Shores Assoc. tackles kayak concessionaire issues
Feb 24, 2014 | 1884 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The La Jolla Shores Association is looking into changing regulations governing kayak concessionaires. COURTESY PHOTO
The La Jolla Shores Association is looking into changing regulations governing kayak concessionaires. COURTESY PHOTO
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Members of the La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) addressed a range of issues during their February meeting, including kayak concessionaires and changing regulations governing them, optical problems with the Shores’ lifeguard tower and rules regulating commercial vehicles parked in residential neighborhoods.

The city advisory group heard from lifeguards that a solution is in the works for problems arising from tinted glass in their new lifeguard tower.

San Diego Lifeguard Services Sgt. Ben Lewis told community planners that a glitch with the tower’s tinted glass, causing glare and “ghost images,” is being mitigated by smaller beach lookout posts.

“It’s a public safety concern caused by glare producing an obstruction to lifeguards’ views,” said Lewis. “A post on the beach is being staffed four hours a day when the glare is at its worst in the afternoon to compensate.”

Greg Parkington of District 1 City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner’s office said a collaboration is under way between the city and lifeguards to “implement the right solution, not just tear things down.”

“Our office is working to make sure things are on the right track to get a solution done by the summer,” Parker said.

Five remaining kayak operators in La Jolla Shores are working with Lifeguard Services and the city on a new RFP (request for proposals), which will regulate how they operate in the future.

The current RFP, which is about to expire, was first instituted in March 2009. At that time, at the behest of lifeguards, a city-mandated lottery draft was imposed to curb kayak proliferation during busy summer weekends at the Shores, which was reportedly monopolizing lifeguards’ time and jeopardizing public safety.

Kayak operator and LJSA board member Chris Lynch of Everyday California, said “new regulations for kayak concessionaires are going to happen in November.”

Lynch said Shores kayak operators are committed to “doing our best for the community” and are reinvesting a lot of money into rebuilding new shops.

“We want to mitigate any concerns,” Lynch said.

Other board members noted the changing circumstances.

“Every three years, the city goes through a new RFP process for determining new concessions for kayaks and surf camps,” said LJSA chairman Tim Lucas.

Shores kayak operator and LJSA board member Sharon Luscomb urged the five remaining concessionaires in the community to “work together to come up with solutions for problems.”

“The city would be much happier if we have a group consensus of suggestions on issues, like trucks (transporting kayaks),” Luscomb said. “We need to brainstorm how to fix some of these issues.”

LJSA board member and parent John Kassar said he’s concerned for the safety of children around the Shores’ boat launch used by kayakers.

“If we could get some of that money to come back from the city for regulation of surf camps and kayakers, we could get a [park] ranger, which would make the boat launch much easier to manage,” said board member Izzy Tihanyi, owner of Surf Diva boutique.

Lynch said he woud lead a more complete discussion on the kayak RFP issue at the group’s March meeting.

Lucas said the City Council is scheduled to discuss new proposed regulation changes for commercial food and other vehicles parked in residential neighborhoods on March 3.

A couple of Shores residents complained during the meeting of commercial trucks parking for long periods in their residential neighborhoods. Kayak owner David Teafatiller said he and others in the industry are aware of the problem and are open to working with residents to resolve any issues arising from parked commercial vehicles. Teafatiller suggested people leave notes on vehicles they feel are parked inappropriately, adding he always responds to such messages.

The next LJSA meeting will be Wednesday, March 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Building T-29 at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
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