Shores board backs extension for sound wall

A proposed extension of the sound wall along La Jolla Parkway got another nod of approval, when La Jolla Shores Association joined the La Jolla Town Council in voting to support the concept during its Jan. 14 meeting.

Further, the board voted to add the conceptual project to the list of capital improvement requests it will submit to the city for the 2016 fiscal year.

The current wall is 200-feet long, starting east of Ardath Lane along on the south side of La Jolla Parkway, a thoroughfare that reportedly sees more than 50,000 cars a day. The wall was constructed in the early 2000s to reduce noise, although project organizers argue it only does so for a select few homes. For residents living on parallel and adjoining streets, landscaping and trees are the only noise buffers.

Presented by Rick Adams, on behalf of residents who feel they are impacted by the vehicle noise of cars traveling to and from the 52 and I-5 freeways, the project proposes extending the sound wall tenfold, expanding eastward from its current endpoint up to around La Jolla Scenic Drive North. La Jolla Parkway does not intersect with La Jolla Scenic Drive North, but serves as a geographic reference.

“We would just hope for a continuation of what is already there,” Adams said.

Citing City of San Diego municipal code, Adams said noise limits in single-family residential zones range between 40 to 50 decibels, depending on the time of day. A 2004 traffic study conducted on La Jolla Parkway indicates noise levels average 75 decibels from passenger cars, and up to 90 decibels when motorcycles pass by. A photo Adams presented shows a sound meter pointed at La Jolla Parkway in an area not protected by the sound wall, registering 74 decibels as a truck passes.

A petition signed by 48 affected homeowners, representing 100 residents, was also presented. LJSA member Mary Coakley-Munk suggested that should the wall be extended, its appearance be visually appealing.

“Some areas have beautiful sound walls and if we were to do something, I would hate to see it be (unattractive),” Coakley-Munk said.

In agreement, Adams said, “This is the gateway to La Jolla, it’s not like we have five or six entrances ... so something special would be in order.”

The project was previously presented to the La Jolla Town Council, which gave its approval in September 2014, when a motion was passed to “have the city start looking at how to solve the noise issue in that area.”

Hoping for city support — as the project would not be privately funded — Adams said he and other project advocates would like to see it get the stamp of approval from applicable community advisory groups. Additionally, he said he would like to see the project on the capital improvement projects lists that several community advisory groups are drafting.

Granting both requests, LJSA voted to support the concept of an aesthetically pleasing extension to the noise mitigation wall along the south side of La Jolla Parkway. In a separate motion, the board voted to add the proposal to its “wish list” of projects it would like the city to fund in fiscal year 2016.

At the December LJSA meeting, Justin Garver, representing the office City Council President Sherri Lightner, explained that the list could contain “Anything within the purview of the group ... So when we go through the six-month budget process, we’ll have that list as opposed to having things come up in April, May or June, when it’s not as easy to add things.”

La Jolla Shores Priorities List

At the January LJSA meeting, the following list was created and approved, with the request the items be addressed as funding becomes available: n Allocation of city fees generated by the

La Jolla Shores beach concessions to the maintenance and improvement of the La Jolla Shores Planned District.

■ Increased staff hours and improved maintenance in Kellogg Park.

■ Dedication of the recently created park ranger position to Kellogg Park only.

■ More pairs of Big Belly-plus recycling trash cans along the north boardwalk, placement of blue beach cans on the boardwalk during off-seasons, and more frequent trash pick-ups for all Shores beach and boardwalk trash cans.

■ Boardwalk and sea wall improvement and beautification.

■ Allocation of staff hours for amending of the La Jolla Shores Planned District Ordinance.

■ Allocation of staff hours to explore incorporation of Allen Field and the homes along the northern end of La Jolla Shores Drive into the La Jolla Shores Planned District area.

■ Avenida de la Playa business district enhancement and reconfiguration to improve safety and aesthetics, including: increasing the visibility of stop signs and crosswalks throughout the business district on Avenida de la Playa; increasing the lighting (street lights) on Avenida de la Playa; extension of sidewalk, curbing and green space on Avenida de la Playa to the corner with El Paseo Grande; and widening of the sidewalk in front of Piatti Restaurant.

■ Landscaping for Laureate Park.

■ Extension of the noise mitigation wall along La Jolla Parkway.

— Next meeting: LJSA next meets, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11. Scripps Institute of Oceanography, Building T-29, 8840 Biological Grade.