San Diego City Council recently repealed a 1983 ordinance prohibiting residents from living in a vehicle on streets within city limits. That decision followed U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Battaglia’s ruling in August 2018 that the ordinance “was both vague on its face and being arbitrarily and discriminatorily applied.”
SDPD community relations officer Larry Hesselgesser noted the vehicle habitation ordinance is no longer being enforced.
“We’re still enforcing the Oversize Vehicle Ordinance for RVs 17-feet wide by 27-feet long,” he said adding, “Police could contact them (vehicle sleepers) with probable cause to check and see if they had criminal backgrounds or warrants. We don’t have that tool anymore.”
“What can we do to help?” asked LJSA chair Janie Emerson.
“Write your legislators,” answered Hesselgesser. “Ask them to reword the ordinance to give us the tools back we need to be able to contact people.”
LJSA board member John Sheridan moved that the group draft a letter to the city relating that, “This is an item of concern to us.”
Added board member Dave Gordon, “The letter should include that we need to find a solution to where homeless people can go and sleep in their cars safely, as opposed to just doing away with all the current laws.”
“We need to offer them (homeless) an alternative,” agreed Sheridan.
“There will be a ripple effect from people sleeping in cars, and it’s going to be huge,” noted Emerson.
Lorraine Schmalenberger, president of La Jolla Shores Surfing Association, pitched LJSA on creating a beach subcommittee.
“We’re one of the biggest, most-visited beaches and a tourist destination accessible to the whole county,” she said. “With all these different users, there are a lot of issues that come forward affecting us all … We should have a beach committee where we could air complaints or tackle issues. … It would be nice to have a committee where we could bring stuff forward that was actionable.”
Emerson suggested Schmalenberger put her request in an email adding, “Then we can put it in front of the board and see what we might be able to do.”
“They (surf association) have a lot of issues that don’t come before any city organization,” said board member Dede Donovan. “We’re the logical city organization for them to deal with with their issues.”
In other action
• Elected to the LJSA board in March were: Sharon Luscomb, co-owner of La Jolla Kayak; Coco Tihanyi, Surf Diva co-owner; chair Janie Emerson, an area resident since 1961; Ross Rudolph, M.D., a 30-year Shores resident; SIO researcher Dr. M.O. Andi Andreae; and Pam Boynton, a retired teacher and 44-year Shores resident. Three write-in candidates — Bob and Kim Whitney and Mike McCormack, were declared ineligible because they were not registered group members.
There are three remaining seats left to be filled.
on the board. Termed-out were Brian Earley, John Sheridan, Angie Preisendorfer and Dave Gordon.
• Lisa Mckean was introduced as SDPD Northern Division's the new lieutenant, who is taking over for Lt. Steve Waldheim, who is now in recruiting. Mckean has worked mostly as a patrol officer during her 21-year police career.
• LJSA voted to resume hosting pre-meeting receptions with refreshments at 6 p.m. prior to board meetings starting in June.