Changes may be coming to Shores, La Jolla parks



Two initiatives are in the works that La Jollans should pay attention to.

The Community Planning Association (CPA) is the single voice recognized by the city on land use issues. Similarly the city typically relies on a single voice on park issues, but in La Jolla we have three voices.

An 11-year-old letter that is a perfect illustration of “balkanization” splits the advisory role on our community’s parks between three different organizations. Each has been a good steward, but times have changed as the community and the city demand greater accountability and transparency.

Should we stay with the three-way split, pare it down to two, or perhaps have all parks under one organization? That is the question for La Jollans over the next few months. The La Jolla Shores Association, La Jolla Park & Recreation Inc., and Town Council’s Parks & Beaches will be discussing this issue at their October meetings.

Last month kicked off an ambitious effort to revisit the La Jolla Shores Planned District Ordinance (PDO), the zoning for all of La Jolla Shores. No other part of La Jolla is as consistently contentious as projects in the Shores. Residents, property owners, architects and city staff are all equally frustrated by regulations that rely on good graces and modest expectations to retain the charm of the Shores.

Conventional zoning which relies on well defined quantitative regulations can seem harsh and fail to inspire the PDO’s goal of “unity with variety.” So what to do? Tweak the PDO, throw it out and rely on standard city zoning, and every option in between are all possibilities.

If you live or own property in the Shores, please participate in important discussions that will affect the future of your community. The next meeting is Wednesday, 4 p.m. at the La Jolla Recreation Center. E-mail to be notified about future meetings.

Pundits reflecting on recent local, state and federal incidents wonder if civil discourse is possible in today’s world. From what I have seen so far, these two processes offer a real opportunity for La Jollans to work together to achieve positive outcomes. Let’s hope I am right.

Joe LaCava is chairman of the La Jolla Community Planning Association.