Familiar themes — commercial use of Scripps Park, cleaning Children’s Pool and the La Jolla Cove/Pavilion project — were revisited by La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc. (LJPB) in October.
La Jolla Shores Association board member Mary Ellen Morgan, who is on a subcommittee on Scripps Park use, cautioned community park planners that rules governing special events in public city parks are currently being updated.
“We feel there’s a need to set down some guidelines for special-use permits in Scripps Park,” Morgan said. “I was told the city is going to be working on those guidelines in its three-year city master plan parks update.”
Morgan reiterated her subcommittee’s conclusion that “a moratorium ought to be put on any new events in Scripps Park until the plan group can review the city’s (new) guidelines.”
Asked Morgan, “If we start approving new events in the park, what if the city’s new guidelines contradict those new events? We might be opening the city up to liability.”
“Are there any guidelines currently in Scripps Park,” asked board member Patrick Ahern.
“We’re still putting the guidelines together,” answered Steve Hadley, new District 1 City Council rep for La Jolla. Morgan noted that some special events, like the Concours D’Elegance held in Scripps Park in spring, are becoming unwieldy to manage.
“We’ve watched this elegant, beautiful car show grow into a huge car show taking over the park,” she said. “The park is for the public, not for private, commercial events.”
“We all know La Jolla is the most under-parked community in all of San Diego,” said board member Melinda Merryweather. “Our theory is that we don’t like to pimp out the park. We like to keep the park for the public as much as possible.”
Chair Ann Dynes said the issue would be placed on the group’s next agenda on Dec. 9.
The issue of the legality of wrack removal at Children’s Pool surfaced once again during an action item on a working group’s list of prioritized capital improvement and maintenance project (CIP) requests to the city for its 2020 budget.
Beach wrack is organic material such as kelp and sea grass that is cast up onto the beach by surf, tides, and wind. The California Coastal Commission (CCC) frowns on removal of wrack because it provides an important nutrition source for both plants and animals.
LJPB board member and seal advocate Dr. Jane Reldan objected to inclusion on the CIP list of three items related to Children’s Pool.
“There is no stairway to the beach to be restored, and the CCC will not allow improvements on the seawall,” argued Reldan.
“It is not illegal to remove kelp,” contended board member Phyllis Minick.
Reldan was unsuccessful in a lopsided vote to get the rest of the group to agree to drop references to Children’s Pool from its CIP list for the 2020 budget.
Consultant Vic Salazar, of Vic Salazar Communications, was introduced as the new liaison between the city and La Jolla on the ongoing La Jolla Cove/Pavilion project.
The La Jolla Cove Pavilion is a long-term project to replace outdated and deteriorating restroom-shower facilities with an attractive, sustainable pavilion honoring the beauty of the cove and Scripps Park.