La Jolla Shores PRC supports Spindrift Beach Access Redesign


Less than a week after the La Jolla Shores Association supported design adjustments to a handrail and reconstructed stairs at the beach access next to The Marine Room restaurant off Spindrift Drive, the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee followed suit at its Aug. 15 meeting. .

The repairs, underway since 2018, aim to improve conditions that have led to slips and injuries over the years, according to project supporters.

The original plan called for a handrail to be attached to a nearby building, but this changed due to liability issues for the owner.

The most recent plan calls for a freestanding balustrade not attached to private property and a redesign and rebuild of the deteriorating lower stairs.

The redesign, a collaboration of La Jollans Patrick Ahern and Kurt Hoffman, will continue the stairs at the corner of a residence on the left side of the access and add a balustrade.

“All we’re trying to do is make it safer and easier for people,” Hoffman said. “We know it started with a slippery top ramp, so by putting in steps and tracks we think this will satisfy everyone’s concerns…and make it a better descent for wagons or [those carrying] a kayak. We want to make it a functional ramp for everyone.

The beach access revamp for the stairs and a railing at Spindrift Drive in La Jolla has been adjusted slightly.

(Courtesy of Patrick Ahern)

With no opposing public comments, the Shores PRC unanimously approved a motion to support the project.

“This is the kind of community work we should see; it’s just awesome,” said PRC President Andy Fotsch.

The project will now move to the La Jolla Community Planning Association.

The first $100,000 for the proposal will come from the City of San Diego’s list of capital improvement projects prioritized by Councilman Joe LaCava, whose District 1 includes La Jolla. Additional funding is to come from sources to be determined.

Other Shores RPC news

“Trash Fences”: The CRP approved plans for two “garbage fences” after learning they would be largely hidden from public view.

The project involves the installation of a fence in front of two storm drains near 2898 Torrey Pines Road and another near 2075 Soledad Ave. The fences are designed to catch debris before it reaches downstream pipes and area beaches.

At the Soledad Avenue site, the fence is proposed to be 15 feet wide and 4 feet high, held in place by four secure concrete posts. At the Torrey Pines Road site, the fence would be 10 feet wide and 2 feet high.

Ashley Dulaney, assistant planner with the San Diego Department of Stormwater, said the city would use a “standard design” so the fences would be like others already in place.

She said the Torrey Pines Road location is “a bit downhill” and the fence would be “obscured by shrubs, trees and the slope”.

The Soledad Avenue location would be in a small canyon behind a house. “The residence itself is barely visible from the street, and the fence would be located behind the residence, so it would also be completely obstructed from public access,” Dulaney said.

No equipment would be driven into the canyon “ripping through the vegetation,” Dulaney said, and the work would be done by hand to minimize biological impacts.

Dulaney said the new fences would be added to the city’s regular inspection and maintenance schedule. “They will be serviced at the start of the rainy season, usually September and October, at a minimum,” she said.

If additional maintenance work was required, she recommended using the do it app to report it. Complaints are “usually resolved within days,” she said.

Nonetheless, Shores PRC Administrator Janie Emerson said her “biggest concern is ongoing maintenance as the town’s track record on this is not good”.

In the end, a motion to support the installation of the garbage fences passed unanimously.

New meeting day? The CEP plans to move its regular meetings from the third Monday of each month to the third Thursday to give members more time to prepare for meetings following a weekend. The committee voted to recommend the change, but said it would go to the Community Planning Association – its parent organization – before finalizing the move.

Next meeting : The La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee currently meets at 4 p.m. on the third Monday of every month online. Learn more about

— Elisabeth Frausto, editor of La Jolla Light, contributed to this report.


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