The LJCPA’s proposed bylaw amendments were presented to and adopted by the association’s members at its annual membership meeting on March 7. The revisions must still undergo review and approval by the city before they are officially put into effect.
Some of the changes dealt with clarification of language, while others made slightly more substantial changes to the local planning group’s procedures.
At last year’s member meeting, the LJCPA adopted significant changes to the bylaws to translate what were formerly the group’s policies into more permanent bylaws.
“We made those changes, the membership agreed to them, we then filed them with the city of San Diego because, ultimately, they have to approve them in order to retain the indemnification and defense element,” said LJCPA vice president Joe LaCava. “The city had some heartburn about some of the language that we had. They didn’t think it was very clear, so we made some modest rewrites to make it more clear while preserving the intent of the membership last year.”
Not all members supported the recommended changes, however.
Member Bob Whitney voiced concern about the appeal procedures, which empowers the planning group’s president to file an appeal if the appeal period ends prior to the next regularly scheduled LJCPA meeting. According to the procedure, the appeal is then brought back to the trustees at the LJCPA’s next meeting for ratification.
“The Brown Act clearly requires a public vote and an item up on an agenda before action is taken,” said Whitney. “It’s not fair to the applicant [when] you appeal a project that you never reviewed or voted on. I’m adamant about this. This is wrong what they’re doing, and I would hope that you take time because this is important and it’s unfair that you guys continue to operate this way.”
An alternative option, he said, would be for the president to call a special meeting for LJCPA trustees to vote whether or not to appeal a decision by the city or have the president recommend an extension from the project manager before the appeal period ends.
Trustee David Little recommended an alternative option, which would require the president to poll trustees immediately following an adverse decision. Should a trustee exist that wishes to act on the appeal, the appeal is filed, he said.
LaCava countered that the bulk of the procedural changes were adopted last year, and this year’s changes were more for rewrites and clarifications suggested by the city.
“When the city made its comments, that was not one of the things they struck out. They wanted some clarifications, but they did not say that the appeal process we created was inappropriate or incorrect,” he said. “Again, those were primarily wordsmithing at the request of the city to clarify the process so that anybody looking at the language would understand.”
The approved bylaw changes will be filed to the city for final approval. Bylaw revisions are available at www.lajollacpa.org/agendas.html.
Purpose of new bylaw changes:
• Clarifies language about the scope of the Planned District Ordinance committee in reviewing applications for discretionary permits, sign permits and façade changes within the La Jolla planned district. The new language also clarifies when written recommendations are directed to the LJCPA and when they are directed to the Development Permit Review for further consideration.
• Establishes a new officer position, the second vice president, whose responsibility is to perform all the duties and tasks of the vice president in his or her absence.
• Disambiguates language regarding appeal procedures that were adopted at last year’s member meeting, including clarification of the procedure should an appeal period end prior to the next regularly scheduled LJCPA meeting.
• Creates a new procedure for appeals of environmental determinations, including when that appeal period ends prior to the next regularly scheduled LJCPA meeting.
Hillel project’s draft EIR denied
The LJCPA voted to approve a motion drafted by an ad hoc committee tasked to review the Hillel project’s draft environmental impact report. The motion states that the report is deficient and contains major errors and omissions regarding the proposed project’s immediate and cumulative impacts on the surrounding neighborhood and the project’s substantial, precedent-setting non-compliance with the La Jolla Shores PDO, the San Diego Municipal Code and the La Jolla Community Plan.
The motion indicated seven points indicated where the deficiencies lie:
• Ignoring that a student center is not an allowed use in a residential neighborhood
• Ignoring the La Jolla and citywide precedent that would be set by allowing a student center in a residential neighborhood
• Failing to consider possible alternative sites close to UCSD where the zoning would permit a student center
• Failing to consider the impact of the soon-to-open Venter Institute in assessing the project’s traffic impact
• Failing to point out the lack of required on-site parking spaces for Hillel’s stated use for the project, as well as failing to substantively address the associated loss of on-street parking in a parking impact overlay zone
• Failing to provide findings to support the requested vacation of a public right-of-way
• Failure to adequately consider the visual and community character impacts of the project on the surrounding neighborhood, including setbacks, bulk and scale, intensity of use and noise
• Eight new trustees were elected to the LJCPA’s board of trustees on March 7. Trustees elected for full three-year terms include Patrick Ahern, Helen Boyden, Gail Forbes, Bob Steck, Ray Weiss and Frances O’Neill Zimmerman. New trustee Janie Emerson was elected for the two-year balance of a term, and Myrna Naegle was elected for the one–year balance of a term.
• The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) will host a public input meeting on North Coast Corridor transit improvements, which includes the widening of Interstate 5 from La Jolla Village Drive to Oceanside, coastal railroad improvements and a coastal bike trail plan. The meeting will take place on April 5 at 6 p.m. at La Jolla Country Day School, located at 9490 Genesee Ave.
• The city’s ongoing construction for a storm-drain improvement project along Torrey Pines Road will be completed by Memorial Day. Street resurfacing, lane configurations and the addition of a bike path in collaboration with the Torrey Pines Road Corridor improvement project will begin after the summer moratorium.
• UCSD’s Chancellor Pradeep Khosla authorized the campus to proceed with the design and construction of an additional access route from Expedition Way to the Venter Institute, which is currently under construction, in an attempt to quell some community concerns about full access and traffic from Torrey Pines Road. Representatives for the project are seeking prompt approval from the Coastal Commission for an amendment to the project’s design to accommodate the change.
— Mariko Lamb
Bird Rock Community Council, March 5
• Board member Barbara Dunbar reported that defective lights in the median strip on La Jolla Boulevard were replaced, a metal bench in front of Lupi Restaurant would be temporarily removed but will be brought back after it’s fixed, and urged residents witnessing problems with defective sprinklers to report them online at email@example.com.
• Erin Demorest of District 1 City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner’s office discussed an upcoming traffic-calming and pedestrian-safety project on La Jolla Boulevard at Colima and Midway. The project will involve both day and nighttime work.
• Bird Rock Elementary School teacher Lorene LaCava brought school news, notably that spring break week is March 29 through April 5 and that the school’s fundraising gala is April 27 from 6 to 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.birdrockfoundation.org.
• One resident reported several boulders of varying sizes are missing at Calumet Park.
— Dave Schwab