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The Site Is Right

October 13, 1985

Your highly biased article of Oct. 4 by reporter Nancy Ray on the proposed Scripps Aquarium leaves a lot to be desired in the area of objective news reporting. The meeting reported on was held to hear public comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Aquarium site.

Last April I was asked, as a director of the La Jolla Shores Assn., to participate in the site selection process as a community representative. Several sites were considered and the one finally selected is clearly superior for numerous reasons and is supported by all the La Jolla community planning groups.

Not surprisingly, a small but vocal group of residents, who live adjacent to the now-vacant 130-acre parcel of land comprising about 80% of the Scripps campus, objects. They have become accustomed to what amounts to a priate wilderness reserve near their homes, and their preference, quite understandably, is to keep it that way.

The reality is that the land cannot remain vacant. In 1981 the University of California published its long range development plan for this area showing research buildings, academic facilities, roads, parking areas and an aquarium . Even with all this, over half the land is set aside for preserves and open space.

Although the subject of the recent meeting, the Environmental Impact Report, is somewhat deficient in its coverage, the long range development plan, by now well-known to the adjoining residents, clearly spells out the planned uses for this land. Nothing in that plan comes even remotely close to the "unsightly, traffic-producing businesses that have little or nothing to do with Scripps" or the "shopping center" development loudly proclaimed by some neighbors . . . .

Overall, the university has attempted to bring the La Jolla community into its planning process, the great majority of the community approves, and the project should not be judged on the basis of a somewhat deficient draft report and the protestations of a group of adjacent neighbors whose primary goal is to preserve the status quo.


La Jolla

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