Fire safety, water among topics that need to be addressed

By Joe LaCava

President, La Jolla Community Planning Association

In last week’s Light, Joe Dicks highlighted an important but frequently ignored topic, fire safety. Many of our homes are tucked into the open space, canyons and hillsides of Mount Soledad. These create desirable home sites, but the high potential hazard of homes against natural vegetation must not be ignored.

New construction is required to comply with the city’s brush management zones, but the rest of us are left to our own devices. If you live on a hillside or canyon rim, go outside and survey the natural vegetation. If that natural area caught fire how easy would it be to protect your home? Check out

for advice on creating defensible space around your home.

To be blunt, the city has nearly given up on trying to educate La Jollans on the importance of being pro-active instead of re-active. Neighboring communities have formed Fire Safe Councils to take on this challenge.

Isn’t it time we did too?

From fire to water

We are currently in Drought Response Level 2, which curtails our irrigation to 7 minutes three days a week. There is talk of making that restriction permanent. Yes, spending tax dollars can bring more water from a variety of sources (Delta, seawater, reclaimed, indirect potable reuse.) And yes, the city should be more effective in managing new growth and converting its landscaping to drought-tolerant.

But what if we residents stepped up first and led the “sustainable” way? Your CPA supported the concept of making the current restricted use permanent on a split vote but only if the city also moved forward with those other elements.

As someone who favors organizations, I want to take a moment to thank those who subscribe to a different philosophy — just do it. There are too many to list, but I thank them for their tireless and independent efforts and I hope you will too. But organizations are important as well. Whether you look to the CPA, the La Jolla Town Council, La Jolla BID, La Jolla Shores Association, or the Bird Rock Community Council, these organizations only provide leader-ship when there is a broad base of active participation by engaged stakeholders. Decisions are being made that affect our community. Don’t be left out — get involved!