La Jolla Shores group reviews plans for north comfort station

By Ashley Mackin

Days after the Friends of La Jolla Shores broke ground on the north comfort station Jan. 6, the La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) met to hear a presentation about its possible exterior decoration.

Simon Andrews and Lorraine Schmalenberger, on behalf of the La Jolla Shores Surfing Association, presented updated plans for graphic and educational panels with suggestions for safe and polite surfing that would go on the outside of the restroom facility.

The Surfing Code of Conduct will be displayed through illustrated panels with images of surfers and suggestions, such as “Communicate: Give warning like ‘right’ or ‘left’.”

Schmalenberger said she circulated the renderings to surfers, non-surfers and lifeguards for feedback, which, for the most part has been positive.

In response to non-surfers who wanted something historical on the station not related to surfing, Schmalenberger purchased photos from the La Jolla Historical Society — including some of beachgoers in 1920s-style bathing suits — they hope to transfer to porcelain tiles to decorate the exterior.

The La Jolla Shores Surfers Association hopes the photo tiles will draw people to the comfort station so they notice the surfing safety standards. “People need to know, even old surfers, I can tell you from experience,” Andrews joked.

Andrews said there would be minimal maintenance required on these panels and that the surface is easy to clean. Due to the durability of the porcelain coating, should it be vandalized, any solvent could be used to remove the graffiti.

Further, the textured materials used on the base of the new Shores lifeguard tower would be used on the new comfort station.

LJSA Chair Tim Lucas suggested, given that the proposal is still in development, that the Surf Association also incorporate information about the “stingray shuffle,” furthering the educational aspect of the panels. The stingray shuffle is the safety recommendation that beach-goers shuffle their feet when entering the ocean to scare off stingrays and avoid getting stung.

The Surf Association, which is donating the decorative and educational panels, will return to the LJSA with more formal details in the coming months. However, the board voted to approve the concept presented with unanimity.

In other LJSA news

■ Film crews in the Shores:

Nick LeBeouf, owner and operator of SD Expeditions, announced that “60 Minutes Australia” would be filming at the Shores for a special about sharks.

“Our company specializes in blue and mako shark diving 10 miles off the La Jolla coast,” LeBeouf said. “We’ll be filming for two to three days off La Jolla Shores starting Jan. 23, to show people that sharks are our friends and you don’t have to be afraid of them. They are more afraid of us.”

He also reported the BBC filmed a show at the Shores on the same topic in June 2013.

■ Galaxy Taco:

George Hauer, owner of George’s At The Cove and of the proposed Galaxy Taco, updated the board on his plans for the restaurant that will inhabit the former La Jolla Shores Market on Avenida de la Playa. He announced the restaurant would take up just over 5,000 square feet of the building, which Hauer estimates is about half of the total space.

Hauer said the food would be “urban street food” with tacos on tortillas made in- house, and priced reasonably. “Someone could dine there for $15,” he said.

Lucas explained to the board that because the restaurant construction is classified as a remodel, it does not require community review or a coastal development permit process.

“We plan on bringing our plans to the group for review because what we want to do is work with our neighbors to make something that works for all of us,” Hauer said.

■ David Alvarez mayoral campaign:

Anastasia Farber, communications coordinator for the David Alvarez for Mayor campaign outlined how Alvarez would serve communities like the Shores.

“These types of community forums are extremely important to him and he wants to be involved with community members,” she said, adding that the lifeguards union endorsed Alvarez. “He’s always happy to hear what advice or suggestions people have and to hear what their problems are and come up with solutions together. That is what is driving him to become mayor; to work with this community and all communities to represent all San Diegans.”

■ Next meeting:

La Jolla Shores Association will meet 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 8810 Biological Grade.