Shores lifeguard station project moves forward

A contingent of La Jollans opposed to current plans to rebuild the La Jolla Shores Lifeguard Station was unsuccessful in convincing the City Planning Commission to endorse changes to the project.

At its July 10 meeting, the commission unanimously rejected an appeal that would have opened the way for changes to the project.

The commission’s vote upheld an earlier ruling made May 7 by a hearing office amending the project’s permits to bring them into compliance with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) guidelines, specifically archeological monitoring during the project’s construction phase.

The group of La Jollans opposed to the current design of the project has sought significant change to the lifeguard station primarily for safety, cost and aesthetic reasons.

The group won some support from Commission Chair Barry Schultz who requested that project administrators take steps to prevent beachgoers being able to access the flat roof of the new structure, one of the issues raised by residents. The project’s designers also attempted to respond to complaints that the proposed architectural design did not match existing buildings in the park and surrounding community by incorporating similar colors on the exterior of the lifeguard station.

“I believe we went well beyond the call of duty to accommodate everyone’s recommendations,” said Hector Perez, a La Jolla resident and design consultant on the project.

Schultz concurred, stating that while he was sympathetic to the appellant’s concerns about design continuity, he felt the building had achieved its primary goals: maximizing safety and maximizing views.