Police to step up citations on unlicensed beach vendors at La Jolla Shores
By Ashley MackinTwo San Diego police officers made presentations during the June 12 La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) meeting at the request of board members seeking more information on crime at Kellogg Park.
Permits & Licensing Officer Cindy Meyer discussed how to identify licensed versus unlicensed solicitors and vendors, and Officer Tom Underwood talked about summer crime.
Afterward, the LJSA board discussed the challenges in re-establishing its non-profit status, and elaborated on the reasons for needing a ranger stationed at Kellogg Park.
About solicitingOfficer Meyer said the police department is working with lifeguards to empower them to issue citations to illegal vendors and solicitors.
At the Shores, ice cream trucks operating illegally are a cause for residents’ concern, so Officer Meyer stated the rules ice cream vendors must follow to operate legally.
Ice cream trucks:• cannot be parked without customers in line for business
• must leave when the line clears
• cannot drive through a neighborhood more than twice in one hour
• are not allowed to park and sell in parking lots
• cannot be within 500 feet of a school
• must have commercial plates (number, letter and four numbers)
• must display a city-issued vendor’s permit.
Any photographic evidence of a violation is always helpful, she said, and can be sent to CMeyer@pd.sandiego.gov
During the June 3 La Jolla Parks and Beaches meeting, several board memberswere concerned with vendors at Scripps Park. Meyer said any time a solicitor tries to get attention for the purpose of selling something, they must have a permit visible.
However, food truck vendors receive their permits from the San Diego County Department of Heath, and follow different rules. For example, they can park in parking lots with permission from the building manager.
Shores summer crime“Overall, crime is down except for auto theft and larceny (property theft),” Officer Tom Underwood reported, acknowledging more auto thefts in the Shores. Board member Izzy Tihanyi said she’s noticed the increase and recommends people not leave keys or bags unattended at the beach.
Underwood added cars should be locked and valuables not left in view.
SDPD’s summer beach team will be short staffed this year due to general staffing issues throughout the department. “The way it has worked in the past is every division in the San Diego Police Department lends some bodies to form a larger beach team,” he explained. “Usually with a beach team, we get eight to nine officers (on loan) for a team of 10 to 12.”
However, only two divisions were able to lend two officers each, and the beach team currently has six officers.Underwood added, “So if you know a specific area where it seems people are always out there drinking, please e-mail me and give me a call and I’ll specifically assign that area to the beach team.”
He can be reached at TUnderwood@pd. sandiego.gov or (619) 952-8447.
Non-profit statusLJSA Chair Tim Lucas told the board its status as a non-profit organization was revoked in May 2011 because there was a change in reporting requirements in 2007. The Internal Revenue Service had the incorrect address on file and the board was not aware of the new rules.
Having missed the grace period to earn retroactive non-profit status, LJSA is subject to corporate taxes and corporate tax penalties. Lucas said the donations received in the last three years are subject to a 15-percent tax and a delinquency penalty for not being reported until now.
LJSA voted to approve paying the $400 fee needed to apply for federal non-profit status, and will work to get other fees abated or reduced.
Lucas said the board still has tax-exempt status in the state of California, so it only must reapply with the federal government.
In the meantime, LJSA is categorized as a 501(c)(4) and any donations made are not tax-deductible donations and could not be used as a tax write-off.
Ranger callThe board has argued for months that Kellogg Park requires a ranger on patrol, and continued to enumerate reasons why.
“Kellogg Park is in such desperate need for a ranger and now, with the police being cut, even more so; the lifeguards have made it clear that they are not doing anything on the east side of the park,” said member Mary Coakley-Munk.
Lucas added that the lifeguards are neither able to look away from the ocean nor be away from their post to investigate possible issues on land at the park.
“That’s where a ranger ... on certain hours or certain days ... would be so big for safety,” Lucas said. “ ... to keep the lifeguards focused on what they should be doing — watching people in the water — and having other (guardians) who can spot drug use and other things going on.”
The board decided to form a committee to specify what hours, days of the week, months, and duties, they would like a park ranger to have so when they make a formal request, they have a detailed plan.
Lucas asked the board and audience members to take photos to document problems in the area so the committee has a base from which to work.
Next La Jolla Shores Association meeting:6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 10 at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography Martin-Johnson House (T-29), 8810 Biological Grade.