Time is now to start planning Mission Bay Gateway Project
by DAVE SCHWAB
Jul 31, 2015 | 29 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Map of the Mission Bay Gateway Project.
Map of the Mission Bay Gateway Project.
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Pacific Beach Town Council (PBTC) was told in July they and the entire community ought to begin planning immediately for the Mission Bay Gateway Project, now that the De Anza Cove lawsuit has finally been settled and mobile home owners there will be moving out. 
That was the message delivered by Scott Chipman, a longtime Pacific Beach Planning Group (PBPG) member and civic activist, who has been lobbying for years to get public attention redirected back to the long-term redevelopment project. 
The Mission Bay Gateway Project seeks to connect and enhance existing facilities, while also expanding and protecting the Mission Bay marshlands and bird sanctuaries. Bike paths and parks could be extended, and new amenities like pools, sports fields, and a restaurant could be added for the community and visitors to enjoy. The intended result would be creation of an environmental, recreational and educational destination at the heart of Mission Bay. 
“I’ve gotten tired and frustrated waiting for the city to do something about it (project),” said Chipman noting he lives near the area, which he noted is a link to “the important educational and recreational amenities and natural environment of Mission Bay.” 
Chipman noted the De Anza peninsula is designated as a “special study area” within the Mission Bay Master Plan, which is being updated. 
“We don’t know what we’re going to do there,” said Chipman adding, “We’re going to have to do something about that in the future. And that future is long overdue.” 
Chipman said one possible improvement could be to enhance marshland in the area, which could help cleanse runoff from Rose Creek. 
“We could expand marshland by 50 acres, which could improve water quality by about 50 percent from the Rose Creek outfall, which brings unpurified pollution and sediment into Mission Bay,” Chipman said, adding, “We also have the ability to have a nature interpretive center.” 
Chipman added other public improvements connected with the project could include adding parking, a new aquatic center with an Olympic-size pool and/or creating more bike and walking paths, as well as enhancing tennis and campground facilities — even building a public amphitheater — might all be possible. 
“Right now PB doesn’t have its own pool and needs more recreation space,” Chipman said, adding area bike paths are also presently not connected. 
“Those connections are available if we plan properly,” he said. 
The community activist said he’s been campaigning to begin vetting alternative uses for the Mission Bay Gateway Master Plan, having addressed thousands of people in community groups for the past five years. 
“People love the idea and say they want to get more involved,” he added. 
Chipman counseled that the city “doesn’t just need to study the De Anza Peninsula. We need a comprehensive plan for the entire area.” 
From the audience, Paula Ferraco asked if community garden space could be provided in an updated master plan. 
“I see no reason why not,” answered Chipman.  Chipman, however, noted time is critical. 
“We need to start talking about it (park planning) now,” he said. “We need to put pressure on the city to start vetting alternatives now for a process, which could take 10 years.” 

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Should there be a second holiday parade in La Jolla?
by DAVE SCHWAB
Jul 31, 2015 | 38 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Would a parade by another name still be as contentious? Probably not. But for a second month in a row, the La Jolla Traffic and Transportation (T&T) Board in July postponed final action on an application to close streets in La Jolla Village to hold a second year-end parade in December. The applicant, La Jollan Howard Singer, has been lobbying for years to have Christmas removed from the annual parade’s name, insisting it should be changed to something faith-neutral. Singer was not present at the July 23 T&T meeting. Instead, his representatives, attorney Andrea Carter and Linda Wenger, made a pitch on behalf of the San Diego County Diversity and Inclusiveness Group to the T&T Board. T&T is composed of members from other La Jolla civic organizations. It makes recommendations on transportation- and infrastructure-related issues such as street closures for special events. Applicants are asking for community approval for proposed street closures to accommodate a new year-end parade to be known as the La Jolla Community Parade. The application asks to close Girard Avenue from Kline to Prospect streets, and Kline Street from Girard to Fay avenues. Kline Street from Girard Avenue to Herschel Avenue and Wall Street from Girard to Ivanhoe avenues are also proposed to be closed to vehicles from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 13. The new parade would be one week after the annual La Jolla Christmas and Holiday Parade on Dec. 6. For years, Singer has been critical of the existing parade, saying the name should be faith-neutral to welcome people of all persuasions. Thus far, Singer, who’s argued that most year-end parade names in the county are now faith-neutral, has been rebuffed in every attempt to have the La Jolla parade name changed. Previously, the retired postal worker and former La Jolla Town Council member, when questioned, said publicly he wouldn’t accept adding Hanukah to the existing parade name. He has also said he would not favor putting the issue of whether the parade name should be changed up to a public vote. In June, T&T delayed a final decision on the Diversity and Inclusiveness group’s request, asking the applicant to return with a survey of local businesses along the parade route stating whether they were in favor of the new La Jolla Community Parade. T&T board member Nancy Warwick, representing the La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA), reiterated her view that publicity being put out by proponents of the new parade has been both misleading and misrepresentative. She added many merchants asked to sign a survey answering whether they favored the parade or not weren’t in possession of all the facts about it. “People thought the parade had been renamed. It was confusing,” Warwick said. From the audience, a representative from Meanley & Son Hardware said he was confused by the survey, thinking it was the same annual parade that had been renamed. At the July T&T meeting, the board once again derided the street closure application as deficient, asking applicants to fill in the blanks and return once again with more details about the parade, especially whether — and if so how many — animals/floats will be involved, before the group renders its final decision. In the meantime, the name La Jolla Christmas & Holiday Parade remains intact.
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La Jolla Historical Society executive director Heath Fox. / Photo by Dave Schwab
La Jolla Historical Society executive director Heath Fox. / Photo by Dave Schwab
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Sea lions take an afternoon nap near La Jolla Cove. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Sea lions take an afternoon nap near La Jolla Cove. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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