Planning issues run in Fiske’s blood


Fast Facts






Represents neighborhood six, homes near Piazza Carmel.


Son of Paul and Layla Fiske, longtime planners at the San Diego city and county levels.

The Carmel Valley Community Planning Board’s youngest member, 25-year-old John Fiske, said that joining the board was like coming full circle.

The son of two planners - his father Paul worked for the city and mother Layla for San Diego County - he remembers discussions over the dinner table about planning issues. He recalls names being tossed around of people that he works with today, people like chair Frisco White and former chair Jan Fuchs, now co-chair of the regional issues subcommittee.

“I grew up understanding the importance of getting involved in the community at a land-use level,” Fiske said.

After moving to Carmel Valley nearly three years ago, he started his term in March 2007; serving on a board he called “the most respected in the city.”

Fiske represents Neighborhood Six, a chunk of land north of Highway 56, west of Carmel Creek Road and east of El Camino Real and south of Elijah Court, neighborhoods close to Piazza Carmel.

Law and radio

The native San Diegan grew up in Rancho Peñasquitos, attending Mt. Carmel High School before moving on to San Diego State University. He graduated from the California Western School of Law in 2006 and has been practicing law ever since with the downtown firm of Wertz, McDade, Wallace, Moot & Brower.

Fiske takes on personal injury cases as well as doing civil, business and real estate litigation.

For about a year and a half while in law school and after, Fiske also hosted a radio show on Free FM 103.7 about politics and current events. The exposure landed him on San Diego Magazine’s 50 People to Watch list last year.

While he’s since stepped away from the microphone, he admits he could be lured back if the opportunity was right.

The facilitator

Fiske has found there’s a unique relationship between businesses, developers and residents in Carmel Valley and he enjoys facilitating discussions among them. It’s good when they are reasonable, he said, which they often are.

“It’s the job of the planning board to step in when they’re not being reasonable and make sure residents live a happy, community life,” he said.

One development he really thinks turned out well was the Pacific Highlands Ranch Village Center. It’s not due until around 2013 but thoughtful and sometimes, impassioned discussions resulted in an all-around better product that Fiske said would be a great addition for the community.