After a dispute over work on a parking lot overlooking WindanSea Beach flared up, police were called in early Wednesday to intercede in a verbal altercation between a group of locals and construction workers.
“The call came in at 6:56 a.m.,” said Det. Gary Hassen, senior police public information officer. He said a group of about 20 people protesting in cars had parked their vehicles where no parking signs are posted.
“There was an arrest made,” he said. “One of the demonstrators took keys out of a worker’s truck. Somebody went to jail.”
Hassen said police were on the scene until about 11 a.m. keeping the peace between the two sides, talking with people, working things out. He added no vehicles were towed and the incident ended peacefully.
Michael Jamgochian, an ophthalmalogist driving by WindanSea this morning on his way to work, said he witnessed someone standing in the way of a bulldozer-like (road) paver. “Police officers were there keeping the peace,” he said. “There was a fenced-off area. Somebody spray-painted on the sidewalk, ‘Save Our Parking Lot.’ ”
Jim Neri, a La Jolla landscape architect who also witnessed the incident, said the confrontation was caused by “localism.”
“Some people don’t want to see things change,” said Neri, a member of Friends of WindanSea, an ad hoc group that has been working since 1997 on plans to improve WindanSea Beach by putting in sidewalks, benches and coastal-access stairways.
“We had this plan approved in 2000 and have been implementing it over the years. This (parking lot improvement) is simply the next phase of the plan.”
Rumors were being circulated in the local surf community that construction on the parking lot was to put in a “doggie park” or a new bathroom facility down at WindanSea.