Time of the essence to fund La Jolla coast sidewalk revamp

By Pat Sherman

A project that the nonprofit La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc. (LJP&B) is telling the city is its No. 1 capital improvement priority — a beautification and remodel of the sidewalk area along Coast Boulevard — is in immediate need of funding to keep its costs at a minimum, LJP&B Beautification Projects Chair Phyllis Minick said.

Though Minick has been writing grant proposals to fund the roughly $250,000 project, to date she has only received two donations of $5,000 apiece.

The project has received unanimous approval from the LJP&B, the La Jolla Town Council and the La Jolla Community Planning Association, as well as local lifeguards and City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner.

“Every single organization in La Jolla has enthusiastically voted unanimously to do this project,” Minick said. “That’s why I’m going back to them right now, to remind them that that’s how they felt about it.”

The project will replace 11,610 square feet of cracked sidewalk above the La Jolla Children’s Pool beach, widen the main walkway, add a secondary overlook, replace bulky landscaping with colorful, drought-tolerant plants, and include teardrop-shaped wall seating and parking improvements.

Construction of a replacement lifeguard tower at Children’s Pool is slated to begin in the spring, and both the city’s Park and Rec and Public Works departments approved the community using the same contractors and construction team to remodel the sidewalk area at that time — making the job more affordable than if the community proceeded on its own.

The community also may complete the Coast Walk beautification project utilizing the same California Coastal Commission permit that the commission granted the city to replace the lifeguard tower. If community members proceed on their own own, they would be restricted to completing the work during winter months (between Labor Day and Memorial Day), as per Coastal Commission regulations.

“We don’t want to create more bureaucracy than you have to in terms of procedures and process,” said Stacey LoMedico, director of the city’s Park and Recreation department.

Bronze donor plaques to be displayed on benches at the site can be purchased for a donation of $35,000 or more. LJP&B is deciding whether to offer smaller donor naming on a rock wall along the walkway.

Tax deductible donations can be made to: La Jolla Parks and Beaches Children’s Pool Walkway, C/O La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc., P.O. Box 185, La Jolla, CA 92038-0185 or contact or (858) 354-6701.