Community Leader’s View: Input on redevelopment is key


By Tony Crisafi

President, La Jolla Community Planning Association

The partial description on the University Heights website for a presentation of history of individual property rights state that “land-use restrictions must advance a public purpose, be fairly and reasonably applied, and leave property owners with economically viable use of their land.”

According to city policy 600-24, the community planning groups are charged with implementing land use policy vis-à-vis the city’s General Plan, the local Community Plan and specific land use plan.

In La Jolla, 27 members of the community volunteer, in total, hundreds of hours every month on project review at the joint committees public-meeting level. This is where the bulk of project review work begins and sometimes ends. As neighborhoods transition continuously with redevelopment, several have recently or soon will be faced with the extinction of single-story CC&Rs, homeowner association reviews and other private restrictions. As this occurs, the burden and responsibility of project review will shift further onto the community review process.

Some of that responsibility shift will be subtle; other parts less so. As an example, in a single-story Shores neighborhood, the minimum building coverage equals a 0.6 maximum floor area ratio (FAR), yet no longer so as one-story restrictions extinguish. Theoretically 0.6 becomes 1.2 yet no application has come close to proposing 1.2 FAR in the single-family zone.

However with redevelopment trending upward, I am thankful for the efforts of these community volunteers; wish to acknowledge the difficulty they face in balancing public and private property rights through this process, and also the long-term value they provide as a result of their decision-making.