■ La Jolla Cove project has five ‘pillars’: The La Jolla Cove Pavilion project, which will replace the nearly 50-year-old restroom facility at La Jolla Cove, earned enough cash recently to have an architect proceed with schematic designs, thanks to local organizations contributing $5,000 each.
The donors will be recognized with a plaque on the new facility as “pillars of the community.” Representing the five pillars are Dan Simonelli, president of the La Jolla Cove Swim Club; Marilyn Seals, president of La Jolla Sunrise Rotary; Jeff Laumer, community service committee program chair for La Jolla Kiwanis Club; and Russell King, president of the La Jolla Rotary Club. Not pictured is Mike Strong, president of the La Jolla Cove Bridge Club. The project co-chairs are Judy Adams-Halter and Patrick Ahern.
■ Commission OKs Jack O’ Lantern plans: During its Oct. 23 hearing, the San Diego Planning Commission approved plans to develop three townhomes on the site of the former Green Dragon Colony, along Coast Boulevard, between Goldfish Café and Brockton Villa restaurants.
Each of the three townhomes (two or three stories above basement-level garages) is named for an early 1900s cottage once part of the Green Dragon Colony. Each incorporates architectural elements from three of the original Green Dragon structures, including the Jack O’ Lantern, Gables and East-Cliff.
The development would take place on a steep slope that is part of a larger parcel that is 72 percent developed and includes Eddie V’s restaurant, Goldfish Café and office and retail space. Commission chair and architect Tim Golba described the property as a “double-fronted lot” with the commercial development in the commercial corridor on Prospect Street. Speaking in opposition to the project was Brockton Villa owner David Heine, who said he didn’t learn about the plans until days before the hearing, and is concerned the Jack O’ Lantern structure abutting his property would be too close to his restaurant patio, setting the stage for residents to file noise complaints. He said his restaurant serves as many as 700 people per day on weekends.
City of San Diego Senior Planner Chris Larson said the restaurant was sent a notice about the project and the hearing, and that an advertisement was also placed in a local newspaper. Architect Paul Benton, of Benton & Alcorn Architects, apologized to Heine for not phoning him personally about the project.
Because the property is zoned commercial — a deviation from which the applicant is seeking — development is allowed up to the property line, with no setback requirement (although ample setbacks have been provided along Coast Boulevard).
La Jollan Eric Korevaar said he felt the project did not include as much open space as the original cottages, and as such wasn’t certain it met deed restrictions put in place on the development as part of the California Coastal Commission’s permit approval.
Commissioner Theresa Quiroz suggested that Mexican fan palms (the approved street trees to be planted in front of the project along Coast Boulevard) “do not make the pedestrian environment better, do not provide shade and drop things that are dangerous onto the sidewalk.”
In the end the project design won out, and it was approved 5-1, with Commissioner Anthony Wagner in opposition (and James Whalen absent).
Golba advised the applicant to be a good neighbor to Brockton Villa during the process. “Just reach out to them,” he said. “They’re going to be knee-deep in your construction when you’re digging a 30-foot hole. ... They already have to suffer through the aroma from the Cove.” More about the project at bit.ly/GreenDragonSite
■ Reviewers approve Alzheimer’s facility: During its Oct. 21 meeting (and a final review of the project), the Development Permit Review Committee voted unanimously that findings could be made to approve permits for the Monarch Cottages care facility on Fay Avenue (in the old Chopra Center building).
The group’s recommendation will appear on the La Jolla Community Planning Association’s Nov. 6 consent agenda. Read more at bit.ly/MonarchCottages
■ Off-leash dog proposal withdrawn: After presentations from both sides of the Limited Off Leash Access (LOLA) proposal — suggesting a leash-free area for dogs before 9 a.m. on a La Jolla beach — the organization in support withdrew the proposal. LOLA founding member Nancy Linck, contacted La Jolla Parks & Beaches (LJPB) chair Dan Allen to notify him the item would not need to be discussed at the LJPB Oct. 27 meeting.
“Our group is evaluating the comments and suggestions made at the previous Parks & Beaches committee meeting and recently at the La Jolla Town Council,” her statement read. “When we are ready to proceed with our proposal, we will contact you to schedule it for consideration.”
■ Town Council reschedules Community Carnival: La Jolla Town Council decided to reschedule its inaugural Community Carnival to sometime in Spring 2015, trustees said. The carnival was planned for Saturday, Oct. 25 at the La Jolla Rec Center.
Town Council Past President Cindy Greatrex said, “We are definitely doing the Carnival! The funds have already been raised. I have the permit and CEQA filed; it will just need to go through Traffic & Transportation. It is going to be at the Rec Center (the Rec Board has approved this).
“The (Town Council-sponsored) USS La Jolla event (Oct. 21 and 23) took absolute precedence though, as the ship is leaving San Diego for good and time was of the essence.”
■ Coastkeeper to clean Shores beach, Nov. 2: San Diego Coastkeeper, an organization aimed at protecting and restoring fishable, swimmable, drinkable waters in San Diego County, has partnered with Little Mensches to host a beach cleanup at La Jolla Shores, starting at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2.
The effort is part of Little Mensches’ goal to “make the world better one Mitzvah at a time,” and approximately 80-90 children, 8 years and younger, are expected. The group said it selected a beach cleanup to help children “understand that caring for the environment is a good deed for the community,” and selected La Jolla Shores because many of its families spend time enjoying the natural beauty of the location. The cleanup crew will meet at Kellogg Park near the corner of Camino del Oro and Calle Frescota. (619) 758- 7743. SDCoastkeeper.org
■ DMV warns: Three feet of clearance to cyclists: The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is alerting drivers to a new law that requires them to give bicyclists traveling in the same direction three feet of clearance when passing. The Three Feet for Safety Act took effect Sept. 16. Under the previous law, a vehicle was simply required to pass to the left at a “safe distance.”
According to the new law, AB 1371, if traffic or roadway conditions prevent motorists from giving cyclists three feet of space, drivers must “slow to a speed that is reasonable and prudent” and only pass when a cyclist will not be in danger. Violations are punishable by a $35 fine. Motorists who collide with cyclists and injure them while violating the Three Feet for Safety Act can be subject to a $220 fine. DMV suggests referencing the California Driver Handbook to become familiar with the rules.
■ Aquarium names new interim director: birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Uc San Diego, has named Scripps alumna Deborah Zmarzly, Ph.D., as interim director. Zmarzly has been with birch Aquarium since 1993, and was most recently named the aquarium’s director of programming, tasked with setting and accomplishing strategic goals for the aquarium’s educational programming, including exhibits, school programs, volunteer services and public programs.
She will serve in this position while Scripps conducts a nationwide search for a permanent executive director. Zmarzly takes the reigns from Steven Schindler, who was appointed in June, during the search for a replacement for Nigella Hillgarth, who left in May.