By Dale Naegle
The quality of La Jolla Shores has in the past and is once again being threatened by its success.
Too much of any one specific commercial use will distort the charming balance of activities and services which have attracted residences and businesses to our village in the Shores. The combination of restaurants, business services and residences has made us unique; our community has become an urban goal for all of San Diego.
Our beautiful beach, the underwater park, sensitively serviced by the Kellogg Park, The Beach and Tennis Club, Sea Lodge, and our village attracts international and national tourists who demand a quality place to vacation and spend their money.
The Shores community is finite, and is built out to the maximum permitted by existing zoning. The beach, intended for family use, has reached it’s maximum holding capacity based on the size of it’s parking lot and the street parking within walking distance for individual family automobiles, and not buses.
The influx of kayak services, now at eight and growing, has reached a saturation point prompting our property owners to complain bitterly about crowded sidewalks, of cruise ship customers waving oars and pushing themselves to and from the beach, and trash and garbage overflowing into streets that are filling up with sand from kayak truck tires.
When quality is preserved, our commercial area will continue to attract owner/occupants living on the upper floors of our village that care about what is going on in the streets and alleys. Their around-the-clock presence discourages thieves and rowdy behavior - just ask any policemen. Security is a worthwhile quality to preserve.
Recently the city stopped the misuse of single-family homes being converted into mini-dorms because of increased demand for parking on lawns.
Kayak businesses require much more parking to service their 40-plus customers per-day than the retail shops they replaced and are crowding out parking for our existing services and residences.
The city and Coastal Commission must establish an appropriate parking requirement before a kayak business can be permitted. They must insist that the training, dressing and washing sand off feet be done within their business premises and not on our public sidewalks and Laureate Park.
When high-rise buildings threatened our community 30 years ago, La Jollans insisted a city ordinance be adopted that would restrict the height of buildings. Once again its time that an equitable ordinance be adopted to restore and preserve our unique quality of life.
La Jolla Shores is a San Diego treasure but we will have to fight to keep it from becoming a honky-tonk typical beach town.
Dale Naegle is a La Jolla architect.