Sidewalks along Children’s Pool to cost more than predicted

By Dave Schwab

Cost estimates for putting in new sidewalks as part of planned Coast Boulevard beautification at La Jolla’s Children’s Pool have risen dramatically.

That was the bad news La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc., a nonprofit committee making recommendations to the city on coastal parks, got at its April 23 meeting.

“A new estimate for replacing the sidewalks is now $383,534,” said committee member Phyllis Minick who’s been spearheading the project. Minick added, “The city has decided the sidewalk is not parkland, and therefore permits are required that will cost (an additional) $60,000.”

Substantial funding is still needed for the community-improvement project, estimated to cost $250,000-plus in its entirety. Minick promised to continue her extensive fundraising efforts with philanthropic organizations, including the San Diego Foundation, though she added that organization “does not give away money in the numbers we’re talking about here.”

Other Parks & Beaches action:

• Fireworks Update: City Park and Recreation Director Stacey LoMedico discussed revisions to the San Diego Municipal Code governing park permits following challenges by an environmental group to fireworks held over water in La Jolla and elsewhere.

LoMedico said the new rules set a numerical capacity for each individual city park. “Scripps Park’s capacity is 80, at La Jolla Cove it is 100,” she said. Event attendance must exceed those figures to trigger discretionary review by park advisory groups.

• Open Sluice Gates: The group agreed to draft a letter supporting member Melinda Merryweather’s suggestion that the sluice gates in the crescent wall at Children’s Pool be opened to allow a cleansing of the pool which has been fouled by seal waste.

“Open the sluiceways, let the water in, put the kids back on the beach and let’s be done with it,” Merryweather said.

• Ban Vendor Tables: The group voted to write a letter requesting the city ban all vendor tables and signs on the walkway above Children’s Pool that “interfere with pedestrian traffic flow, obstruct views and intrude upon the natural environment.”

• Film Fest Welcomed: A request brought by the San Diego Film Festival to hold a free event in Scripps Park on a September weekend date was endorsed. “This is our opportunity to welcome and introduce the film festival to La Jollans, giving them the opportunity to have a family friendly screening of something out in the park with roughly 300 guests bringing their own chairs and blankets,” said Dale Strack, festival spokesman. He noted the event, to be held partly in La Jolla for the first time, will be headlined by Hollywood director Gus Van Sant whose credits include “Good Will Hunting” and “Milk.”

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