Coast and Canyons council map draws praise at hearing

By Karen Billing


Another San Diego City redistricting hearing was held Aug. 1 at the UTC Forum Hall. Attendees voiced appreciation over the fact that the ideas of the favored Coast and Canyons map have been absorbed into the preliminary San Diego City redistricting map.

La Jolla resident Joe LaCava, the architect of Coast and Canyons, thanked the commission for finding the plan viable.

“You listened to the arguments and our proposal and vetted it against what the city charter required and saw that is the right thing to do for this corner of the city, not just because the residents wanted it,” LaCava said. “Coast and Canyons keeps La Jolla whole and makes it whole for the first time in 10 years.”

In addition to bringing a piece of La Jolla back from District 2, the map also keeps the UC San Diego and University City communities intact and keeps communities of interest together such as Carmel Valley, Del Mar Mesa, Torrey Hills and Torrey Pines.

“This plan has kept community planning areas whole, school districts whole and kept the most important coastal communities that affect all of us together,” said Rick Newman of the Carmel Valley Community Planning Board.

The preliminary map was approved by the 2010 Redistricting Commission on July 21 with a 5-2 vote. District 1 City Councilmember Sherri Lightner praised the volunteer commission for reaching the home stretch after 10 long months with a map that reflects San Diego’s diverse communities and accommodates a new ninth district and the city’s growth, “no easy task.”

The UTC hearing was the fourth of five public post-map hearings and more than 40 people requested to speak. The final plan will be made effective 30 days after its adoption.

The proposed new District 1 is without Black Mountain Ranch, Rancho Penasquitos and Torrey Highlands, which have shifted to District 5. District 1 also keeps the western portion of the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve.

A representative from the scientific community said the unique biotech and scientific network was kept intact and Mel Hinton, a past president of the San Diego Audubon Society, said the new map also works from an environmental perspective.

Hinton said the district’s appreciation for the environment and open space habitat is unlike any other and that the communities have worked together to protect it.

Moving giant pieces of a city puzzle around has resulted in some areas being pushed out of their current districts and not all reviews of the plan were glowing. There is still frustration with the map plan and the commission heard arguments about Kensington being moved to the new District 9, that San Diego State communities have been divided into three and some Rancho Penasquitos residents hoping for a more logical boundary.

For more on the preliminary map, visit