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Divided planning group OKs parking district

After lengthy and occasionally emotional debate, the La Jolla Community Planning Association on April 7 voted 10-7 in favor of a proposal by Promote La Jolla, the community’s business improvement district, to form a parking management district.

A room vote that included planners had a different outcome, with 19 voting in favor of the proposal and 33 voting against it.

There are two major sticking points in Promote La Jolla’s proposal to form a parking management district wholly within City Council District 1: the composition of the board that will govern the district as well as the insistence of many residents that there not be paid on-street parking anywhere in La Jolla.

Originally, Promote La Jolla wanted three of the nine seats on the parking district management board to come from Promote La Jolla, with the remaining two-thirds of the board being drawn from local planning groups and residents. The business improvement district representing about 1,400 merchants in the Village has since subtly revised its stance. It now wants to seat one member representing Village retailers, one member representing hotel interests and another representing the office sector.

Promote La Jolla’s retooled proposal also calls for adding a 10th member to the board and does not require Bird Rock’s board representative to be a merchant.

Promote La Jolla is clear that the proposal for a parking management district does not mandate the installation of parking meters or any other kind of paid, on-street parking.

“The parking district would be adminstered and operated by Promote La Jolla,” said Leslie Wade of Promote La Jolla, “which would contract with the city to take over some of the functions of the city, allowing La Jolla to have more of a say and come up with creative solutions specifically tailored to meet the needs and desires of people who live and work in the community.”

Wade said the merchants group is willing to spend $45,000 to set up and administer the new parking district in its first year.

On April 7, UCSD professor Ray Weiss reiterated his belief that Promote La Jolla’s having three members on the board is disproportionate, does not reflect the views of the majority of residents and essentially gives the business improvement district control of the parking management district board.

Several residents and planners spoke for and against Promote La Jolla’s parking management district proposal.

“This proposal is about money, how to get it and how to distribute it,” said David Little of Bird Rock. “It would create a bureaucracy and establish a tax for people to park on public streets.”

Planner Don Schmidt echoed Little’s sentiment. He likened Promote La Jolla’s having three of nine or 10 members on the group to Britain’s policy of taxation without representation that led to America’s War of Independence.

“If we approve of this board, we’re going to get paid, on-street parking,” Schmidt said. “Where are our property rights? We were elected on this board to do the people’s will. The people of