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Plans for Kellogg Park cause a public uproar

The message delivered by the audience at an April 27 workshop on renovating Kellogg Park at La Jolla Shores came across unmistakably: No large-scale or dramatic changes are needed.

The meeting was hosted by the La Jolla Shores Association to exchange ideas for renovating Kellogg Park and its high-profile boardwalk. The event began with a walking tour of the park, followed by a discussion at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The workshop included the presentation of a plan to renovate the park and boardwalk. Those in attendance overwhelmingly opposed several points in the plan, particularly those calling for recontouring and landscaping the park.

One suggestion would create 8-foot-wide intersecting paths breaking up the park’s green lawn, allowing greater access for pedestrians and city vehicles while enhancing the park’s aesthetic profile. Another idea was to reclaim Vallecitos Court, commonly used by surfers and divers for pick-up and drop-off, by relocating the loading zone elsewhere and removing 10 or more parking spaces.

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Mark Broido, president of La Jolla Shores Association, said residents with a negative attitude toward proposals at the workshop were missing the point.

“The genesis of our planning,” he said, “was that the boardwalk and the seawall are in disrepair and could stand to be renovated. Then that got expanded into putting together a wish list, which led to thinking about what else we might be able to do.”

In formulating a plan to remodel Kellogg Park, Broido said the plan was not intended as a to-do list. It’s a starting point for further discussion.

“I was pretty lucid with the early parameters,” he noted, “saying, if money wasn’t an object, what might one do? That’s when people started thinking, what if you did some other things to the park?”

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Broido said the Shores Association is sensitive to the negative response to many of the ideas. “People were pretty clear that redoing or renovating the park isn’t really something they were interested in seeing.”

Broido said it’s unfortunate that misinformation had been spread, prior to the workshop, about what the Shores Association was trying to do.

“People were told we were presenting a fait accompli,” he said. “They were told we were going to bypass the city’s and the community’s approval processes. They were told we were going to be clear-cutting the park and a bunch of other things that weren’t true.”

Some longtime Shores residents who attended the April 27 workshop - Karen Boger, Craig Sweeney and Claree and Howard Doty - didn’t object to the plan so much as the way it was presented.

“First and foremost, everyone was concerned that there was no process,” said Boger. “The Shores Association knows very well this workshop should have been brought to public notice so the community could have their input on the goals of Kellogg Park. Everybody wants to be involved, especially because that park is for everybody in San Diego and abroad. We’re upset the process wasn’t followed.”