Merchants consider trash pickup, directional sign plans for La Jolla


Public asked to report overflowing trashcans to city’s Environmental Services Dept.

As part of the next phase of its Sparkle & Shine campaign, La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA) is heeding the call for someone to deal with the oft-uncleanly condition of common areas and accumulation of trash in the Village — filling a gap in city services.

The business improvement district (BID) group, which uses fees assessed on merchants to woo shoppers, host commerce-friendly events and spruce up the Village, unveiled Sparkle & Shine last summer. The first phase raised nearly $70,000 from residents and business owners who sponsored the banners on display throughout the Village and on Torrey Pines Road.

The money from those sponsorships is being used to steam clean Village sidewalks and trashcans.

Now, LJVMA is raising money to fund a trash collection program that will employ a worker to remove litter from sidewalks, gutters and planters, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday-Saturday. If the program is successful, LJVMA hopes to double collection hours and possibly add another worker.

Three-month (quarterly) sponsorship opportunities are available to fund the program. For $2,500 a business (or individual) can have their name and logo emblazoned on the side of an equipment pushcart used by the person collecting trash.

For $1,500 a business (or individual) can have their name and logo printed on the front and back of a polo shirt worn by the Sparkle & Shine worker three days per week, for three months (or six days a week, for $3,000). All donations are tax-deductible.

The first three months of sponsorship have already been secured, with Greg Noonan & Associates (of Berkshire Hathaway) and LJVMA trustee Michael Dorvillier (of Symbio Financial Partners) purchasing T-shirt sponsorships. Warwick’s Bookstore owner and LJVMA trustee Nancy Warwick purchased the initial pushcart sponsorship.

“It’s expensive, but it’s a wonderful promotion,” said Warwick, chief Sparkle & Shine organizer, who is being assisted by James Niebling of LJVMA’s Design Division.

More information about sponsorship opportunities at (858) 454-5718 or info@

La Jollans asked to report overflowing trashcans to city

During LJVMA’s March 11 meeting at Cuvier Club, Warwick said she contacted the city’s Environmental Services Department, in response to complaints about overflowing trashcans in the Village.

Warwick said she was notified that the city empties the cans on Prospect and Pearl streets seven days per week, although cans on other Village streets are only emptied Monday- Friday. In addition, the city observes 10 three- day holiday weekends in which trash is not collected either on the Friday or Monday accompanying that weekend.

According to Deputy Environmental Services Director Mary Valerio there are only two people employed to empty all 700 public trash containers citywide (the Village has 52). She said at this time there are no resources to increase either the frequency with which cans are emptied nor the number of public receptacles, though she said during the next few months the city is surveying the “fullness” of cans to see which ones may need to be emptied more frequently.

Some containers in La Jolla may be moved within the Village to sites that better serve the community’s needs, Valerio added.

La Jollans can report overflowing trashcans to the city any day of the week by leaving a message at (858) 694-7000. Warwick suggested concerned citizens load the number on their cell phones. “To delay calling in a report defeats the purpose of the call,” she said. “The next few months are crucial, as the city conducts its survey.”

City ups funds to help Village merchants fix shoddy sidewalks

Merchants who wish to follow Warwick’s lead — she replaced sidewalk in front of her business this month (and added up-lighting, new benches and planters) — can do so through the end of fiscal year 2015 and have the city pay 75 percent of the cost.

The city is responsible for sidewalk damage caused by vehicle accidents, watermain breaks, grade subsidence and trees within the public right-of-way, although normal sidewalk wear and tear is the responsibility of the merchant or homeowner.

An existing, 50/50 cost-sharing plan that reimburses property and/or business owners for 50 percent of the cost to repair or replace standard concrete sidewalks has been increased to 75 percent this year. After a field assessment, property owners receive a cost-share proposal by mail to sign and return. The waiting period for sidewalk replacement varies depending on backlog of requests. For more information, call the city’s Street Division at (619) 527-7500.

Merchants get behind way-finding signposts

Trustees also voted to move forward with a proposal by the Design Division to install seven “way-finding” (directional) signs and maps that would direct shoppers and visitors to participating sponsor businesses and key Village landmarks, such as Children’s Pool, Scripps Park, churches and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Similar signage programs are found in other walkable communities such as Encinitas, Hillcrest and downtown San Diego, noted Design Division chair Richard Walker.

The program would cost $20,000 to install seven, two-sided signs throughout the Village, including sites at Scripps Park, Children’s Pool, Prospect Street at Ivanhoe and Girard avenues, Girard Avenue at Silverado and Pearl streets, and at Pearl Street and La Jolla Boulevard.

The cost for merchants to have their business highlighted on the 8-foot-tall by 3-foot-wide signs/maps would be $400 — with a potential for a lower cost if there is a large enough response from the roughly 1,300 merchants in the La Jolla BID.

“If 50 people sign up, we’ve paid for it,” said Walker, noting that any money collected beyond the installation cost could be used to fund other LJVMA projects.

It would cost $1,500 to update the signs annually, though some trustees suggested the signs be digital so they can be updated as needed. The plan would be to eventually introduce an app that visitors could download and use on their cell phones for additional guidance.

Information on all signs would be the same, unless the response for sponsorship is overly robust, which would require creating unique signage for key Village micro- districts, possibly differentiated by their niche (such as La Jolla’s Arts & Culture District and Design District).

LJVMA board president Claude-Anthony Marengo cautioned that the signs should be delineated from other city signage and not appear as “urban pollution.”

La Jolla Village Merchants Association meets monthly at 8:30 a.m. the second Wednesdays at Cuvier Club, 7776 Eads Ave.