Planning group elects trustees, considers other projects in La Jolla
Trustees note opening of Nautilus Street view, delay action on reservoir removal and replacement
The La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) elected seven candidates to its board during its annual membership meeting, March 5 at La Jolla Rec Center.
Six candidates will serve three-year terms, and the other will fill a two-year term created when Rob Whittemore resigned from the board last fall. Those elected, in order of votes received, include:
• Attorney Glen Rasmussen (105 votes)
• Current trustee Janie Emerson (re-elected with 102 votes)
• Former LJCPA trustees Jim Fitzgerald (87 votes)
• David Little (84 votes)
• Tom Brady (78 votes)
• La Jolla Shores Association member Dolores Donovan (71 votes)
• Architect Brian Will, who serves on the LJCPA’s Development Permit Review subcommittee, received 63 votes and will fill the two-year board term.
There were 126 votes cast, representing 74 percent of LJCPA membership, making it one of the highest election turnouts for the group, which is officially recognized by the City of San Diego to make recommendations on development and infrastructure projects in La Jolla.
In other planning board news
Bylaw changes adopted: LJCPAapproved changes to its bylaws, required to bring the association and 41 other community planning groups throughout the city into compliance with a November update to City Council policy 600-24, which outlines standard operating procedures and responsibilities for the planning groups.
LJCPA bylaws committee chair Cindy Greatrex said the changes were largely “cosmetic,” rather than procedural.
Member Ed Comartin noted the association lost 32 members during the past year, and encouraged others to attend LJCPA meetings and those of its subgroups. Board president Joe LaCava said the LJCPA went after 34 departing members “pretty aggressively,” although only two returned. “People are at different places in their lives,” he said, adding, “the greater variety we have the better off we are in terms of representing this community.”
LJCPA litigation: LaCava also noted that the San Diego City Attorney’s office will represent LJCPA in the election lawsuit filed against it by La Jolla Shores resident Bob Whitney and architect Michael Morton.
During last year’s annual election, in which Morton received the fewest votes, LaCava was elected to a third consecutive term in excess of the LJCPA’s two-term limit via an interpretation of LJCPA bylaws (as then written) that allowed for candidates to serve a third term as long as they receive more than two-thirds of the vote. (Morton ran again this month, but did not receive enough votes to be elected).
Karen Bucey, the City of San Diego community planner assigned to La Jolla (in attendance to monitor the election) confirmed that the LJCPA’s newly adopted bylaws give unambiguous precedence to new candidates over termed-out candidates, as long as the new candidate receives at least one vote.
Whitney project back on the table: On a related note, on March 26 the San Diego Planning Commission will again consider Bob Whitney’s three-story, mixed-use project proposed for 2202 and 2206 Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla Shores (the final environmental impact report for which has been completed). LJCPA has long opposed the project due to concerns with its perceived bulk and scale. Whitney is seeking coastal and site
development permits to demolish two existing structures in the Shores’ commercial zone to develop the project.
Action delayed on reservoir work: The board voted to table discussion of the city’s plans to replace the 720,000-gallon La Jolla View Reservoir and completely remove the Exchange Place Reservoir near Torrey Pines Road until the release of a draft environmental report.
The work is scheduled to begin in October 2016 and be completed in April 2018. (See story on page A1).
The city plans to hold an open house at La Jolla Rec Center in August to provide the public with more information on the project.
In regard to the fate of vacant land that will be created by removing the Exchange Place reservoir, a city representative said the public utilities department would be contacted to see if they can use the land, or the city’s Real Estate Assets Department may decide to sell it, although nothing has yet been confirmed.
In order for the land to be used for recreational purposes, such as a park, the water department would have to sell the property to the city’s parks department with money from the city’s general fund to “reimburse” water ratepayers, LaCava noted.
Another view unblocked: Sally Miller noted that fencing blocking ocean views along Nautilus Street (near West Muirlands Drive) has been removed. LaCava said the fencing was a code enforcement issue and its removal was hastened by the office of City Council President Sherri Lightner.
Pottery Canyon update: LJCPA member Don Schmidt noted that the planned capping of an old city dump site at Pottery Canyon, to reduce toxic runoff, has been considerably delayed. City of San Diego Senior Planner Joel Hyatt told La Jolla Light the job will now begin in late summer, “to avoid breeding season and before the rainy season.”
Undergrounding forum: A meeting to discuss two phases of planned electric line undergrounding work near La Jolla Shores and the northwest side of Mt. Soledad will be held 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 18 in Sumner Auditorium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, near Kennel Way and Paseo Grande.
Silver Street plans pulled: The proposed Silver Street Village Homes project (at Silver Street and Draper Avenue) was also pulled from the consent agenda for further discussion by community member David Little, due to his concern with a lack of ground-floor retail in the project.
The 18-townhome project was approved last month by the LJCPA’s Development Permit Review subcommittee (read more at bit.ly/silverstreet).