Group looks at potential boundaries for city of La Jolla

By Dave Schwab

Staff Writer

A nonprofit group reinvigorating the decades-old quest to make La Jolla its own city continues to kick around ideas for how best to accomplish that goal.

One idea that came out of Independent La Jolla’s August meeting last week was to extend a future city of La Jolla’s boundaries outside the 92037 Zip Code to embrace University City as well as to include the high-tech businesses on Torrey Pines Mesa.

Another idea, suggested by longtime La Jolla businessman and hotelier Bob Collins is to use the area defined by La Jolla’s Community Plan as the basis for drawing the boundaries of a new city of La Jolla.

Cindy Greatrex, president of the public advocacy nonprofit, said she intends to follow up on both suggestions.

“UTC has a lot of possibilities from the standpoint of a feasibility analysis,” she said, but added including UTC within a new city’s boundaries also presents some new difficulties. “We’d have to do a new feasibility analysis, because the last one we did was only done on the 92037 footprint.”

As far back as the1940s, various groups have tried intermittently to organize and explore the possibility of La Jolla’s incorporating. During the last attempt in 2006, a fiscal analysis was done which showed a budget surplus of more than $5.2 million resulting from La Jolla becoming a city.

But, Greatrex has noted, state law also requires that “the city of San Diego cannot suffer financially due to a village seceding.” That law requires “alimony” be paid by the newly forming municipality to the entity from which it is detaching to compensate it for any economic loss. The 2006 feasibility study estimated those payments would be $4.6 million a year for four to eight years after a new city of La Jolla is formed.

The incorporation proposal now on the table calls for creating a new city that would encompass the 92037 ZIP code area from Torrey Pines Golf Course to Turquoise Avenue, bounded on the east by Interstate 5 except for a small loop that would take in UCSD Medical Center and Thornton Hospital, La Jolla Country Day School, the police substation and a couple of office buildings and the La Jolla Marriott.

Greatrex said it is her understanding that UCSD must be included in any new city of La Jolla because law forbids the creation of “islands” when a new city is formed.

Greatrex said incorporating would require working hand-in hand with LAFCO, the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) that has countywide jurisdiction for formation and development of local government agencies.

“At the end of the day, it is LAFCO that will decide the borderlines, not Independent La Jolla or anyone else,” she said said.


Independent La Jolla