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La Jolla projects in mayor’s budget plan include Scripps Park restroom facility completion, new fire station

The cover of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria's proposed budget for fiscal 2022 features a photo of Goldfish Point in La Jolla.
(Courtesy)

While the San Diego city budget has some big problems to tackle with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on business and tourism, projects big and small in La Jolla are still getting attention.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria released his $1.73 billion draft budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year on April 15. It will be subject to hearings, town hall meetings, analyses and more before a budget is approved. The new fiscal year begins July 1.

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Accomplishments noted in the budget include La Jolla Recreation Center basketball court resurfacing and replacement of water mains in the La Jolla Scenic Drive area. Continuing projects that are not expected to be completed this year include Coastal Rail Trail bike path construction and drainage repairs in the Alta La Jolla Drive area.

In the meantime, funding is budgeted for capital projects across La Jolla in various phases of work.

“The fiscal-year 2022 budget represents a new vision for our city and recovery from the devastating impact of the pandemic,” said City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla. “I am encouraged to see many of my priorities are funded in the budget — organizational efficiencies, homelessness, ‘sexy streets’ initiative [which involves pouring a slurry seal to maintain roads, overlays for roads that need new paving, and reconstruction for roads that need a complete makeover, particularly in underserved neighborhoods], climate action, labor standards, youth programming and more.”

Scripps Park Pavilion

Though the pandemic caused delays in its construction, the Scripps Park Pavilion project to build a new restroom facility in the park next to La Jolla Cove is still on track to be completed in the new fiscal year as a “continuing” project. The draft budget states that $40,000 was added to the project in fiscal 2020-21 via City Council resolution.

The new facility will have more single-stall unisex toilets than its 50-year-old predecessor, and a men’s and women’s toilet room. The facility also will feature benches, outdoor showers, Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant toilets and indoor showers, and storage for beach equipment.

The facility as a whole is two buildings with a breezeway in between. One building will house the unisex stalls and the other the indoor showers and single-sex restrooms and changing rooms, surrounded by exterior features.

Torrey Pines fire station

The new Torrey Pines fire station, formerly known as the UCSD fire station, is expected to start construction during the new fiscal year. The project provides for a permanent three-bay fire station of about 10,500 square feet. The facility will accommodate a crew of nine to 11 and have onsite surface parking for Fire-Rescue Department personnel.

The site is east of North Torrey Pines Road at the north end of the UC San Diego campus.

In addition, street and traffic improvements are planned within the public right of way along Torrey Pines Road for emergency vehicles, according to the draft budget.

The total estimated cost is $20.5 million. Construction is expected to be completed in fiscal 2024-25.

Torrey Pines Road restoration

The second phase of a restoration project for Torrey Pines Road is in the “warranty” phase, meaning it is technically completed but has not yet been considered closed.

According to the draft budget, the project provides an additional path of travel for pedestrians on the south side of Torrey Pines between Hillside Drive and Amalfi Street, provides a pedestrian crossing on Torrey Pines west of Princess Street, increases the safety of bicyclists using buffered bike lanes along Torrey Pines between La Jolla Shores Drive and Amalfi Street, and provides a gateway to the La Jolla Village area by installing a painted stamped asphalt median between Roseland and Hillside drives.

Construction began in fiscal 2018 and was substantially completed in fiscal 2020, though it had to stop in accord with the summer construction moratorium from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year. Additional construction work was deemed necessary and ended during the current fiscal year. The project will be in the warranty phase through fiscal 2022.

Within that, a project that reconstructed a 350-foot section of slope along the south side of Torrey Pines Road between Little Street and Roseland Drive also will be under warranty through fiscal 2022.

Next steps

Going forward, LaCava said his office will “take a deep dive into the 1,500 pages of the budget, listen to constituents at City Council, Budget Review Committee and, of course meetings, calls and emails.”

His office will hold two online budget town halls: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, and 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 15. There also will be City Council meetings dedicated to gathering public input, and meetings for certain facets of the budget (for example, a session at 9 a.m. Friday, May 7, will focus on police and fire and rescue).

“I will continue the fight for those District 1 needs and projects previously prioritized by community organizations,” LaCava said. “In La Jolla, some of those priorities include library hours, street repair, stabilize cliff subsidence along Coast Walk, and the reconstruction of drainage at the corner of the La Jolla Boulevard and Forward Street traffic circle.” ◆