Officials outline lottery for kayak launching


City officials said Tuesday they are considering a lottery system to help ease weekend congestion among kayakers at La Jolla Shores lone boat launch area.

Lifeguard Capt. Rick Wurtz and representatives from the city’s Parks and Recreation, Real Estate, and Planning Departments hosted a 90-minute workshop at the La Jolla Rec Center to discuss ways to better manage commercial kayak use at the end of Avenida de la Playa.

Wurtz said the proliferation of kayaks using the Shores launch area has become a problem during the peak tourist season on summer weekends from mid-June through Labor Day.

City officials listened and answered questions posed by Shores kayak operators.

Wurtz said the city’s proposal would call for a lottery for designated time slots on Saturdays and Sundays restricting the number of kayaks out on the water at any given time to a reasonable, manageable number.

Kayak operators were told they would need to submit a request for proposal - a formal application - to the city detailing their business plans and operating needs. The guidelines for those proposals will be released to kayak operators by the end of August or early September.

A panel of judges, yet to be named, will assess the merits of kayak applicants according to a number of yet-to-be-determined criteria. They will then pick those applicants who will be eligible for the kayak lottery, which is to be held before the 2009 summer tourist season.