Water rules drying out La Jolla medians

Water restrictions are challenging Bird Rock’s ability to maintain landscaped medians along La Jolla Boulevard.

Dave Kirkwood, manager for Brewer Landscape, the contractor hired by Bird Rock Community Council (BRCC) to maintain its median landscaping, cautioned last week that there would be noticeable effects from the city’s regulations.

“The water alert forces us to use a minimum of water, so as we progress through the summer, the landscaping is going to look a little ragged,” he said. “We’re down to five minutes of watering three days a week. That’s barely enough to keep stuff alive.”

A drought-tolerant plant pallet was used in Bird Rock’s medians initially, but Kirkwood said some adjustments have also been made.

“We’ve been doing some replacing of plants as selected by the (BRCC) Beautification Committee,” he said. “Some of those plants are smaller because we’ve been trying to reduce the height of plants to improve the visibility, site distance and general safety of intersections.”

In other action:

  • Ed Castaneda, project engineer with the city’s Engineering & Capital Projects Department, told the advisory group about Sewer Group 714, a program to replace deteriorated sewer mains. The project is set to start in August 2011 and finish in April 2012.

Castaneda said work would go on from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Bonair Way to the north, Midway Street to the south, Dolphin Place to the west and Bellevue Avenue to the east.

  • Taste of Bird Rock, the annual summer fundraising festival, has been temporarily suspended, but banners that were used for the event are flying in an effort to give the La Jolla Boulevard commercial strip better exposure.

“We’re doing everything we can to highlight the Bird Rock business district and try to get people to shop locally,” BRCC President Joe Parker said.

  • A five-member committee is working on ways to solve traffic problems from involving public education; beefing up law enforcement; and ideas such as adding stop signs, street striping and medians.