La Jolla Shores board informs police about distressing park issues
At the La Jolla Shores Association Nov. 12 meeting, board members and residents took advantage of San Diego Police Lt. Scott Wahl’s presence to discuss issues in Kellogg Park. Wahl, who was recently assigned to Northern Division, said he would attend the meetings whenever possible.
“I couldn’t be more excited to be here ... my responsibilities include patrol operations from Torrey Pines down to SeaWorld, from the I-5 freeway to the water; filtering com- munity concerns and staffing resources to meet the needs of the community,” he said.
In this case, the needs of the community were expressed by LJSA chair Tim Lucas, with photos provided by a resident who documented the most frequent park problems. Among them was excessive use of barbecues; off-leash dogs; people smoking cigarettes and marijuana; empty alcohol containers; overflowing trashcans; a “crack pipe” left on a park bench; motorists stopping in a “no stopping anytime” zone to load beach gear instead of using the designated loading zone in the parking lot; and homeless people sleeping in the park.
Many of these issues, LJSA members argued, would be reduced by increased police presence or a ranger stationed at Kellogg Park.
“The city needs to allocate police resources (to this park),” Lucas insisted. “Having someone randomly go through the park every once in a while would really add a lot of order to park use.” Lucas added that a diver used to have a deal with local teenagers in which he would pay them $10 for each time they spotted a police officer or patrol car. “With the exception of the morning drive-by, the diver didn’t have to pay any of his workers,” Lucas said.
Member Mary Coakley-Munk reported that with construction underway at the Children’s Pool and Cove lifeguard towers and increased marine mammal presence, greater numbers of divers are coming to the Shores, increasing park use.
Wahl explained the police department has a Beach Team to provide additional patrol, but it is only active during summer months. When the team reactivates in summer 2015, Wahl said he would recommend its leader connect with a point person living near the park to exchange cellphone numbers so police could be notified in real time of regulation violations via calls or text messages with photos. In the meantime, the police’s Quality of Life Team would be the go-to for many of the park issues.
However, Coakley-Munk noted, “One ranger would save the city dozens of police calls.”
Mayor’s representative Francis Barraza reported that the cost of an additional ranger was integrated into the 2015 San Diego budget, but details of where and when they would be stationed were not available.
A motion was made to write a letter to the mayor and District 1 City Councilmember Sherri Lightner requesting more frequent year-round police patrols and a ranger dedicated to Kellogg Park. The motion carried 12-1-1.
In a separate motion, the LJSA board addressed the excess of trash found at the park due to insufficient receptacles, and voted to request Big Belly solar-powered trash compactors be installed at the south end of the park. Currently used at the north end, the compactors are more secure than a typical trash can and hold twice as much due to automatic compaction.
“We have these trashcans that the seagulls can get into, and frankly, we don’t have enough of them,” Lucas said. “On a holiday, you’ll have tremendous park use and not enough trash cans. The Department of Park & Rec does do afternoon and evening pickups, but when the cans fill up, people start piling their trash next to the can.”
Additionally, he said, in the early morning hours between 5 and 7 a.m., hungry seagulls pick through the trash, flinging it around. As a result, city crews have to double their work to clean up the area.
Kellogg Park Regulations
■ No alcohol
■ No glass containers
■ No smoking
■ No littering
■ No disturbing noise
■ No overnight sleeping, camping or parking
■ No beach fires midnight to 5 a.m.
■ Fires allowed in city fire rings; fuel cannot exceed 12 inches; clean, dry wood or charcoal only; no pallets, painted wood or nails.
■ No dogs Nov. 1-March 31, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
■ No dogs April 1-Oct. 31, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
■ Dogs are allowed all other times, must be leashed