Shores group backs concepts for new trees and La Jolla master design plan

Before-and-after images depict Trace Wilson's concept for having both sides of Cliffridge Avenue lined with jacaranda trees.
Before-and-after images depict Trace Wilson’s concept for having both sides of Cliffridge Avenue lined with jacaranda trees.
(Courtesy of Trace Wilson)

A concept to beautify a portion of Cliffridge Avenue won approval from the La Jolla Shores Association during its March 9 virtual meeting.

The plan presented by La Jolla architect Trace Wilson, who has spearheaded many proposals to beautify local neighborhoods, calls for jacaranda trees to line the north side of Cliffridge from Scenic Place west to the end of the cul-de-sac.

The project would happen just as work is finished on the entrance to Cliffridge Park at the cul-de-sac’s end — a plan that Wilson also designed and was approved by LJSA in January to replace plantings and a storage unit in a collaboration with La Jolla Youth Baseball.

The proposed jacaranda trees are to be planted in the grassy areas fronting and belonging to Torrey Pines Elementary School, mirroring the jacarandas planted five years ago on the south side of the street by the Dan McKinney Family YMCA on its property, Wilson said.

The trees will “provide shade and a consistent line of trees on both sides,” he said.

A proposal would place jacaranda trees on the north side of Cliffridge Avenue in front of Torrey Pines Elementary School.
A proposal would place jacaranda trees on the north side of Cliffridge Avenue from Scenic Place west to the end of the cul-de-sac, in front of Torrey Pines Elementary School.
(Bing Maps and La Jolla Light)

Wilson added, however, that though the plans and renderings currently include jacarandas, “there may be a different … tree type that we want to use, like a Torrey pine tree, which would be very relevant.”

The change might be made because the YMCA is looking into the health of the trees on its side, Wilson said. He added that there is some question whether the trees are alive.

The Village Garden Club of La Jolla will donate the new trees, Wilson said, and the San Diego Unified School District will water them. He said he will look for donations to fund the planting and irrigation.

“It’s an opportunity to get a beautiful, cohesive street in La Jolla, essentially all on private property,” Wilson said.

He said the project was designed with input from leaders at Torrey Pines Elementary, the YMCA and La Jolla Youth Baseball.

TPES Principal Nona Richard said “the collaboration with Trace and with all the partners has been really lovely. … The [school] district is super supportive and wants to make something aesthetically pleasing ... that makes sense for all of the community.”

Other LJSA news

Village Visioning master plan: LJSA agreed to have member Phil Wise work with Wilson, a member of the Village Visioning Committee under the La Jolla Community Planning Association, on a concept for a master design plan for La Jolla.

The master plan would seek to beautify and unify designs in La Jolla “from property line to property line,” Wilson said.

La Jolla has a lot of projects, with efforts to beautify neighborhoods including The Shores, Muirlands and Windansea, Wilson said, “but we need to bring it all together so we have a cohesive system.”

The concept aims to give each street or neighborhood in La Jolla a different character, he said, while tying all the neighborhoods together through upgraded landscaping, crosswalks and traffic-calming measures.

The La Jolla Village Merchants Association was the first community group to lend its support to the Village Visioning Committee streetscape plan during the association’s March 9 meeting.

Many LJSA board members said La Jolla needs a unifying design among its various neighborhoods.

Member Dede Donovan wondered why the plans so far don’t include much of The Shores or anything along La Jolla Shores Drive.

“We just haven’t gotten there yet,” said Wilson, who added that the committee is taking it “piece by piece.” He noted that the project to beautify Cliffridge Avenue is within The Shores’ boundaries.

Wilson said he would speak to Wise to tie in The Shores’ commercial district, which includes the one-block closure of Avenida de la Playa for outdoor dining, which Wise spearheaded in July 2020.

Members of the La Jolla Shores Association meet March 9.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Board election: LJSA secretary Charlie Brown announced that all five candidates who ran were chosen for the five available seats on the association board in its recent election.

Ross Rudolph received 30 votes, Meinrat “Andi” Andreae received 29, Brian Earley 28, Wise 23 and Chuck Merriman 22.

Merriman is the only newcomer to the board; the others are incumbents.

The five will be sworn in at the association’s April meeting and will serve three-year terms.

The elections committee will recommend a slate of officers at the April meeting, Brown said.

Overtime police officers: San Diego police Lt. Rick Aguilar said officers are working overtime to address burglaries, speeding and bonfires in La Jolla.

Working with the office of City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla, patrol officers as well as plainclothes officers are working to protect La Jollans amid a series of burglaries, Aguilar said.

Two weeks after meeting with community members about a series of residential burglaries in La Jolla linked to a South American crime ring, San Diego police told the La Jolla Town Council on March 10 that another burglary occurred about a week ago, bringing the local total attributed to the ring to 19.

Officers also are working to address complaints about speeding cars along La Jolla Shores Drive and Torrey Pines Road, he said.

The Police Department’s Northern Division has acquired a “speed trailer,” which uses radar to alert drivers of their speed, he said. Officers will move the trailer around La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Clairemont and the University Town Center area.

Aguilar said his team of daytime beach officers also is working overtime to address illegal bonfires at La Jolla Shores and Marine Street Beach.

Ocean awareness: LJSA approved a concept for an ocean awareness event presented by board member Mary Coakley Munk.

The event, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, at Kellogg Park, would be similar to but expanded from last year’s event celebrating the Oct. 19 birthday of late La Jolla oceanographer Walter Munk.

More organizations will be represented this year, said Coakley Munk — who is Munk’s widow — with more interactive, educational activities “to honor Walter Munk’s legacy.”

Next meeting: The La Jolla Shores Association next meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, online or at a location to be determined. Learn more at