La Jolla Shores Association gears up for new comfort stations

By Ashley Mackin

La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) board member Mary Coakley-Munk addressed three points related to the comfort stations at Kellogg Park in her report during the group’s Oct. 9 meeting.

North Comfort Station

Though LJSA voted several times during the past few months on which materials would be used for the new North Comfort Station (construction of which is slated for early November and involves demolition of the current comfort station), yet another vote was called.

The board originally approved using the same graffiti-resistant material to coat the exterior of the North Comfort Station that was used for the South Comfort Station. However, because the stone and roofing design approved for the South Comfort Station was selected to match nearby La Jolla Shores Hotel (to give a cohesive appearance), the board ultimately opted to have the new North Comfort Station designed with materials that would match its nearest landmark — the new lifeguard tower.

At last month’s meeting, the board voted to approve the use of regal-stone, so the exterior of the North Comfort Station matches the lifeguard tower, again, to show cohesion. LJSA also voted on a peaked, tiled roof for the station.

Coakley-Munk said she met with roofers to determine what kind of tile would be most appropriate for the new North Comfort Station. Based on concerns related to bird droppings, the roofers suggested installing a low-slope roof (which does not have a peak and would not disturb the view) with a different material.

Coakley-Munk said for the project to begin on schedule the plans should be complete and include the roof. The LJSA decided to call a special meeting to discuss the issue further and see station renderings before voting. At the special meeting, which was held Oct. 14, the board voted to approve the low-slope roof with the material suggested by the roofers.

Once the North Comfort Station is constructed, a tile “surfing safety” mural will be installed on the wall. President of the La Jolla Shores Surfing Association, Lorraine Schamalenberger, presented mural renderings to the group for feedback. Because LJSA was only approving a mural concept and not a draft image, the board asked that an image not be made public until something more formal is approved.

Schamalenberger said the mural would be kept simple, minimizing language instructing surfers what not to do and instead, focusing language on what they are allowed to do.

The proposed design shows five waves, each with the image of a surfer and a suggestion on it, such as “Communicate: Give warning like ‘right’ or ‘left’.” Surf Diva instructor and board member Izzy Tihanyi said she has seen similar designs that work for people with short attention spans or those eager to get into the water.

She also said, based on her experiences, people don’t understand that black-and-yellow checkered flags indicate a surfing area, and suggested this information be added to the surfing safety mural.

The board will vote on an official rendering at next month’s meeting.

South Comfort Station

At the South Comfort Station, which has unisex toilet stalls and one vacant stall, Coakley-Munk reported that the City of San Diego intends to place a vending machine in the vacant stall, in accordance with the city’s concession contract.

However, because the machine has yet to be installed, Coakley- Munk said she would prefer that an additional toilet be installed there, and asked LJSA to approve sending the city a letter making that request. The Friends of La Jolla Shores group would pay for the toilet, she said.

Coakley-Munk requested an immediate vote on the letter because it would need to be drafted and sent to appropriate parties so that if approved, the additional toilet could be integrated into the construction of the North Comfort Station.

The group voted 11-0-1 to write a letter to the office of District 1 City Councilmember Sherri Lightner affirming it would like the space to house an additional toilet instead of a vending machine.

Off-leash dog park response

After approaching the La Jolla Parks and Beaches group with his concept for an off-leash dog park north of Scripps Pier, La Jollan Rob Whittemore said he would reach out to the LJSA for similar feedback. He did not attend the Oct. 9 meeting, but John Bavasi, a volunteer at Scripps Coastal Reserve, did. Bavasi spoke on behalf of the UCSD Natural Reserve system to voice opposition to an off-leash dog park.

“The proposed area is an environmentally sensitive, year- round, research and teaching area,” he said, adding that it is “a state marine conservation area and an area deemed to be of biological significance at which special measures are taken to keep the seawater clean and natural and limit discharges of any sort, including that of off-leash dogs.”

Bavasi said there is also a concern that dogs will disturb roosting birds and buried grunions.

After his comments, LJSA Chair Tim Lucas said that Whittemore told him the process is too difficult to pursue, and that he would no longer be supporting the idea.

In other LJSA news

■ Fall Fest: The event will return to the Shores, 4-7 p.m. Oct. 24 along Avenida De La Playa. Terry Winn-Kraszewski reported that children’s band Hullabaloo will perform. There will also be a bounce house, face painting and a kids’ train. The “passport” is $5 in advance and $10 at the event, which includes free food tastings from participating vendors. Passports are available at Ocean Girl, 2162 Avenida De La Playa; Surf Diva, 2160 Avenida De La Playa; and Hike Bike Kayak 2216 Avenida De La Playa.

■ Shores fees: Lifeguard Lieutenant Rick Strobel assured that LJSA’s ongoing requests that money collected by outdoor recreation RFPs (fees) at the Shores be funneled back to the Shores have not fallen on deaf ears. Member Janie Emerson’s comment, “It just seems unfair that money collected from the Shores goes to the (city’s) general fund and not back to the area it’s coming off of,” was heard “loud and clear,” Strobel said. He also confirmed that discussions have taken place on the subject.

— La Jolla Shores Association next meets 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography Martin-Johnson House, 8840 Biological Grade.