: Steve Hadley, from City Council member Barbara Bry’s office, reported underground project on Avenida Manana has been stalled due to the soil being too moist to trench and complete the project. Bry’s office is monitoring resolution between SDG&E and the City. Hadley also reported that Bry, along with three other Council members, have requested the City explore adopting another option to the current structure requiring the Mayor and City Council to seek legal advice exclusively from a fellow elected official. “Other cities and counties offer alternative models for both effective governmental legal services and strong, community-oriented criminal law and prevention programs,” the signed memo states. If approved by the City Council, the action could be prepared for voter consideration on the November 2020 ballot.

Matthew Gordon, representing State Assembly member Todd Gloria, shared that City and County officials have a structure in place to prepare for pandemic as a means of precaution after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in California over the novel coronavirus. He reminded the audience that a Real ID driver license or identification card is now a federally accepted form of identification valid for domestic air travel. Contact the DMV to obtain a Real ID by Oct. 1.

Representing State Senator Toni Atkins, Miller Saltzman reported the State budget has been introduced and must be passed by June 15. Sen. Atkins is focusing on affordable housing built close to jobs and Senate Bill 45. This $5.5 billion bond for climate resiliency includes sea level rise, flooding, preparing for drought, safe drinking water and preventing wildfires, Miller said.

UCSD Community Group: Alyssa Helper highlighted capital investments of graduate campus housing, bike and pedestrian bridges in the Mesa Housing neighborhood. Find further information at

La Jolla Community Planning Association next meets 6 p.m. Thursday, April 2, 2020 at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St., La Jolla.