LA JOLLA, Calif. — A proposal is in the works that would separate the community of La Jolla from San Diego.
If separated, La Jolla would work as its own city, instead of a community within the City of San Diego.
“The mission is to detach from the City of San Diego and provide a self-governance here in La Jolla that ultimately will uplift the entire region,” President of the Association for the City of La Jolla President Trace Wilson said. “I think the city of San Diego is stretched thin and we are just one of the communities that actually can afford ourselves and help.”
Wilson believes this will be good for both San Diego and La Jolla, and would only want to go through with the idea if that is the case.
“It’s really in my mind, it’s nut and bolts if the data says this is good for San Diego and the community of La Jolla, why wouldn’t you do it?” Wilson said.
While this is not the first time residents have proposed this, Wilson said this new process has been in the works for nearly two years and they have been building a board.
A preliminary map shows the city of La Jolla would include areas west of the Interstate 5, from Torrey Pines State Park to Tourmaline Beach.
The proposed map does not include UCSD. Wilson said UCSD is like its own city with its more than 35,000 students enrolled. He said plus, San Diego is in the name of the university.
Wilson said the association is in the first steps of undergoing a financial analysis and gathering data from the city of San Diego.
San Diego’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) will oversee the application process, hire its own firm to do a financial overview and then decide if the proposal is beneficial or not, which would then head to a vote.
“We are doing a preliminary fiscal impact analysis right now and that’s the first step, so we need to know the numbers before we know the next step, and that’s what we are working with the Mayor’s office in San Diego on right now,” Wilson said.
After undergoing the fiscal impact review and understanding the financial impacts, the association will need 25% of La Jolla residents to support the idea the application with LAFCO will continue. Then, LAFCO will do another fiscal review from a different source.
LAFCO will then decide if it makes sense for the process to continue and it would then head to two votes: one between San Diego City residents and one between the residents of the proposed City of La Jolla.
“In this particular instance, this is called a special reorganization, so you would have two votes happening. You would have a vote happening in the proposed City of La Jolla and then you would also a vote happening in the City of San Diego,” Priscilla Mumpower, Local Government Analyst with San Diego County LAFCO, said during an interview with FOX 5 Thursday.
She said a special reorganization is a long process and could take a few more years if finalized.
Wilson said they have been in talks with Del Mar and Malibu leaders, who went through a similar process to become their own cities.
Mayor Todd Gloria’s Office did not return our request for comment Thursday.