Divers, Shores community bands together for solution to Shores commercial regs
by Dave Schwab
Published - 02/01/13 - 05:38 PM | 4527 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A sea of regulations Divers who operate at the Shores, who may soon be subject to request for proposals permits, are eager to have a say in the process of regulating businesses that use Kellogg Park. 	Photo by Don Balch
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Neither divers nor La Jolla Shores community plan-ners, negotiating on the regulation of commercial businesses in Kellogg Park, want the city to initiate — or control — that process.

Currently, Shores surf camps and kayak operators are permitted, regulated and taxed by an RFP (request for proposal) process administered by city lifeguards.

Detractors of that process argue the system is flawed, in that it tends to weed out smaller, independent operators, and that user fees paid by kayak and surf camps go entirely to the city’s general fund, and not to La Jolla Shores, as some feel they should. The issue was discussed at the first meeting of the newly formed La Jolla Shores Subcommittee on Commercial Regulation on Jan. 23.

“As designated representatives of the entire diving community, our goals for the first meeting were to identify and capture the concerns and issues regarding divers and brainstorm ideas to address the issues, as well as ways to protect and maintain La Jolla Shores Beach and Kellogg Park for all users,” said Jeff Nadler, one of five divers on the fledgling subcommittee.

Nadler said area dive businesses will meet to discuss what occurred at the subcommittee’s first meeting, and to gain a consensus of what business owners would like to bring to the subcommittee at its next meeting.

Member Mary Munk said the group’s initial meeting was fruitful.

“We discussed what is done in other areas of California, the USA and the world relative to charging fees for use of reserves for scuba diving and other water-based activities and whether or how we might apply some form of these processes to La Jolla Shores,” she said. “Everyone agreed that the last thing we want to see is an RFP similar to the ones controlling the surf and kayak industries, because scuba diving is different, and an RFP would likely result in two large vendors controlling the use of the park for instruction and put the majority of the smaller businesses out of business. We didn’t feel that it would benefit the park, community or vendors to have that happen … or even the large vendors if times and numbers were controlled.”

Munk said ways and means of assessing a fee (daily, weekly, monthly or annually) for commercial users (instructors, students, tour participants and their guides, etc.) was vetted, with no conclusions drawn, though a “healthy discussion” ensued.

“The main concern was to figure out how to work with the city to have them direct fees collected back to the park for a park ranger and additional maintenance, as opposed to going straight into the city general fund,” she said. “With 2 to 3 million visitors each year, Park & Recreation needs all the help they can get.”

The next meeting of the La Jolla Shores Subcommittee on Commercial Regulation, which is open to the public, is Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Voulez-Vous, 2168 Avenida De La Playa.

{Members of the La Jolla Shores}

• Janie Emerson, Brandon Price, Coco Tihanyi and Mary Munk

— La Jolla Shores Association

• Terry Winn-Kraszewski

— La Jolla Shores Merchants Association

Diver members:

• Scott Anderson, president, San Diego Council of Divers

• Jeff Nadler, Industry and Governmental Relations Executive PADI Americas

• Michael Timm of Dive California representing dive shop owners

• Alan Blake of Al’s Diving representing independent dive instructors

• Robert Brauer of San Diego Divers (as alternate)

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