LJCPA, meeting in person for the first time since 2020, explores ways to return to online gatherings

The La Jolla Community Planning Association meets in person for the first time in three years at the Recreation Center.
Members of the La Jolla Community Planning Association meet in person for the first time in three years March 2 at the La Jolla Recreation Center.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Ironically, at its first in-person meeting in three years, the La Jolla Community Planning Association discussed a possible avenue to return to online meetings.

The March 2 gathering at the La Jolla Recreation Center also provided a forum for the board to lend its support to the 2023 La Jolla Concours d’Elegance car show, hear about an effort to cap short-term vacation rentals and announce results of the board’s latest election, which had its own twist with seven candidates running for eight seats.

Online meetings

The Community Planning Association board has been looking for a way to continue virtual meetings since the state announced in October that the COVID-19-related state of emergency declared by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2020 was coming to a close at the end of February.

Those governed by the state’s open-meetings law will have to resume in-person meetings when the emergency declaration expires at the end of this month.

Feb. 6, 2023

After that, all groups governed by the Brown Act, California’s open-meetings law, had to resume in-person meetings. They had been allowed by Assembly Bill 361 to have online-only meetings during the state of emergency.

LJCPA is recognized by the San Diego City Council to make recommendations to the council, Planning Commission, city staff and other government agencies on land-use matters.

State Senate Bill 411, submitted by Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-Burbank), would allow planning groups in cities of more than 3 million people to continue having meetings online.

As it reads now, Los Angeles, with a population of around 3.8 million, would be the only California city that qualifies. The city of San Diego has about 1.38 million people.

LJCPA President Diane Kane asked for her board’s blessing to send a letter to Portantino’s office to support the bill and see if it could be amended to include smaller cities like San Diego.

“This is not the only community in support of that,” said Mariah Kallhoff, field representative for state Assemblywoman Tasha Boerner Horvath (D-Encinitas), whose District 77 includes La Jolla. Kallhoff said the item is being watched as it goes through the Senate and the Assembly because “this is one of those hot topics right now.”

The LJCPA board voted unanimously for Kane to send the letter, and asked that she report on any findings next month.

Concours d’Elegance

LJCPA voted unanimously to support the upcoming Concours d’Elegance luxury and classic car show in La Jolla’s Scripps Park. The 17th edition of the Concours will be April 21-23 with setup in the days leading up to it on Coast Boulevard between La Jolla Cove and Girard Avenue.

The board also supports a family’s proposal to install a memorial bench at the La Jolla Bike Path.

Jan. 23, 2023

Advisories for temporary street closures will be posted two weeks in advance, with additional signage about no-parking zones posted 72 hours ahead.

Car lovers fill Scripps Park for last year's La Jolla Concours d'Elegance.
(Milan Kovacevic)

Proceeds from the Concours benefit the La Jolla Historical Society, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

Historical Society Executive Director Lauren Lockhart called the Concours “the most important annual fundraiser for ... our public programs and operating costs.”

She credited the work of a volunteer committee led by Michael Dorvillier for the event’s growth “as one of the premier Concours events in the country.” She added that she expects 15,000 to 20,000 people to attend.

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Short-term rentals

In a presentation similar to one she gave to the Bird Rock Community Council last month, Bird Rock resident Trudy Grundland continued to seek support for a cap on whole-house short-term vacation rentals in areas experiencing what she considers saturation.

Bird Rock resident Trudy Grundland (left) and La Jolla Community Planning Association President Diane Kane
Bird Rock resident Trudy Grundland (left), with assistance from La Jolla Community Planning Association President Diane Kane, provides signs to demonstrate her concern about short-term vacation rentals.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Earlier this year, Grundland started counting and mapping licensed whole-house rentals in her neighborhood — the area bounded by Calumet Avenue to the west, Chelsea Avenue to the east, Sea Ridge Drive to the south and Midway Street to the north — after seeing an influx of houses available as rentals. Soon after, she mapped the entire 92037 ZIP code where short-term rental licenses were granted.

“The streets that line the water are the densest streets in terms of short-term rentals, with the Beach Barber Tract/Windansea area being the most dense area,” she said.

She said her area also is densely occupied by short-term rentals. “That means sleepless nights … for three to six months out of the year. People forget how the noise travels. I might as well have them standing next to my head.”

LJCPA’s decision comes after it receives arguments against the approval from former City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner over the proposal’s review process and ‘misuse’ of a density bonus.

March 6, 2023

Grundland says she found it “misleading” that the city of San Diego announced it was capping the number of whole-house rentals at 1 percent of the city’s available housing, since that doesn’t consider saturation in one area.

“If we can do anything as a group, we can please get the city to raise the rate for those that want to get a license in an area that already has a lot,” or propose a cap in such areas, she said.

The LJCPA board did not vote, but Steve Hadley — representing the office of City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla — said Grundland’s comments would be considered when the ordinance that regulates short-term rentals has its annual review.

Election results

The recent LJCPA board election had only seven candidates, including four incumbents, running for eight available seats. The process to fill the eighth seat is still being finalized.

The winning candidates, in order of votes received, are Patrick Ahern, Ray Weiss, Larry Davidson, Bob Steck, Harry Bubbins, Brian Williams and Dan Courtney. The first six will get three-year terms, Courtney will serve two years and the eighth trustee seated will get a one-year term.

Kathleen Neil, representing the election committee, said there were seven legible write-in candidates, four of whom were disqualified due to ineligibility. Of the remaining three, Suzanne Weissman (who served on the board since 2018) got eight votes and local architects Trace Wilson and Michael Morton got one each.

Should Weissman decline the post, it may go to one of the other write-in candidates, Kane said.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Community Planning Association’s next meeting is expected to be in person, but a location was not announced. Learn more at ◆