Pallamary is president and owner of land-use consulting firm Pallamary & Associates
in La Jolla.
licensed land surveyor, he is the executive director of San Diegans for Sensible
Land Use, a group of property owners, design and legal professionals fighting
La Jolla's Community Plan Update as amended by the Coastal Commission, which attached
64 amendments to the document. It is slated to be voted on by the City Council
on Nov. 4.
Why was San Diegans For Sensible Land Use formed?
It was a grass-roots organization formed out of response to the efforts to usurp
the adopted community plan of La Jolla. After 11 years of community work developing
the plan, everyone was outraged that it had been changed without community input.
Homeowners and design professionals saw the thing was completely defective.
was not only illegal, but clearly thwarted the whole effort of extensive community
involvement in the community plan. To abuse this process by a select group (Coastal
Commission) in the middle of the night is just an outrage.
Who are San Diegans For Sensible Land Use? How many members?
We have approximately 130 people. It's a broad, cross-section of angry homeowners,
consultants, architects, attorneys and contractors. Our opponents are characterizing
us as developers, but I don't think we have any in our membership. We're the guys
and gals who make a living off someone who wants to remodel a home. They call
us to help them.
What is wrong with the La Jolla Community Plan Update, as amended by the Coastal
First off, the process was completely violated. That, in and of itself, is grounds
for its being rejected. The second issue involves the bureaucracy in Sacramento
dictating land-use policy, telling homeowners they can't put a deck up, or remodel
their family home.
problem we have is this overwhelming morass of bureaucracy. I have clients that
have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and 12 to 16 months time to remodel
their homes, and at the very last minute, the Coastal Commission and the state
come in and throw all the approvals and processes out. It's a turf battle.
What's the significance of the Coastal Commission's modifications to the La Jolla
These 64 onerous and complex amendments clearly prohibit simple remodels. We're
not talking developments. We're talking moms and dads wanting to put another bedroom
in or expand their homes. We're talking about things as absurd as removing ice
plant or changing a window.
would prohibit these simple acts from occurring, and add layers and layers of
bureaucracy and cost.
the amendments are so good, why won't they withstand the test of public debate?
If anyone suggests that getting a coastal development permit through the city
of San Diego is easy, they are either an idiot or they live on Mars.
What are your group's goals?
To have the original community-approved plan adopted. That plan represents the
wishes of the community, not this end-run of amendments which is a frontal assault
on the community. The biggest weapon we have is the Constitution of the United
States, which clearly states we have privileges and rights as property owners.
The Coastal Commission is attempting to take those rights away.
What would you like to see happen with the Plan Update?
We would like to see the community-approved plan, not the proposed amended plan,
Is there any chance of a compromise on these issues, could you accept some amendments
but not others?
No. The whole process does not allow for a compromise. The City Council has to
approve the whole plan with all of the amendments. That's why this plan has to
What is the group's next step?
We're not going away. We're going to continue to defend the Constitution of the
United States. Whatever that requires, we'll do.