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CPA is taking its job seriously

By Joe LaCava

President, La Jolla Community Planning Association

By the time you read this article, your Community Planning Association (CPA) will have spent the morning at the Planning Commission appealing the city’s approval of a large condominium project. Why? To defend the integrity of the Community Plan and its vision for accommodating thoughtful change while preserving what we all love about La Jolla.

In two weeks, the CPA will be at another appeal, this time of a smaller project where the question is the integrity of the La Jolla Planned District Ordinance with its vision for preserving the look and feel of our Village.

These two appeals, especially the latter, have raised questions as to the CPA’s motivation and why it insists on fighting to the end. We do not take dragging an applicant through an extended process lightly for we understand the pain, but we do take our role seriously. Despite the slings and arrows from a recent editorial and an understandably irate merchant, there is little doubt that the CPA is doing exactly what the community is demanding — the clear and consistent defense of the regulatory documents that guide development so that applicants and City Hall know that we will take them seriously. After all, do we want City Hall unchecked in its approvals of projects in our community or do we want to be a partner in thoughtful decisions?

Besides measuring projects against the regulations, the CPA also provides an open forum for community input — input that is surprisingly varied as we see how those precious regulations affect real projects and the lives of real people. We often refer to “La Jollans” as though we are a homogenous block, but we are in fact a diverse group with different takes on everything from the look of the Village to the size of new homes to everything in between.

And remarkably, we are often guilty of complaining in private, breeding nothing but frustration and cynicism, rather than using community processes to raise issues, vet solutions and achieve results. Don’t wait until an issue is personal; get involved now because every change has an incremental effect on our quality of life. Join us tonight at 6 at the La Jolla Recreation Center for the regular monthly meeting of your CPA.