City says Riford Center side entrance unnecessary

By Dave Schwab

The Riford Center will not be required to have a temporary construction entrance for the disabled on Bonair Street, the center board’s president said Monday.

Glen Rasmussen said in an e-mail to the Light that the city attorney’s office has ruled that “during construction (the ambulatory disabled) can continue to enter and exit the Riford Center by the rear door. The city has also mandated the second construction entrance must be in the front of the building.”

Rasmussen added the Friends Board believes “these city directives may insulate the board from liability that may arise from the alternatives the city has mandated.”

After hearing of the city’s decision, neighbor Tricia Kaye responded via e-mail: “We welcome the Riford Center’s decision to provide equal access for all at the front door, by providing an ADA-compliant ramp. We also welcome the finding that a side door is not required for other purposes, since it would have been an unnecessary commercial encroachment on a residential street.”

Last week, after hearing Kaye and other residents’ protests about the proposed temporary construction entrance, planning group trustees referred the Riford Center ADA-access ramp back to the La Jolla Planned District Ordinance (PDO) Committee for further review.

Rasmussen said Monday the board is not required to go back to the PDO for additional public review adding, “To be honest, I think it’s moot.”

Noting the board “is rather disinclined to engage in any further public forums,” Rasmussen added, “if something constructive can come of it, the board may vote for it.”