Bird Rock council grapples with city permitting process, seeks volunteers for ‘Birdstock’ event


By Pat Sherman

The city’s protracted permitting process was among topics discussed during the June 5 meeting of the Bird Rock Community Council (BRCC).

Bird Rock Fine Wine, a re tail store with a small tasting area at 5687 La Jolla Blvd., was slated to open in March. However, the business has yet to open due to city bu- reaucracy, BRCC President Joe Parker said.

“The operator is having to jump through substantial hoops with the city,” Parker said. “We have operators that come into Bird Rock that are paying a premium for rent and they get held up in the permitting process for so many months that it literally drives them out of business.

“Rather than things getting easier in this tough economy,” he said, “we seem to be hitting roadblock after roadblock with the city agencies and many times it’s fee-driven. Everyone’s in this recapture-your-costs mode because of the (strained) budgets.”

Parking issues

Parker said BRCC has received complaints about accessory structures in the parking lot of Julian Bakery, which he says has forced its employees to park on the street, taking up potential customer parking or street parking in front of homes.

Reached by phone June 8, Julian Bakery owner Heath Squire said the structures were needed to accommodate the bakery’s growing online business and have since been removed (Squire is opening a second location in Oceanside in the near future). A representative from the city’s code compliance department was scheduled to inspect the lot this week, he said.

“Yesterday, we took all the stuff to Oceanside,” Squire said.

One BRCC member noted an increased lack of street parking in the 5600 block of Chelsea Avenue.

Parker said the shortage on or near La Jolla Boulevard is an ongoing issue.

“I intend to speak with as many merchants as possible about your complaint and ask that they find ways to keep their employees from parking in front of people’s homes,” he said. “Legally speaking, it’s not something that we can control. The best we can do is to make sure they enforce and utilize their parking agreements.”

Merchant ID cards

The roughly 350 dues-paying members of the Bird Rock Community Council will begin receiving membership cards that will afford them of discounts at participating restaurants and shops. BRCC received money for the cards from the San Diego Business Improvement District (BID) Council.

“I think it’s a really great way to get people out on the boulevard to support the merchants,” Parker said. “I will admit that we shamelessly copied what the La Jolla Town Council did, (though) it was an idea that BRCC talk- ed about for years.”

Membership in the BRCC, and a subsequent membership card, is available for a minimum $30 donation, which helps fund BRCC’s e-mail blasts, charitable efforts, and merchant and resident outreach.

Festival helpers needed

BRCC is seeking volunteers for its street fair, “Birdstock: Taking it to the Streets,” scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 11. The organization has applied to the BID Council for a $2,500 grant to help fund the event, to include food and entertainment along the La Jolla Boulevard merchant corridor.

People with event planning backgrounds are especially needed. To volunteer, e-mail

In other BRCC developments

Lighting ceremony:

A ceremony to commemorate nine newly installed lights in the La Jolla Boulevard median is pending completion of work. A memorial plaque honoring

George Sutton

, the late BRCC member who spearheaded the project, will be affixed to the lamp post adjacent to Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.

n Welcome pillar: A resident suggested that a stone pillar welcoming visitors to Bird Rock be placed at the entrances to the community.

“We’ve actually had some interest from some folks about sponsoring a project of that type,” Parker said. “It’s kind of at its infancy stages.”

BRCC is also planning to refurbish an existing Bird Rock sign at the north entrance to the community, he said.

Infrastructure issues:

Repairs to a drainage ditch that is causing water to flow into the Pace Realty building at 5693 La Jolla Boulevard when it rains have been delayed. The project has fund- ing and was supposed to begin in February.

Also delayed are repairs to electronic crosswalk flashers near the roundabouts on La Jolla Boulevard.

“The equipment failed early-on after the roundabouts were constructed and required extensive repairs with new generation products, “Parker said. “It’s a major safety issue, so we regularly press the city to complete the remaining repairs.”

Trashcans needed:

BRCC seeks to replace trashcans that the city removed from Bird Rock’s coastal overlook points as a result of budget cuts.

“We’ve been enduring complaints about people leaving trash at those areas,” Parker said, noting that BRCC is seeking to fund replacement cans and trash pickup through either private donations or maintenance assessment district funds.

Food donation program:

Lisa and Rich Tear spoke about their “Second Saturday Club,” a program in which they collect perishable and non-perishable items from Bird Rock residents the second Saturday of the month. The items, which are collected from small bags left on residents’ doorsteps Wednesdays or Thursdays, are picked up on Saturday and distributed to North County food banks via Feeding America, Inc. In its first four months, the program has amassed 2,700 pounds of food and toiletries for those in need, Rich Tear said.

“We’re probably going to move it to a quarterly program,” he said. “This is a little way that the community can contribute, and we’re trying to make it as easy as possible.”

For more information about the program or to volunteer, email lisatear70@

Bird Rock Elementary gifts:

BRCC donated checks in the amount of $9,000 and $4,200 to Bird Rock Elementary School’s foundation, the former raised through the organization’s annual home tour. The foundation funds the retention of teachers to keep the class sizes low, as well as educators in physical education, technology and other speciality subjects.