Bird Rock Community Council looks to make itself ‘more attractive, rewarding and fulfilling’

Bird Rock Community Council members Paul LaFrienze, Joe Terry, Joe Parker and Craig Bender attend the April 4 BRCC meeting.
Bird Rock Community Council members Paul LaFrienze, Joe Terry, Joe Parker and Craig Bender attend the April 4 BRCC meeting at Bird Rock Elementary School.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The board is developing a plan to increase awareness, interest and participation in its activities.


The Bird Rock Community Council is looking to boost its community presence with more events and initiatives intended to increase participation, and it wants to create a multi-point plan with community input to get there.

The mission of the Community Council, President Joe Terry said at the group’s April 4 meeting, “is to engage in all activities that enhance the growth and improvement of Bird Rock as a vibrant and diverse neighborhood” of La Jolla.

BRCC administers the Bird Rock Maintenance Assessment District, through which property owners pay an assessment for care of Bird Rock’s public spaces beyond what the city of San Diego can provide, including landscaping and litter removal. It also promotes community involvement and economic well-being.

To further its mission, BRCC is developing a plan to “make participation on the board more attractive, rewarding and fulfilling for current and potential board members” and “do the same with respect to the participation of others in the activities conducted, sponsored or facilitated by the BRCC,” Terry said.

As part of the plan, he added, efforts are underway to “restructure the board and community meetings to make them more interesting, informative and productive,” increase the number of board members and public participation, and raise “the Bird Rock community’s awareness of proposed changes to development policies for La Jolla and proposed developments in Bird Rock.”

Formal adoption of the plan is expected at the Community Council’s next meeting.

“Input from the community will help the board implement the elements of this plan, so if you have a good idea, don’t be shy, let us know,” Terry said. “This is a team effort to retain the good things about the Bird Rock community.”

To help get there, BRCC Vice President Joe Parker said, the board is reviving its monthly happy hours, during which historical photos of the area from the private collection of a resident will be displayed. About 40 people attended the first community happy hour March 23 at Beaumont’s restaurant.

“A number of things were discussed, such as what is happening in Bird Rock, what [guests] would like to happen and what they can do to ensure the right things happen,” Terry said. “So it was very productive.”

“This is a team effort to retain the good things about the Bird Rock community.”

— Bird Rock Community Council President Joe Terry

“We hope that by having this fun connection to the community, we can get more volunteers, more awareness and a connection between the BRCC and the community,” Parker said.

Resident Don Schmidt said some locals feel “neglected” by the Community Council and that their needs are not reflected in board activities.

“The board needs to think long-term about coming up with a strategic plan … and through that, build a committee system to divvy up the work and create a farm system for future board members,” Schmidt suggested.

Fellow resident Sharon Wampler said that by creating committees, community members with singular interests can participate without committing to full board meetings.

One effort the board is considering is “adopting” a beach so the group can be responsible for its cleanup and care. BRCC member Barbara Dunbar said the beach being considered is Sun Gold Point (also known as PB Point) at the beach access at the end of Linda Way.

The board also is updating its website,, to include more events and news and is posting to the Instagram handle birdrock_communitycouncil.

Other Bird Rock news

Street work: Road resurfacing now happening in La Jolla’s Village “may be … happening eventually down here,” said Steve Hadley, representing San Diego City Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla.

Work is underway to mill and prep seven Village streets for slurry seal, a pavement preservation method consisting of asphalt emulsion, sand and rock applied to the surface at an average thickness of a quarter-inch. The slurry is expected to be applied in May.

Hadley said the current state of area streets is short-term. “If anyone asks you if this is how they are going to look [forever], you can tell them it is temporary.”

He added he would provide more information if Bird Rock streets are scheduled for resurfacing.

Pedestrian crossings: Terry said several pedestrian-activated crosswalk lights need to be repaired and that he has been in contact with the city to get them fixed.

“Either they are not well-designed and do not provide enough light, people forget to push the button and/or they are in disrepair and are on constantly or don’t work at all,” Terry said. Ideally, he added, they all would be replaced with more modern signals.

Newer lights are “brighter and better at getting drivers’ attention and … saving pedestrians that are not paying as much attention as they should,” he said.

Commendation: Former BRCC President John Newsam was presented a commendation by Hadley on behalf of LaCava.

Newsam was honored for his service to the board, Hadley said.

John Newsam is flanked by Steve Hadley (left) and Bird Rock Community Council President Joe Terry.
John Newsam is flanked by Steve Hadley (left) from San Diego City Councilman Joe LaCava’s office and Bird Rock Community Council President Joe Terry as Newsam receives a commendation for his service to BRCC.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Newsam, who was termed out from the board in December, said “it was great to have the opportunity to serve alongside some wonderful people … but I’m pleased to have a break.”

Next meeting: The Bird Rock Community Council next meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 2, at Bird Rock Elementary School, 5371 La Jolla Hermosa Ave. Learn more at ◆