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Guest commentary: Enhance La Jolla spells out plans for maintenance and landscaping – kechambers

Guest commentary: Enhance La Jolla spells out plans for maintenance and landscaping

The La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District’s chief objective in 2023 is to further enhance the value provided by maintenance activities within the district.

In coming months, Enhance La Jolla will issue requests for quotations for janitorial, landscaping and sidewalk pressure-washing services. A timeline for the RFQ process will be discussed during the next meeting of the Enhance La Jolla board of directors on Thursday, Jan. 19.

New contracts will be effective July 1.

The leadership of the Enhance La Jolla board continues to be instrumental in addressing pertinent public right-of-way issues in the district. An important goal for 2023 is to ensure that maintenance, janitorial and landscaping activities continue improving neighborhood aesthetics and safety and bolstering the community with projects like graffiti abatement and endeavors such as working with the La Jolla Community Foundation to further the Village streetscape plan.

Looking to landscaping initiatives, the plan is to improve all areas of the MAD, maintaining vegetation that is doing well and replacing or augmenting foliage in other areas. Two current landscaping projects are monitoring the Chinese elm trees on Silverado Street at Draper Avenue and establishing new flower basket arrangements for hanging on light poles along Girard Avenue and Prospect and Wall streets.

Armstrong Garden Center personnel recently evaluated the three Chinese elm trees on Silverado Street that were planted in November. Though the trees look dead, scratch tests showed each tree is still green and moist and likely dormant. This is often the case with deciduous trees during winter.

The trees will be checked again in the coming weeks. If replacement is needed, Enhance La Jolla will pay for the installation of replacement trees that are covered by the Armstrong Garden Center warranty.

Since December 2020, LJMAD landscaping initiatives have resulted in 24 new trees planted in the district and installation of more than 150 drought-tolerant plants ranging from iris to hawthorn, and succulents including fox tail agave and jade.

Another landscaping project removed antiquated hardware suspending flower baskets from lampposts in the district’s commercial center. The hanging flower baskets were a legacy project whose ongoing maintenance remained neglected.

The initial attempt at improving the flower baskets — replacing the declining geraniums they housed while reusing the faux terracotta pots containing the arrangements — missed the mark. A plan for entire flower basket replacement is now in the works. New floral arrangements will be planted in 28 new flower baskets in coming weeks.

Collaboration between LJMAD and city of San Diego personnel regarding sidewalk conditions is realizing progress. Recent communications with city personnel indicate that efforts by LJMAD to inventory sidewalk conditions in the district will help effect policy change in how city contracts with maintenance assessment and business improvement districts address responsibility for sidewalk maintenance.

Though no contractual language has been finalized, anticipated policy changes would take effect this year, as many MAD and BID contracts with the city are up for renewal. Policy changes in how sidewalk maintenance is handled would apply not only to La Jolla but the entire city of San Diego.

The Enhance La Jolla board’s Jan. 19 meeting will begin at 4 pm at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 700 Prospect St., La Jolla. The meeting date falls on MCASD’s Third Thursday, when the museum offers free admission to all visitors. Visit for more information.

If you see an issue needing attention in the Maintenance Assessment District, please call Enhance La Jolla at (858) 444-5892 or email

Mary Montgomery is manager of the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District. ◆

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