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Let’s get benefit for Village disruption

By Cindy Greatrex

La Jolla resident

On March 9, the Village of La Jolla was thrust into the public eye, although not in a way that we were expecting. Actually, we were not expecting anything that day, as our Village council was not made privy to these events beforehand either.

Our moment in the sun? We were the backdrop to a television show whose production locations sprawled across the Village. At first blush, the filming of a television show or movie does not seem to be detrimental, as one would assume some direct spending and some positive economic impact. But a closer look at the facts is troubling: Dozens of parking spaces were overtaken by production trucks and equipment, with filming and cleanup stretching past 5 p.m., despite a permit that expired at 2 p.m.

Economic prospects start to dim when one notes the block-long catering truck and dining tent parked along Cuvier, and the fact that this filming is a one-day affair. Combine these factors, and it becomes clear that the direct spending is nil — there is little chance of our hotels or restaurants being utilized by the crew.

Other cities cover the inconvenience caused by TV/film shoots by charging a daily fee for permits. Los Angeles keeps a tight watch on these permits, with city workers ensuring that crews leave when the permitted time expires. On March 9, there were trucks blocking parking spots on Silverado, Wall, Girard and elsewhere, hours beyond the permit expiration limit.

As a Village, we should protect our assets and infrastructure by charging fees to those who wish to utilize them for for-profit ventures such as a film, and we must petition for greater visibility into San Diego film permits, as well as lobby for some enforcement if the allotted permit window is overrun.