A city project to rebuild a collapsing retaining wall along Torrey Pines Road in La Jolla will proceed, no matter how much the La Jolla Planning Association apparently dislikes the renderings.
Two members of the city's Public Works Department brought renderings to the planning group on May 7, and saw their presentation ended when the group didn't like the renderings of the new retaining wall.
Construction on the $1.8 million, 330-foot project is slated to start in early 2016.
"We went and did the presentation as a courtesy, we don't need their approval to proceed," said project manager Jason Guise. "We'd rather have their support, but ..."
The city has been working on plans to replace the failing gunite retaining walls along the south side of Torrey Pines Road between Prospect and La Jolla Shores Drive since at least 2001, according to city spokesman Scott Robinson. The retaining walls have been a concern because of soil erosion that threatens the sidewalk beneath as well as the properties above. But the planning association seemed most concerned with the renderings themselves, and perhaps the late try at showing them.
Members interrupted the presentation with sharp criticism of the drawings. "I know you don't have a lot of money to do this," said Helen Boyden. "The city had the chance to have this evaluated two years ago and they did not."
Another member suggested the project does not meet municipal code requirements. But most of the criticism was of the renderings themselves.
Planning association chair Joe LaCava agreed that the group didn't like the renderings but said the issue was deeper.
"There was a frustration that they didn't come to us sooner and didn't explore other alternatives that were more aesthetically suited to the area," LaCava said. "For something like this that is so extraordinaryily visible, you have to tell the story of how you got to this solution, what else you looked at and why this was the best or only choice. It didn't really work for us."
He hinted that the issue wasn't dead.
"We'll track it and see when the hearing comes what we want to do then," LaCava said.