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La Jolla Shores group discusses San Diego budget, local goals and more

Participants in the La Jolla Shores Association's Feb. 10 online meeting discuss goals for 2021 and more.
Participants in the La Jolla Shores Association’s Feb. 10 online meeting discuss goals for 2021 and more.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Newly seated San Diego City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, told the La Jolla Shores Association that he’s surprised at “how difficult it is to get small stuff done.”

LaCava addressed LJSA during its Feb. 10 online meeting for the first time since taking office Dec. 10. He said the city’s budget has been damaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily through the loss of tourism dollars. He said “the latest projection is about $85 million of a shortfall” for this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

“We do have reserves that we can tap, and we’re hoping that we will get the CARES Act part two [an extension of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act] from Washington, D.C., to make up that difference,” LaCava said.

LaCava said the shortfall for the next fiscal year is expected to be much greater, which likely will result in budget cuts.

“I’m going to be fighting to preserve our neighborhood services that affect your quality of life,” he said. “We probably won’t be doing the expansion of additional things that have been cut over the years that we were hoping to restore.”

He said it might take as long as five years to get to the “new normal.”

“La Jolla is still La Jolla, and I love it,” said LaCava, who lives in Bird Rock. “I appreciate those organizations that bring people together for conversation, collaboration and hopefully consensus. I appreciate those that are willing to put their time and even money into making La Jolla a better place. We’ll try to be as supportive as we can going forward.”

Other LJSA news

2021 goals: The LJSA board unanimously approved a set of goals for the next year, based on its primary motive to “maintain and enhance the quality of our Shores community for all who live and work here, plus the over 4 million who visit here annually,” LJSA President Janie Emerson said.

The first goal, she said, is to support the local business community through continuation of The Shores outdoor dining program, new branding for the Shores and a marketing campaign for the business district.

The second goal is to focus on healthy environmental conditions by mitigating the water runoff from the north comfort station at Kellogg Park, where the association has been working with the city to repair a faulty shower drain. LJSA also is working to eliminate wood fires at the beach and Kellogg Park and supporting research of air quality with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Emerson said.

She said the third goal is to keep The Shores safe by enforcing Kellogg Park hours and continuing collaboration with lifeguards, police officers and the city fire and parks departments.

LJSA also will continue to work to plant trees in Kellogg Park, Emerson said.

Street sweeping: Andrew Perry, who owns Perry Gallery on Avenida de la Playa, said the street has not been properly swept since the beginning of the year.

“The sign says it should be swept Mondays between 3 and 6 a.m.,” Perry said. “For some reason the street sweeper is trying to sweep on Thursdays,” when parked cars prevent thorough sweeping. “The street is in terrible shape; there’s trash all over the place.”

Steve Hadley, who represents LaCava, said he recently filed a report and noted there may not have been enough time for the city to address the issue. If nothing changes soon, he will continue to follow up, he said.

Hadley clarified that the portion of Avenida de la Playa under discussion is the 2200 block, not the block that is being used for The Shores outdoor dining program, which has kept Avenida de la Playa closed between El Paseo Grande and Calle de la Plata for restaurants to place tables on the street.

Smart signals update: UC San Diego community liaison Anu Delouri said the university is collaborating with the city “to implement smart signals along North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla Village Drive and Regents Road.”

“Smart signals are the adaptive traffic signals that adjust traffic signal time based on actual traffic demand,” she said. “The university has invested over $4 million in this project with the hope that it will continue to reduce traffic congestion and improve traffic flow.”

Delouri said those who want community planning updates from UCSD can email complan@ucsd.edu.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Shores Association next meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 10, online. Learn more at lajollashoresassociation.org.