La Jolla Shores Association approves ‘gentle’ redesign of proposed stairs at Spindrift Drive beach access

A new handrail and stairs are planned for the beach access next to The Marine Room in La Jolla Shores.
(Courtesy of Patrick Ahern)

The La Jolla Shores Association unanimously supported adjustments to the design for a handrail and reconstructed stairs at the beach accessway next to The Marine Room restaurant off Spindrift Drive.

The approval at LJSA’s Aug. 10 meeting came a month after the board supported a previous version of the plans.

The repairs, in the works since 2018, are intended to improve conditions that have resulted in slips and injuries over the years, according to the project’s supporters.

The original plan called for a handrail to be affixed to a neighboring building, but that changed because of liability concerns for the property owner.

The July plan called for a freestanding railing not attached to private property and for a redesign and rebuild of the deteriorating lower stairs.

The redesign, a collaboration of La Jollans Patrick Ahern and Kurt Hoffman, will continue the stairs at the corner of the residence on the left side of the access and add a railing.

The beach access redesign for the stairs and railing at Spindrift Drive in La Jolla has been adjusted slightly.
The beach access redesign for the stairs and railing at Spindrift Drive in La Jolla has been adjusted slightly.
(Courtesy of Patrick Ahern)

The landing at the turn will be wide enough to accommodate someone carrying a kayak or paddleboard, La Jolla resident Patrick Ahern said.

The change uses a “gentle approach” that will be “safer and easier,” he said.

The first $100,000 for the project will come via the city of San Diego’s capital improvement projects list according to a priority set by City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla.

Ahern said additional funding will come from sources to be determined.

Other LJSA news

Operating budget: LJSA board members unanimously approved an operating budget for the year.

The budget, created for the 2022 calendar year, is necessary for LJSA to be eligible for grants from San Diego County, association President Janie Emerson said.

With grants, LJSA will be able to fund various projects within its boundaries.

For calendar year 2022, LJSA estimates it will have $9,725 in expenses, including insurance payments and printing and technology costs, and the same amount in income from donations and other sources. The group estimates it will retain $6,421 in reserves.

Capital improvement projects: Emerson asked board members to think about what they want added to its list of desired capital improvements.

Suggested projects are forwarded to the city for approval and funding, if available.

Emerson noted that a crosswalk with reflectors and flashing beacons at the intersection of Vallecitos and La Jolla Shores Drive, approved earlier this year, still hasn’t been done.

In February, city spokesman Anthony Santacroce said installation would happen in the 2022-23 fiscal year after funding is made available. The fiscal year began July 1 and runs through June.

On Aug. 10, Emerson said stop signs and pedestrian crossings at intersections from La Jolla Shores Drive to the ocean should be added to the CIP list.

Emerson said she will collect ideas for the list, which will be merged with ideas from La Jolla Parks & Beaches and the La Jolla Community Planning Association.

The list should be firm before Friday, Sept. 30, when LaCava needs to turn it in to the city, according to his representative Steve Hadley. ◆