La Jolla’s Whale View Point shoreline project ready for approval
By Ashley MackinFinal plans for the Whale View Point Shoreline Enhancement Project, in the works for seven years, went before the La Jolla Parks and Beaches (LJP&B) community advisory committee at its Feb. 25 meeting for endorsement before presentation to the La Jolla Community Planning Association (CPA) and the San Diego City Council for ratification.
The plan outlines areas of improvement between the space commonly referred to as the Wedding Bowl (where Cuvier Street and Coast Boulevard meet) and the south end of Coast Boulevard Park. Before making an endorsement, LJP&B members decided to meet and walk the length of the project area before their March meeting to see first-hand what improvements are included and how they would be implemented. While some enhancements can go into effect in the very near future (such as comprehensive trash pickup), others will take several years to become reality.
During the presentation, Marty Poirier of Spurlock-Poirier Landscape Architects, creators of the plan, explained, “The master plan is a tangible roadmap to what needs to happen in this area. It’s priced to look at particular characteristics of each segment ... (because) every 100 feet, there is something special. Once you’ve identified the personality of each place, you look at the problems it has, the beautiful parts of it and what you might want to change. The plan provides a cost for those elements.”
The plan includes detailed design recommendations and a broken down budget to cover each piece as part of the larger project. For example, within the Picnic Ramble component, which totals $197,306 and would provide secluded picnic areas, there are nine sub-projects that could be completed any time funds become available, independent of each other.
La Jolla Conservancy representative Tony Ciani added, “We wanted the plan to be at this level of detail. We’ve been working on this for seven years. We started with walks and sketches and community input, by taking the suggestions to the coastal conservancy over and over and over, having the Coastal Commission walk it. Now it’s a significant plateau to spring from.”
The plan is broken down by geographic area, cost and task levels. Improvements in task level one require little permitting or agency approval and may be completed in the near future; level three tasks will require permitting and are considered mid- to long-term.
In 2007, the La Jolla Conservancy began holding community meetings to gather input on what needed to be done in the perimeters of Whale View Point. With the help of landscape architect Jim Neri, a draft plan was put together that received conceptual approval from the Coastal Commission, San Diego Park and Rec Department, and the California Coastal Conservancy. Since then, La Jolla Conservancy and Spurlock-Poirier have been working to complete the final plans.
■ View the Plan:
In other Parks & Beaches news:■ Suspicious tower: As part of his report, LJP&B Chair Dan Allen said he discovered something new at La Jolla Heights Park. “I drove up there (and saw) there is a 30-foot radio tower at the high point of the park,” he said. “(I thought) wouldn’t we be notified if there is a electronic tower in the middle of our open space park?” After calling the water department, Allen was told the tower was there for an issue “of national security,” and couldn’t be told more. He later found out it’s a radio tower that sends data on the reservoirs in La Jolla.
■ Children’s Pool project update: Phyllis Minick, organizer behind the beautification project to fix the sidewalk area above Children’s Pool, reported that she continues to get donations for the work.
“Though we have achieved above our original estimate amount, we are going to have a greater cost; we just don’t know what that is yet,” she said.
Minick also reported meeting with District 1 Councilmemmber Sherri Lightner’s office to discuss additional funding options, but nothing decisive came from that meeting.
■ Ocean signs: Regulatory signage will be posted this week around the South La Jolla Marine Protected Area (MPA), which spans on land from Palomar to Diamond streets. As far as an in-water delineation, Zach Plopper of Wildcoast said they are looking at something similar to the regulations used around the Oceanside Pier. At that location, a sign that reads “OK,” while in an area where human activity is allowed, on the other side it reads “KO” (Keep Out).
■ Restroom remodel: La Jolla resident Judy Adams-Halter, who has formed a 13-person committee to spearhead the renovation of the Scripps Park women’s restroom, said she hopes to present sketches at the March meeting. Pending approval from LJP&B, she said she plans to make a presentation to the CPA and La Jolla Town Council, with a capital campaign starting May 1. A link to donate to the project specifically, operating under the auspices of the 501(c)(3) of LJP&B, will soon be available at
LaJollaParksandBeaches.org— La Jolla Parks and Beaches next meets 4 p.m. Monday, March 24 at the La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.