La Jolla Shores Kayak business owner says offending trucks have been sold

■ Shores Association to revisit business contract rules and regulations

By Ashley Mackin

At the La Jolla Shores Association meeting Feb. 12, David Teafatiller, owner of Hike Bike Kayak in La Jolla Shores addressed the controversy surrounding his company’s commercial trucks parked around the Shores — and the solution he found.

Discussion included reasons why this became such a talked-about community issue in recent months, and upcoming revisions to regulations for kayak concessionaires and Request for Proposals (RFPs) that affect how these companies operate.

Teafatiller told the board that he has sold the two white box trucks at the heart of the problem, and purchased an off-site parking space for the remaining vehicle.

He said the offending trucks, vandalized more than once in recent months, were part of the deal when he acquired the business. Several trucks deemed unnecessary were sold right away, but he kept a few box trucks and other transport vehicles.

For five years, the trucks were parked remotely near Scripps Institute of Oceanography. During that time, Teafatiller said he never heard any complaints about their placement.

“Two months ago, they started getting tagged and someone let the air out of the tires,” he said. “At first we thought it was random, but it started happening again and again, so I thought ‘OK someone doesn’t want the trucks here.’ So we brought them down and parked them in the community.”

With regard to future issues with vehicles used by business in the community, Teafatiller said, “If you don’t like something I’m doing, come talk to me, we’re not going to be vengeful against you. If you come and talk to me I am going to try to do something about it.”

Other water sport operators, such as Surf Diva co-owner Izzy Tihanyi, Everyday California co-owner Chris Lynch and La Jolla Kayak co-owner Sharon Luscomb, said they feel the same way and that if anyone in the community takes issue with their company’s property to talk to them directly. However, Lynch also asked for leniency from the community while construction Project 809 is going on at the end of Avenida de la Playa. During this construction period, the loading area these companies use, aka the boat launch, is unavailable to them, so they have to load and unload equipment at other locations.

“We know it is taking a bit longer to load and unload, but once the 809 Project is done and we have access to the boat launch, we won’t have to use those other places (and might be more out of sight),” Lynch said.

Revising business contracts

Another solution on the horizon is an updated Request for Proposal (RFP) contract — which all recreation companies must sign in order to conduct business on city property (like the beach) that dictates how the companies can operate.

Lynch explained that everything — from how many kayaks are allowed on the beach at any given time to how many people they can have in the ocean at any given time, to what their company’s trucks look like — is outlined in the RFP. Based on recent community concerns, he expects to see regulations on where commercial trucks may or may not park in the revision.

RFP contracts are revised every few years, and the next version is being drafted. In the coming months, kayak vendors will meet with lifeguards to determine what needs to be addressed in the next RFP and offer their recommendations.

In signing the RFP, businesses agree to pay 10 percent of their gross revenue, which goes to the city’s general fund, a point of controversy.

Tihanyi noted, “As a board, part of our effort has been to ensure that 10 percent generated from each of these operators goes back to the coastline or to the lifeguards or to pay for a ranger. Now it goes to the (City of San Diego) general fund.”

A longtime goal of the Shores Association is to have any funds raised in the Shores return to the community for local improvements.

This has not been approved and integrated into the RFP as of yet.

— La Jolla Shores Association meetings take place at 6:30 p.m. second Wednesdays at 8840 Biological Grade.