Town Council welcomes new trustees, approves Coast Walk resolution


By Pat Sherman

The La Jolla Town Council approved the addition of two new trustees, Yolanda de Riquer and Charles Hartford, during its Jan. 12 meeting at the Recreation Center.

De Riquer, a former La Jolla business owner and Realtor who worked for the United Nations in Mexico, hopes to become the council’s bridge with the Hispanic community. She was installed as a trustee during the meeting.

Hartford, a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch in La Jolla, will join the board next month.

The council also welcomed two new members, Janet Armstrong of Prudential California Realty, and La Jolla resident Janet Fraser. The Vons grocery store on Girard Avenue was welcomed as a new business member.

Environmental study sought for Coast Walk parking

Following a presentation by La Jolla Parks and Beaches chairman Patrick Ahern, the council voted to approve a resolution asking the city to study potential restoration of parking spaces on a La Jolla Shores bluff that serves as an entrance to Coast Walk.

The scenic walking trail, which beings at the Cave Store downtown and hugs the coast to La Jolla Shores, has been designated by the city as a historic resource. The Shores entrance was once a dirt lot containing six to seven parking spaces. In 1978, the city added a guard rail to further define the parking area and prevent cars from driving off the bluff. With help from the city, nearby residents paved the lot and added curbs to limit parking, which left only two spaces.

The proposed study would determine whether the bluffs are stable enough to support additional cars, determine whether the land is owned by the city or private residents, and include a traffic analysis looking at police and fire access, and other safety issues.

“It’s basically to ask the city to do an environmental study to help us consider what, if any, changes might be made along Coast Walk,” Ahern said. “Over time people have said, ‘We want our parking back,’ and that’s risen up again recently.”

The council and community members fought unsuccessfully in 1981 and 1992 to restore the lost public parking spaces. The La Jolla Community Planning Association and Friends of Coast Walk have recently written to the city expressing support for the study.

“The residents understand that people will be walking there,” Ahern said. “Their larger concern is the number of cars parking there. There could be noise issues. There have been other problems in the past.”

Town Council member Sue Geller said that additional spaces should include one designated for handicapped visitors. Elderly residents who come to enjoy the view often have to turn around for lack of parking, she said.

Vote for Independent La Jolla movement in the works

Council treasurer Cindy Greatrex, representing Independent La Jolla, spoke of bringing its plan to have La Jolla sucede from the city of San Diego to a public vote. A subcommittee of Independent La Jolla is being formed to undertake the effort.

In other action:

The Town Council voted to lend its support to the ITU World Triathlon, pending approval by the Traffic and Transportation committee. The event will wind through south La Jolla May 11-12.

District 1 City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner presented the group with a commendation for “successfully planning and executing the 54th annual La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival.”

First Vice-president Rob Hildt reported meeting with representatives of La Jolla Country Club to discuss the locale as a site for the Town Council’s proposed golf tournament. The event could raise as much as $35,000 for the group, he said.

A possible Town Council night out at Petco Park received much support from those in attendance.

Rosemary Murrieta, of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association, which represents 1,240 merchants within the business improvement district, said her organization is about to launch its website and ad campaign.

“We’re looking to brand all of La Jolla, not just the merchants’ association,” Murrieta said. “We’ll be promoting all of the nonprofits, all the cultural and arts nonprofits within 92037, free of charge, and billing (La Jolla) as a wedding destination.”