La Jolla Town Council moves forward with new and returning officers

By Pat Sherman

Despite recent discord among its executive committee, the La Jolla Town Council’s board of trustees appeared to be back on track Sept. 13, during the organization’s regular monthly meeting.

District 1 City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner administered the oath of office to returning executive committee members Cindy Greatrex (president) and Sonia Marie Olivas (secretary), as well as to new executive committee members Steve Haskins (first vice-president), Peter Wulff (second vice-president) and Yolanda de Riquer (treasurer).

Greatrex and Olivas, who resigned from their posts last month, were reinstated after the disagreement was hashed out at a Sept. 4 special meeting, which led to the resignation of Ken King as former first vice-president and the censure of immediate past president Rick Wildman.

Children’s Pool lifeguard tower

During last week’s meeting, Lighnter also offered an update on several La Jolla projects, including replacement of the lifeguard tower at Children’s Pool.

Stronghold Engineering was awarded a contract to design and build the project, for which 90 percent of the design is complete.

A representative from Lightner’s office said the city must obtain an “Incidental Seal Harassment Permit” from the National Marine and Fishery Services (NMFS) before it can demolish the tower.

The city’s environmental consultant is working to obtain an exemption from NMFS. If the exemption is granted, demolition would likely be completed by November. If it is not and a permit is required, demolition will occur after the seal pupping season (Dec. 15-May 15).

Construction of the new tower will begin next summer and take approximately 220 days. Work will cease during the 2013-2014 pupping season, and resume in summer 2014.

Torrey Pines Road Corridor Project

Work on Segment 4 of the Torrey Pines Road Corridor Project — the first scheduled piece of the $26.5 million undertaking, spanning from Little Street to La Jolla Shores Drive — will not begin until the end of 2013, Lightner said.

Thus far, $1.2 million of Segment 4 has been funded, with an additional $4 million still needed to complete the work. So far, the city has spent $280,000 on the preliminary design of Segment 4, Lightner said.

“We have about $1 million we’re going to

use right now to move forward on certain things that the community actually requested,” such as moving light posts and other obstacles from sidewalks on the north side of Torrey Pines Road, from Prospect Place to La Jolla Shores Drive, and making curbs compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Lightner said.

The first installment of Segment 4 also includes installation of a new sidewalk between Calle Juela and Roseland Drive on the south side of Torrey Pines Road.

Remaining improvements in Segment 4 include work on the median, bike lanes, drainage, lighting and landscaping; installation of new fencing on the north (ocean) side of Torrey Pines Road; and reconfiguration of traffic lane widths. A diagram of the proposed work can be viewed at

Several storm water diversion projects along Torrey Pines Road also are planned for the near future. “When we get a timeline, we’ll be sure to share it,” Lightner said. “They (city officials) do have some concerns about whether they will require an environmental document or not, and we’re hoping not.”

Planned District Ordinance committee update

Town council trustee Michael Dershowitz noted that the PDO committee approved a permit for sidewalk seating at Herringbone restaurant on Herschel Avenue, though it denied the same for Puesto Mexican restaurant on Wall Street.

Dershowitz said Herringbone’s design still left the required amount of sidewalk space, while Puesto’s came up short.

“The standard is eight feet,” he said.

Dershowitz said the PDO committee and La Jolla Community Planning Association also sent a joint letter to city officials stating that the city is not “properly referring all projects within our planned district ordinance area in La Jolla for the community to review.

“Some of the projects have been very significant in terms of the scope and have involved changes that have made an impact on the neighborhood,” he said.

Asked if there was any legal requirement for the city to comply with this request, Dershowitz said there is not, “other than a sense of cooperation ... that’s been lacking.

“So far we haven’t had any positive (response) from the city,” he said.

Shoddy sidewalk solution

Egon Kafka with the Streetscape committee suggested that people report instances of cracked or uneven pavement to the office of District 1 City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner. When potential trip hazards are reported, the city typically patches sidewalks with asphalt, he said.

“I just think that looks so crummy,” Kafka said. “If your own block has got some problems like that I would encourage you to form a little group and pour some cement and do some repairs. It costs about $15 per square foot to remove sidewalk and replace it.”

In California, Kafka noted, sidewalk maintenance is the responsibility of the owner of the building adjacent the sidewalk.

Christmas Parade update

UC San Diego’s new chancellor, Pradeep Khosla, has agreed to serve as grand marshal of this year’s Christmas Parade, set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2.

According to parade organizer Ann Kerr Bache, the 55th annual La Jolla Christmas Parade & Holiday Festival, “Christmas in the Village,” will cost about $55,000 to produce, including insurance and city fees, and is still in dire need of funding.

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