Civic report: La Jolla Village Merchants Association, Sept. 12
by Dave Schwab
Published - 09/19/12 - 03:31 PM | 3681 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The La Jolla Village Merchants Association (LJVMA) joined a growing chorus of community support for doing something to quell the smell from hell by unanimously passing a resolution calling for action to be taken to counteract bird-dropping build-up on the rocks at La Jolla Cove.

“There are days when the odor comes up from the Cove and really makes it hard to work. It’s real distasteful for the business community and restaurants and anybody down there,” said LJVMA director Tom Brady at the group’s Sept. 12 meeting. “What we’re trying to do is involve elected officials supporting a resolution we’ve drafted to resolve the stench problem at the Cove.”

Brady said the resolution puts the onus of solving the problem of odor control at the Cove back onto the city.

“We really don’t want to lose sight of the fact that the city will have to play a big role in trying to fix the problem,” he said.

Board member Robert Lane cut to the chase, asking if it would be the city that would foot the bill for the cleaning of the rocks.

“My guess is the city will have to pay someone else to do it, unless someone donates money to eradicate this problem,” said Brady.

Patrick Ahern, president of La Jolla Parks and Beaches — which makes recommendations to the city on coastal issues — was skeptical the city would be willing to fork over the necessary funds, but said it should still be responsible for working with La Jolla to solve the smelly problem.

“The city probably won’t want to pay for it,” he said. “But they have some due diligence to take to work with the community to come up with the solution.”

Solutions for eradicating the foul smell are available, said retired La Jolla attorney Mark Evans.

“We are aware of two products, both of which are non-toxic, non-caustic, non-mutagenable (mutating), biode-gradable and which have been found to be harmless to all forms of animal and plant life, including marine animal and plant life,” he said.

One of the scientifically tested cleaning agents proposed to be used on the rocks, Evans said after the meeting, is Ecosystem Plus, made by Bio-Organic Catalyst, Inc.

“We’ve submitted the laboratory report on the product to the Water Quality Control Board and their response was that they still think it needs to be permitted,” Evans said.

Evans said Ecoysystem Plus has been used extensively in numerous settings at municipal and industrial wastewater facilities, but he added, “It’s never been used in a setting like ours on rocks right on the ocean.”

That’s why, Ahern said, officials are hesitant to approve usage of the agent.

“Nobody wants to be the first to use this product in the ocean,” Ahern said, noting Ecosystem Plus has been used successfully in closed ecosystems like lakes and lagoons. “We’re not planning to spray or power-wash it into the ocean.”

District 1 City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner said her office is working to set up a meeting between community members and the Regional Water Quality Control Board.

“We’d be the first in California to use it in an ocean setting,” she said. “We’re going to have to be a little bold.”

In other action

• Steven Persitza of the San Diego Film Festival, taking place Sept. 27-30 in La Jolla Village and the Gaslamp Quarter, gave a presentation on Digital Event Bag, an event promotion. The promotion allows merchants to pay for the opportunity to place special film fest offers inside the bag to reach potential customers at the film festival.

“Our goal is to make this a signature event for the city of San Diego and La Jolla,” said Persitza, adding Gust Van Sant is the featured director at this year’s festival.

• LJVMA executive director Sheila Fortune said research has revealed that neither merchants nor the city are responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks in front of their stores.

“Real estate owners adjacent to the sidewalks are responsible for their maintenance and repair,” she said, noting shop owners nonetheless need to take it upon themselves to police sidewalks near their establishments in the interests of community beautification.

“It’s just common sense that everyone should pick up trash and cigarette butts on sidewalks in front of their businesses every single day of their lives,” said LJVMA board member Egon Kafka.

The next LJVMA board meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 8:30 a.m. at the Cuvier Club, 7776 Eads Ave.

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