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La Jolla News Nuggets: Streetscape plan, planning group reforms, festival postponed, abandoned vehicles, more

A conceptual image shows what could be done at Wall Street and Girard Avenue as part of the Village streetscape plan.
(Courtesy of Enhance La Jolla)

Streetscape plan going before LJCPA in February

After receiving the green light from La Jolla’s Planned District Ordinance Committee, Development Permit Review Committee and Traffic & Transportation Board, a Village streetscape improvement plan will have a full hearing at the La Jolla Community Planning Association’s February meeting online.

The streetscape plan is a $15 million project to renovate Girard Avenue between Silverado and Prospect streets and the area known as “The Dip” at Prospect. Planned street improvements in the public right of way include curb extensions, paving, landscaping, lighting, conversion of northbound Prospect to a public pedestrian way between Girard and Herschel avenues and converting the southbound side of Prospect in that area to two-way traffic.

Participants are advised to register ahead of the meeting, which will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 3. Learn more at lajollacpa.org.

Controversial planning group reforms to be heard Jan. 20

Community planning group reforms proposed by San Diego City Councilman Joe LaCava will go before the San Diego Planning Commission for review during its virtual meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 20.

Major changes would include revising council policies for community planning groups citywide to make the groups more independent from the city and encourage inclusive participation, according to LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla. That includes removing meeting attendance requirements for becoming a voting member; imposing new regulations on board makeup to include renters, business owners, homeowners and more; imposing a two-year break in service after someone has termed out of a board; no longer providing city staff to assist with meeting operations and disputes; no longer providing a stipend for community planning group members; no longer waiving appeal fees and more.

The La Jolla Community Planning Association, the local board that would be affected by the reforms, roundly rejected them last month.

“This proposal does not stand a good possibility of reforming community planning groups, it is going to kill them,” LJCPA President Diane Kane said at the group’s Dec. 2 meeting.

Learn more at sandiego.gov/planning-commission.

Strength in the City festival postponed

Strength in the City, a fitness and wellness festival slated for La Jolla’s Scripps Park on Sunday, Jan. 16, has been postponed in light of the region’s current surge of coronavirus cases.

A statement from festival organizers said a new date “will be chosen at a time when we can guarantee the safety and health for our community and vendors. ... We send our love and apologies to all who were looking forward to this event.”

Crackdown coming on abandoned vehicles

The city of San Diego is planning a crackdown on abandoned vehicles to shrink the amount of time it typically takes to remove them.

Abandoned vehicles — cars and trucks left in the same on-street parking spot for more than 72 hours — are the No. 1 complaint the city gets from residents through phone calls and the city’s Get It Done app.

The volume of complaints, which averages more than 4,500 a month, means residents now wait 45 to 60 days for a city response. The city’s stated goal is to respond within three days and then tow the car three days later.

The campaign, which is scheduled to begin this summer, is part of Mayor Todd Gloria’s increasing focus on quality-of-life issues that have frustrated residents for years. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

New permits now available for outdoor dining

While expanded outdoor dining has been allowed in the city of San Diego since July 2020 in response to early COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns of indoor operations, the City Council in October decided to make the experiment permanent given its popularity among customers and business owners.

San Diego restaurant owners who want to continue using their outdoor dining venues can start applying this week for new permits to allow them to operate on streets and sidewalks for a two-year period.

Business owners who opt to get permits under the “Spaces as Places” program will now be subject to annual fees ranging from $10 to $30 per square foot. The fees vary depending on where in the city the businesses are located. The San Diego Planning Department is using a “climate equity index” that relies on environmental and socioeconomic factors for determining whether a business owner will pay $10, $20 or $30 per square foot. — The San Diego Union-Tribune

La Jolla resident creates Alzheimer’s endowment at UCSF

After losing his father to Alzheimer’s disease, La Jolla resident Jonathan Ferrini has established an endowment fund at UC San Francisco to support research of the causes, treatment and prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The endowment is intended to give the Department of Neurology a reliable funding source for young investigators in particular to pursue research.

“I realize my gift won’t come up with a cure for dementia and Alzheimer’s,” Ferrini said. “Instead, I hope it will be a springboard for others to also support young faculty members who are at the cutting edge of research. That’s what will make an impact for decades to come.”

The Children’s School collects blankets and cookies for homeless

The Children's School in La Jolla conducted a blanket and cookie drive for homeless people last month.
(Courtesy of The Children’s School)

The Children’s School in La Jolla conducted a blanket and cookie drive” in December for People Assisting the Homeless, or PATH.

In 2020, the school collected 300 blankets and sets of cookies, exceeding its goal of 75. The 2021 numbers were not yet available.

La Jolla authors publish new book

La Jolla residents Virginia Foster and the Rev. Arthur Hammons have released “Out of Your Mind,” a blend of cognitive psychology and spirituality to help readers learn about the power of thought.

The book is an update of the original version, published in 1990. For more information, email garthurhammons@aol.com.

St. Germaine Children’s Charity is accepting grant applications

La Jolla-based St. Germaine Children’s Charity is accepting grant applications. The organization awards grants to agencies that help prevent child abuse in San Diego through programs that care for, shelter and treat victims up to age 25.

The application deadline is Tuesday, Feb. 8. Grant applications are at stgermainechildrenscharity.org/guidelines. For more information, email evanandquinnsmom@gmail.com.

— La Jolla Light staff compiled this report.