Love where you live!
LA MESA -- The title of tonight's workshop was clearly the product of those who are a little too close to the government details. Downtown Specific Plan Update has all the sex appeal of, say, a long visit to a dentist who has run out of laughing gas.
Still, the gathering at the Community Center does include a discussion of policy issues that will shape the way the future Village of La Mesa looks and operates.
That plan -- the Downtown Sepcific Plan -- is sort of a constitution that will guide the city's oversight of development efforts and operation of businesses in a Village area that is about to undergo a major facelift.
At Tuesday's City Council meeting, for example, City Manager Dave Witt warned that one of the subjects that will be discussed at tonight's meeting is the city's handling of commerce occuring in the city's right of way in front of La Mesa Boulevard businesses.
In recent years, restaurants have added capacity by adding outdoor tables and other retailers -- second hand clothing stores and antique dealers, for example -- have regularly added outdoor tables to display their wares.
That has resulted in some pretty tight spaces, including some areas where pedestrians are forced into virtual single-file. (Photo above shows the labyrinth-like passages in front of Swami's and Cosmos, two popular downtown restaurants.)
With the impending rebuilding of La Mesa Boulevard's streetscape, "we thought it was a good time to tighten up our oversight in this area and get back to the original intent of when the city first approved patios,'' Witt said.
That "original intent" was for eating establishments and those businesses with outdoor patios have been assured they will still have that privilege where it is possible in the new street configuations to come, city staff has said. However the restaurants and other retailers may face more size limitations and more rigidly enforced rules over how much encroachment is acceptable in the city's new sidewalks.
Tonight's meeting is at 5:30 at the Community Center. (See poster below).