Traffic board clears the way for La Jolla Christmas parade, restaurant’s valet parking

By Ashley Mackin

The La Jolla Traffic and Transportation Board (T&T) voted to approve two agenda items at its Oct. 25 meeting.

The first, approval for the La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival, and the street closures therein, was granted 7-0. Since there were neither changes nor complaints from last year, there was little discussion before the board voted.

The second item was Amaya Restaurant’s request for a valet parking permit through Grand Parking. The restaurant will be located at 1205 Prospect St. with two valet spaces designated directly in front of the building. Representatives from Grand Parking fielded questions from the community and the board.

Their proposal includes a 40-foot passenger-loading zone to be used for valet parking only from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. The spots would be open to the public as two- hour spaces before 6 p.m. Listeners raised several concerns, including alternative places for passenger loading and accountability.

Though alternative places to park for valet were suggested, representatives from Grand Parking insisted they wanted the spaces to be directly in front of the business.

Additionally, the necessary parking spot calculations raised concerns, as the restaurateurs used the equation required for a retail space. Whether a restaurant counts as retail space was debated, but determined not to be an issue for the T&T Board.

The behavior of the valet drivers also came under question, with attendees wondering if they would drive too fast down the street. Board chair Tom Lesser suggested contacting the restaurant directly if that became a problem, or contacting Councilmember Sherri Lightner’s office so it could be documented for consideration when the permits came up for renewal.

A motion was made to approve the project on the condition Grand Parking supply the committee with a renewal application and that signage be clear that public parking is allowed until 6 p.m., after which time it becomes valet.

The vote was 3-3-1 and the issue moves on to the Community Planning Association.

The T&T Board meets at 4 p.m. on the fourth Thursdays at La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St.