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Community Viewpoint: Kayakers lack respect

Thank you to Dale Naegle for clearly expressing what so many of us feel about the explosion of kayak businesses in our area.

The business owners and employees completely disregard and disrespect our residential neighborhoods. They park their vans and trucks in front of our homes on residential side streets where they have no other business. They are not providing a service to the adjoining homes or visiting friends. They are using our neighborhoods for free storage.

Some of the streets are narrow and their vehicles reduce the street to one lane. They park in such a way as to impair one’s ability to see oncoming traffic and, frankly, the garish ads on the vehicles are a visual blight.

Their customers take over the sidewalks so that we no longer feel safe walking down Avenida de la Playa. Literally, there are mobs of people creating a human wall on the sidewalks. Many swing their oars in a dangerous manner. And where do they get off taking over Laureate Park as their training and staging area? We haven’t been able to use the park in months!

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These kayak businesses are making a profit at the expense of the residents and other businesses in the neighborhood. Whatever modest fees they may pay to the city doesn’t begin to cover the use of the park, the sidewalks and the streets as an extension of their business. They are confiscating public property for personal use.

Whatever the number of kayak businesses, they should be required to train their customers on their own property and to store their equipment and vehicles on their own property.

These business owners are a part of a community and have responsibilities to their neighbors to conduct their operations in a manner compatible to the neighborhood. If they don’t, the neighbors will come together to seek government and legal regulations.

Lynn Schenk, Former U.S. Congresswoman

La Jolla