La Jolla Town Council monthly recap

La Jolla Town Council (LJTC) approved a proposal by Hidden Valley Homeowners Association (HOA) to ask the City of San Diego to extend a 200-foot sound wall barrier along La Jolla Parkway to reduce traffic noise residents say exceeds levels recommended by the city and state.

The proposal, presented by Hidden Valley HOA President Richard Haskel, included a petition signed by 48 homeowners on Ardath Road, Ardath Court and other adjoining Hidden Valley streets.

Residents seek to extend the sound wall by about 1,600 feet to reduce noise in their community, which Haskel said has been particularly pronounced during summer months, when residents leave windows open at night to keep cool.

Haskel cited a study from 2004 showing that noise from vehicles traveling in and out of La Jolla averaged about 75 decibels. Acceptable noise levels established by the city are between 40 and 50 decibels for residential areas, he said.

“A motorcycle — and they’re a lot of fun as they turn up the power (going up La Jolla Parkway) — is 90 decibels; a diesel truck at 40 miles per hour, 50 feet away, is 90 decibels,” Haskel said, noting that a 2008 city study showed an average of 52,000 vehicles daily entering and exiting La Jolla via the busy thoroughfare.

Haskel said the small section of sound wall was added when The Throat intersection of Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Parkway was reconfigured during Scott Peters’ term as District 1 San Diego City Council representative.

“Why they stopped, we don’t know,” he said.

La Jolla Shores Association Chair Tim Lucas, who was in attendance, noted the Hidden Valley HOA will have to present its proposal to La Jolla’s other city advisory groups for approval, including the one he chairs, as well as the La Jolla Community Planning Association and Traffic & Transportation board.

Hidden Valley resident Julie Crawford said she and her neighbors would “at the very least” like city officials to send a traffic engineer to determine how high the wall needs to be and generally recognize the problem.

In the end, trustees passed a motion to “have the city start looking at how to solve the noise issue in that area.”

In other LJTC news

Alzheimer’s facility proposed for Fay Ave.: Several trustees, who also serve on La Jolla’s Planned District Ordinance (PDO) committee, talked about a proposal to convert a commercial building on Fay Avenue to a residential care facility for people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

The building at 7630 Fay Ave. was once home to the Chopra Center and, most recently, SPA MD cosmetic surgery center.

The proposed project, dubbed Monarch Cottages, would require coastal and site development permits, as well as a conditional-use permit for the 26-unit, two-story care facility.

LJTC trustee Joseph Pitrofsky said his colleagues on the PDO committee seemed generally impressed with the project, although they had reservations about its location — next door to the La Jolla Music Society’s planned performing arts center and across the street from the seven-screen Boffo Cinema complex under construction in the building formerly housing Jonathan’s Market.

“If this was like a block over on Eads, we’d say, ‘No problem, fits right in,’ ” he said.

The building is zoned for retail on its ground level, which is not part of the Monarch Cottages proposal. The applicant hopes to obtain zoning deviations by making elements of building environmentally sustainable.

PDO member and LJTC trustee Michael Dershowitz said the applicant, Brian Longmore, sent a notice to residents and businesses within a 1,000-foot radius of the project. “They have spoken to … the people who are going to be developing the movie theater across the street and the music hall next to it,” he said. “They said they’ve gotten everyone’s approval for this.”

Sprucing up ‘The Ivanhoe’: Pitofsky also noted a proposal before the PDO this month for aesthetic changes to the three-story building at 7817 Ivanhoe Ave. (at Silverado Street), housing Keller Williams Realty and other businesses. The work will involve new landscaping, the addition of trees along Ivanhoe and new paint to soften the appearance of the mammoth, gray structure (to be rechristened “The Ivanhoe”).

Bylaws changes afoot: LJTC President Steve Haskins announced appointments for an ad hoc bylaws committee to mull over suggested changes to the LJTC’s bylaws, which Haskins said he hopes to present to trustees next month for their consideration. Committee members, approved by trustees during the meeting, include Haskins, Pitrofsky, past president Cindy Greatrex and trustee Al Ramirez.

Cove Pavilion passes muster: Trustees lent their support to the new restroom proposed for Scripps Park, dubbed the La Jolla Cove Pavilion (see related merchants association story, page A1). The community group organizing the project, including Patrick Ahern and Judy Adams Halter, is seeking $26,000 by the end of September to complete a schematic design for the project. They are seeking private donations, as well as donations of $5,000 from as many as five local organizations, which would be thanked via a donor appreciation plaque on the side of the building.

“They represent thousands of people, so when we go out there we can say we have at least 20,000 people involved in this,” Ahern said, noting that having the community shepherd a majority the project would cost 30 percent less than having the city do it.

To donate or for more information, contact Adams Halter at (619) 890-3284 or, or Ahern at (858) 220-9001 or

‘La Jolla’ ship to be decommissioned: Haskins noted that the only warship named after the Village of La Jolla — the fast attack submarine USS La Jolla — will be decommissioned at the end of this year and converted to a training ship that will be permanently moored in Charleston, South Carolina.

The 360-foot-long ship was commissioned Oct. 24, 1981, and can be armed with anti-submarine torpedoes and Tomahawk-guided cruise missiles.

“Its final voyage to San Diego will be during the end of October and they are inviting up to 25 of us to take a tour of the submarine and Ballast Point Submarine Base,” Haskins said, adding the LJTC is organizing a reception for the 100-member crew of the ship at that time, possibly to coincide with a LJTC Sunsetter event.

Renewals up: Vice-President Glenda Rothberg said since the LJTC’s last meeting the council received $1,250 in membership renewal fees, following two mailings sent this summer.