Community Planning Association aims to continue service to community

By Joe LaCava

President, La Jolla Community Planning Association

Your CPA elected its officers last month, and I humbly agreed to serve as president for another year. I have learned much since I unexpectedly took the reins two years ago — to be a cheerleader for the organization and the community, to respect every stakeholder, to be a community resource, to push information to our constituents (you!), to provide structure for others to do good work, to ensure open forums, to sustain positive relationships with council offices and city staff, and much more.

Working together we have made the CPA a better organization and more effective in serving our community. That effectiveness can be measured in several ways. We have seen an increase in the number of applicants choosing to redesign their project rather than take a recommendation of denial. We have been resolving issues with the city, although more work needs to be done. While not every city land-use decision followed our recommendation, we note that the city and the CPA agreed over 90 percent of the time in 2009. That enviable record isn’t very satisfying if you happen to live next door or down the street from a project that went askew, so the CPA will continue to work harder with all stakeholders toward our goal of every project complying with the Community Plan.

The heavy lifting of detailed project review is handled by the CPA’s subcommittees. Our current chairs — Tony Crisafi, Ione Stiegler, Helen Boyden and Todd Lesser — are doing a great job. I hope they will continue on for another year.

They say in a democracy you get the leaders you deserve. If the CPA is not serving your needs, please let us know by e-mail,, or by attending our meetings listed at