Carmel Valley planning board backs ‘Coast and Canyons’ redistricting plan
By Karen Billing
The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board voted April 28 to unanimously support a redistricting plan by Joe LaCava, former chair of the La Jolla Community Planning Group. Called Coast and Canyons, the map keeps both La Jolla and Carmel Valley in District 1, preserving a district composed of communities that share similar interests.
The timeline is winding down on the city’s 2010 Redistricting Commission’s charge to redraw city boundaries to balance population changes and create a ninth council district. A public meeting is set for May 11 at 6 p.m. at the La Jolla Library and, shortly after, the commission will go to work drawing its first map.
Carmel Valley planning board chair Frisco White said it is important for the board to support a plan or risk being left in the dust without a say.
“What I like about Joe’s plan is it concentrates on District 1 and doesn’t worry at all about District 9,” White said.
As board member Christian Clews put it: “Let’s support Coast and Canyons and keep our nose in our own backyard.”
The board also agreed that Coast and Canyons works because it brings together communities with similar coastal orientations, demographics, land use, open space orientation, commonality of land mass and, additionally, shares the Interstate 5 corridor, the potential widening of which will largely affect all communities.
“We’ve been together [for many years] and it seems to be going well,” LaCava said of Carmel Valley and La Jolla.
The board also supported LaCava’s plan as it seeks to keep community plan districts whole—currently La Jolla is split partly between District 1 and 2, and Coast and Canyons would bring them together.
When the seven-member commission draws its map, it will again go out for another round of public hearings before being finalized in August.
“Everyone is committed to do this process fairly,” said redistricting commissioner Fred Kosmo, who sat in on last week’s meeting.
In January, the planning board rejected a plan by the Asian and Pacific American Coalition (APAC) that proposed creating a new ninth district that would include the large Asian populations in Mira Mesa (District 5) and Rancho Penasquitos (District 1) — Asian Americans make up 48 percent of the population in Mira Mesa and 37 percent of Rancho Penasquitos.
Their initial plan sliced Carmel Valley and Pacific Highlands Ranch (PHR) out of District 1 and into District 5 with Rancho Bernardo and other communities to the east.
LaCava said that APAC has apparently listened to Carmel Valley’s concerns and has since released a proposed modified map that leaves Carmel Valley and PHR in District 1, shifting Torrey Highlands and Black Mountain Ranch to District 5.
On April 21, the Torrey Pines Community Planning Board joined the push for the Coast and Canyon plan. In a letter to the commission, that board wrote that “two simple modifications to the current boundaries of Council District 1 will achieve the 2010 redistricting population target while meeting and exceeding the requirements of the City Charter.”
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