Children’s Pool Walk, Scripps Park Pavilion get city support

Two improvement projects under the auspices of La Jolla Parks & Beaches (LJP&B) — Children’s Pool Walk Beautification and Scripps Park Pavilion Renovation — have each been made a priority and been recommended for funding. A third, the Whale View Point Shoreline Enhancement Project, is also working toward beautifying the shoreline area of Coast Boulevard. With three major projects launching, LJP&B must now rearrange the priorities list it’s tasked with creating each year.

Children’s Pool Walk

The San Diego Development Services Department drafted a Mitigated Negative Declaration on the Children’s Pool Walk Beautification Project, based on study findings that the project will not have a significant effect on the environment. Comments on the adequacy of the document are being accepted through Nov. 21 The Declaration can be found here. Comments can be sent to DSDEAS@sandiego.gov with the project name and number in the subject line.

“This is the document that has been on hold since early March,” said project organizer Phyllis Minick. The Declaration is subject to mayoral approval and should that occur, “the only things remaining are an archeological resources report and then the final engineering plans, at which point we will get a final cost,” she said.

At the same time, the Department of Park & Rec has requested, and been preliminarily approved, $360,000 in Development Impact Fees for the project, Minick said.

“These funds will be reviewed over the next several months and if all goes well, will go before the City Council for approval early next year. We already have $75,000 (committed by the city) and if approved, the total allocation to the project would be $435,000,” she said.

The Children’s Pool Walk Beautification Project entails replacing and improving the sidewalk area above Children’s Pool.

Scripps Park Pavilion

With enough funding in hand to proceed with schematic design, the committee behind the replacement of the Scripps Park Restroom Facility, gave the green light to architectural firm Safdie Rabines, which will produce the schematic design. A public meeting is scheduled for Dec. 8 at the La Jolla Rec Center for residents to give feedback on the design.

To help fund the construction, the Department of Park & Rec recommended that approximately $250,000 from the Regional Park Improvement Fund be used to renovate the facility. LJP&B chair Dan Allen reported that further down the line, there could be another commitment of $700,000.

Each year, the Department of Park & Rec asks LJP&B to comment on the Regional Park Improvement allocations that apply to La Jolla, and with unanimity, the board voted to support this year’s recommendation.

Once designs are reviewed and commented on, the city would take the reigns during construction. Although the city has agreed to consider the submitted designs, it does not guarantee Safdie Rabines would be granted the construction contract.

“The partnership is one in which we are doing the designing and (the city is) doing the building,” Allen said. “It might get a little rough around the edges as far as cooperation, but so far we are on the same page.”

The Scripps Park Restroom Facility project entails replacing the more than 50-year-old restroom facility near La Jolla Cove.

Whale View Point

Ann Dynes, although not present at the meeting, requested authorization to proceed with minor improvements to the south end of Coast Boulevard as part of the Whale View Point Restoration Project. The project (renovating the shoreline piecemeal between 274 Coast Blvd. at the south end, People’s Wall at the north, the intertidal zone to the west and Coast Boulevard to the east) would cost $2.1 million and take 20 years to complete.

With funding available, Dynes contracted Black Sage Environmental to trim out and chip dead vegetation; groom tops and sides of native vegetation; leave chips onsite to use around base of plantings; block illegal trails with planting; planting, mulching and initial watering of up to 50 one-gallon native plants; fill eroded areas and install retaining boards to hold material in place to block off an illegal trail; install straw waddles to reduce erosion.

LJP&B authorized this action, as well as the purchasing of general liability insurance. Allen reported Dynes is also applying for a right of entry permit to conduct the work on city property.

Moving forward

Every year, LJP&B gives suggestions to the city’s Capital Improvement Plan Infrastructure Budget. In past years, improvements to the sidewalk above Children’s Pool and renovations for Scripps Park and South Coast Boulevard Park were among the top five suggestions. Now covered by the projects detailed above, the board must decide how to rearrange its list, deciding what projects to recommend to the city.

One project on the LJP&B horizon is cleaning Children’s Pool beach. The California Coastal Commission made the decision to close the beach during the harbor seal pupping season, Dec. 15- May 15, with the condition that the city examine water and sand quality there and determine quality improvement methods during the five-year period the beach-closure permit applies.

Hoping to find a method of cleaning the beach that would be acceptable to the city, should cleaning efforts be required after the water and sand quality are examined, a LJP&B subcommittee was formed. Allen said he would talk with city staff to see who would be willing to participate in a workshop and when it could be held.

– La Jolla Parks & Beaches meets 4 p.m. fourth Mondays, at the La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. In light of the holiday season, the board decided to combine its November and December meetings on Dec. 8.

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