Revisions ahead for La Jolla Shores kayak contracts

How a kayak company operates, including equipment staging and storage in La Jolla Shores, is determined by an evolving Request for Proposal. Ashley Mackin

By Ashley Mackin

At the July 9 La Jolla Shores Association meeting, Lifeguard Lt. Rich Stropky said the kayak business contract — Request for Proposal (RFP) — is rewritten every few years to accommodate changing needs of both the community and the kayak operators, and now is the time for public comment on any related issues.

The current contract expires this fall.

“What we need now is feedback from the community on things they like and don’t like (about current operations),” he said. The comments will be taken into consideration when the new terms of the city contract, which kayak concessionaires must abide by in the Shores, are set, he said.

There are five kayak concessionaires in La Jolla Shores that are currently under a RFP agreement and between the five of them, they offer 54 tours per day with 10 boats per tour.

Suggestions provided at the meeting for ways to improve current use addressed equipment storage, the height limits of stacked kayaks on the beach, parking options for concessionaire vehicles (including using the Kellogg Park parking lot during night hours when it is closed to the public), noise abatement, the overflow of people waiting to rent kayaks spilling into the street, and crowd control.

How a kayak company operates, including equipment staging and storage in La Jolla Shores, is determined by an evolving Request for Proposal. Ashley Mackin

Most notably, the question was asked if it could be written into the RFP that some of the fees kayak operators pay — 10 percent of their gross income — could be earmarked for improving the Shores.

The operating fees currently go to the City of San Diego General Fund.

LJSA Chair Tim Lucas said, “The community is the one feeling the impact of these kayak operations and the city is collecting all the money and not giving it back (to Shores improvements).

“The operators I’ve talked with would like a portion of their money to come back here to improve the area and keep things running smoothly.”

LJSA treasurer Ray Higgins said it seems their request “is not being heard at City Hall,” so the group asked that it be written into the next RFP.

The LJSA will agendize the RFP item again to gather more feedback.

To offer input on the issue, send an e-mail to

In other LJSA news:

■ DecoBike dismissed:

City Council District 1 representative Justin Garver announced that DecoBike, a proposed citywide bike-share program, has removed the locations suggested for La Jolla Shores from its map.

“They are still moving forward with the Village and Bird Rock stations, but right now La Jolla Shores is not being pursued,” he said.

There are eight locations planned for the Village of La Jolla and two for Bird Rock, and a final map of San Diego locations will be posted Aug. 1 at

■ Donor bench opportunities:

LJSA member Mary Coakley-Munk said there would be nine benches surrounding the North Comfort Station in Kellogg Park, and six of them are available as donor benches.

“The city has agreed to let us use bronze plaques on each of the benches so donors at the $10,000 level or above can have a bronze plaque (on the bench),” she said. “It’s a unique opportunity.”

■ Map mess:

Coakley-Munk also said Friends of La Jolla Shores is continuing its mediation over The Map project — an educational art installation at La Jolla Shores that has crumbled to the point of being a safety hazard — with TB Penick, the company that installed the laminating coating agent lithocrete, which crumbled.

A court date has been set for April 2015, but the group should know by the end of summer whether they will need to go to court. If that is the case, they will find a temporary solution to the safety hazard the map presently poses. “We will meet with the Department of Park and Rec and Council District 1 and figure out how we will handle it,” said Coakley-Munk.

Next meeting:

LJSA will not meet in August. Next meeting is 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10 at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, 8840 Biological Grade.