Maybe it's the brown?
  • Maybe it's the brown?
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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.

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monaghan May 15, 2015 @ 2:36 p.m.

Another example of Mayor Sunny's undeclared war on community planning associations: "We don't need their approval to proceed…." As retaining walls go, it should be stepped back and terraced with plants spilling down the face from each level. There is no such natural local rock formation similar to this slap-dash objectionably brown masonry invention. Back, back to the drawing board!


KLoEditor May 15, 2015 @ 5:07 p.m.

The retaining walls I've seen in my community are either cement block or plain plaster. This wall goes the extra step beyond utility to a very attractive appearance undoubtedly at an extra expense, but that's not good enough. Seriously, La Jolla is nothing but a big never-ending pile of demands on the city's time and resources. If they want a nicer wall, let them pay for all costs associated with any above and beyond a cement block wall. And how about if they burn off some of that excess energy they have by doing a community project or two down in Logan Heights? There's a pedestrian bridge at S. 30th Street that's just dying to be beautified. Go look at it, and go look at the streets and the sidewalks and the retaining walls, and maybe if they have any shame, be ashamed of what they're asking for.


Twister May 15, 2015 @ 9:39 p.m.

Condemn the back portion of the property above (which has created most of the problem by over-watering a tangle of plants), lay the slope back at 2:1, and plant with native vegetation which doesn't need irrigation. Save about a million dollars.

The replacement wall does not appear to be adequately engineered (haven't seen the plans; only the pretty picture--anybody got a link?), and will be prone to failure in the future.

Another example of putting outrageously expensive lipstick on a pig is the wall recently built along Aldine Drive in Talmadge to satisfy the whinings of wealthy land-owners. These projects should be given wide attention on the City website and in the Press as soon as the information is available, not when it is too late for a truly independent and competent evaluation.


paco5555 May 16, 2015 @ 6 a.m.

This is the new "dirt" concrete. It looks better than the old Gunite application but it does not appear to really solve the problem. I would like to see the engineering behind the "dirt" picture.


Twister June 10, 2015 @ 12:31 a.m.

Don't worry, it was put t'gether by all the king's horses and all the king's men.


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