La Jolla planning group proposing changes including bylaws, board vacancies and a review checklist

The La Jolla Community Planning Association is considering changes to how it operates,  at the board's June 1 meeting.
The La Jolla Community Planning Association is considering changes to how it operates, as discussed at the board’s June 1 meeting.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Under its new leadership and with a deadline to align with new city reforms approaching, the La Jolla Community Planning Association is looking to make its own changes to its operations.

As discussed at the June 1 meeting at The Bishop’s School, the board plans to create a checklist for planners to refer to when reviewing or considering a project, establish a sub-committee to review the bylaws and propose changes, clarify the processes to remove a trustee, and more.

LJCPA President Harry Bubbins, who was elected as a first-time president in April, said he had met with city of San Diego staff to clarify the process of removing a trustee in the case of excessive absences. In the past, some trustees had been removed almost automatically when they missed three meetings in a row.

However, the LJCPA bylaws provide for a two-step process should a member’s attendance record be called into question. “I spoke with city staff at length about this, and both steps need to happen,” Bubbins said. “Our bylaws allow for us to declare a vacancy under certain conditions [such as absences] and then have a majority vote to remove a trustee.”

Trustee Ray Weiss noted that a few years ago, he was removed from the board due to absences without a vote.

Bubbins responded that “it looks like the procedure wasn’t followed in your case” but that he wanted to make sure the procedure was followed in the future. “The point of having a removal mechanism is in the event someone totally vanishes, it doesn’t mean if these things happen, they are automatically removed. That is what the city confirmed with me.”

La Jolla Community Planning Association chairman Harry Bubbins
La Jolla Community Planning Association chairman Harry Bubbins proposed some changes to how the board operates at the June 1 meeting.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Furthermore, Bubbins said he is creating an ad-hoc committee to update the board’s bylaws by the end of the year to bring LJCPA in line with recently approved community planning group reforms.

The San Diego City Council in September approved sweeping changes for the city’s 42 neighborhood planning groups in an effort to diversify their membership and make them better organized. Supporters say the changes will boost demographic diversity by requiring more aggressive term limits and encouraging the groups, which are now made up primarily of White homeowners, to recruit more renters and people of color. Community planning groups have until the end of 2023 to comply with the new requirements.

Thus, Bubbins said he was collecting active LJCPA members to be on the bylaws update working group and propose changes in the coming months.

Lastly, at the recommendation of fellow trustee LJCPA Joe Terry, the board may create a checklist of items to consider when reviewing a project. Terry said during a recent LJCPA meeting during which the Adelante Townhomes project was being reviewed, that certain steps were not followed.

“The job of the LJCPA and its committees is to call balls and strikes based on the strike zone … too often, they think their job is to define the strike zone,” Terry opined. “I think a checklist should be developed for the LJCPA and … it should be used at each meeting.”

Agreeing, Bubbins tasked Terry with creating the checklist and submitting it for review and possible implementation.

Other LJCPA news

Consent item pulled: A project at 8305 Calle Del Cielo was removed from the consent agenda — which is approved as a slate without discussion — for a full presentation and review the following month.

Any project can be removed from the consent agenda without a stated reason. Applicants at prior meetings had asked that a reason be given so as to address specific concerns.

Further reflecting changes the CPA board wants to make, a reason for the Calle Del Cielo pull was requested; the item was removed from the consent agenda because a neighbor wanted to make sure that changes that were promised at the subcommittee level were reflected in the plans.

Bubbins said it was “super helpful to have that information to move forward and address neighbor concerns.”

Instagram: The LJCPA also created an Instagram page to share information and reach a broader audience. “I understand we have had a good influx of membership interests” since the page launched, Bubbins said. “Part of the planning group reform is to do outreach and diversify attendance and membership, so I think we are on a good path.”

The LJCPA Instagram page can be found at

Next meeting: LJCPA next meets 6 p.m. Thursday July 6, at a venue to be determined. Learn more: ◆