Planning group backs Children’s School expansion

Community planners drew applause from the crowd supporting their school last week when they voted 10-0-1 to support The Children’s School’s plans to add classroom space so they can add seventh and eighth grades.

Parents of the school wearing tags saying “We’re here for the school” accompanied by their offspring packed the La Jolla Recreation Center as the La Jolla Community Planning Association took the matter up again.

The hearing was a continuation of an earlier, lengthy meeting on the proposal which ran long.

Representatives of the nonprofit private school, originally built in 1954 at 2225 Torrey Pines Lane, say its expansion will upgrade parking areas and improve efficiency of drop-off and pick-up areas.

Enrollment limits

The school just signed a long-term lease extension with the San Diego Unified School District, which owns the six-acre property. Children’s School has agreed to cap its enrollment at 262.

In a goodwill gesture toward neighbors, the school has agreed to slurry seal Calle Juela, an unimproved public road abutting it, which it said will protect the road for five years. Calle Juela has always been used as access for staff parking and trash pickup at the school.

Singular opposition

Jim Kelly, representing the school, presented an overview of the project.

Dan Courtney, who lives near the school, then gave an opposing presentation.

He said he is not opposed to the school or its plans to expand, but is just concerned that it be done properly. He said the school has been operating without a site development permit which he believes should be required to ensure neighbors that the school will hold to all the particulars of its expansion agreement.

At the Dec. 4 CPA meeting, Courtney presented a list of more than a dozen conditions he’d like to see attached to The Children’s school’s expansion.

Planners did not attach any to their vote.

Speaking for the school, parent Jim Kelly said many of the suggested conditions were acceptable, but added existing uses at the school are allowed under its current zoning, and therefore a site development permit is not required.