The beginning of the New Year saw the Chapter’s mentorship program in full-swing. Many of the protégés and mentors attended the trip to the Salton Sea.  The following week, planners from the City of La Mesa (Senior Planner Chris Jacobs and Associate Planner Howard Lee) hosted protégés to learn about planning and land use issues in La Mesa.  The City of La Mesa graciously allowed the group to use the City Council Chambers to hold a mock Planning Commission meeting.

The planners presented an overview of La Mesa’s General Plan Land Use Element and then discussed specific sites of concern that arose during the General Plan’s adoption. The staff and protégés also discussed the planner’s role in enacting procedures to the support the recently passed Measure U (Medical Marijuana Activity).

With no comments from the public, the mock-meeting was adjourned in favor of a walking tour the La Mesa Village with its new renovated complete street. The La Mesa planners discussed on-going redevelopment of sites in the downtown area. During the tour, the group encountered a restauranteur holding his “soft” opening of a new noodle shop. The tour ended at a local landmark Johnny B’s restaurant, the former La Mesa post office.

In keeping with the adaptive re-use theme, on the following Saturday, Mentorship Group E toured Liberty Station (formerly the U.S. Naval Training Center). The group saw a number of new and re-purposed buildings and the wide variety of public spaces. This included the 46-acre main park that always seems to be active. The tour also went through the artist workshops and studios in Barracks 19. The group visited the USS Recruit, a 2/3 scale model of an old Destroyer Escort use to train new sailors. Mentors talked about the history of the base and its redevelopment.

Picture on the Top (Left to Right): Katia Polter, Chris Mallec, Meagan Harvey, John O’Donnell, and Chris Jacobs tour Liberty Station on January 28, 2017

Picture on the Bottom: Senior Planner Chris Jacobs explains La Mesa’s General Plan Land Use Element in a mock- Planning Commission setting on January 26, 2017