Taco Truck Turmoil in Linda Vista!
Plus: Lunar New Year Celebration Today, LV Church Conducts Monthly Food Distribution, Good Neighbor in Mission Heights, Take LV Library Survey, and LV News Briefs
No doubt about it…Linda Vista residents love their tacos. We at the Linda Vista Update have devoted space in past newsletters to bring reader attention to the variety of delectable Mexican restaurant and taco food truck choices available in our area. This is, in fact, one of the benefits of living in Linda Vista. Whether one wants to sit down and eat in a more formal dining situation, or walk up to the front of a food truck to place an order, we get to enjoy some great Mexican dishes such as fish tacos, California burritos, carne asada fries, and various soups—all made available to us at conveniently located indoor and outdoor venues. But what happens when the convenience provided by one Mexican food truck—one with a well known reputation for serving outstanding food—is perceived as a major inconvenience for residents living nearby? Such is the case facing Kiko’s Place Seafood Food Truck and the residents of a development located on Friars Road. The conflict between Kiko’s and the residents was put on display at this week’s Linda Vista Community Planning Group meeting (held at American Legion Post 731), with both sides attempting to make their case, while at the same time demonstrating an eagerness to find a compromise solution capable of pleasing everyone.
Kiko’s Seafood Food Truck has long been a favorite eating venue for local residents. This newsletter has profiled the food truck in a couple issues—the most recent article highlighted the food truck’s fantastic Seven Seas soup. It has enjoyed a great culinary reputation on many levels, receiving recognition from several San Diego publications. Last year, Kiko’s food truck, along with its owner Raul Escobar, was featured in an episode of the Netflix series Taco Chronicles. For a number of years, the food truck was a familiar site located in the parking lot of the Del Mesa Liquor store. When driving past this locale, one usually noticed a line of people placing their orders at this popular food truck. However, a recent dispute between Escobar and the owners of Del Mesa Liquor Store found the food truck moving out of the parking lot and out to Friars Road, just a few yards away from the entrance to a townhouse development.
According to residents who spoke at the LV Planning Group meeting, the residents have since had to put up with a number of problems caused by the presence of the food truck in its new Friars Road location. The problems mentioned included littering by customers, the blocking of the sidewalk, loud music, customers parking in the development’s limited guest parking spaces, loud talking by customers, the bright lights of the food truck at night, the constant smell of burning grease, the food truck’s canopy being too low and thus causing a potential hazard to pedestrians, and customers picnicking on the development’s common area. In presenting these problems to the Planning Group, the residents agreed that they respected the right of Escobar to run a successful small business, but they maintained that the above problems stem from the fact that he is not in a position to control the behavior of his customers. Escobar apologized while claiming he was not aware of the extent of the problems.
In discussing this situation during the meeting, Officer David Surwilo, SDPD Community Relations Officer, mentioned that the city’s code department is currently conducting an investigation to see if the parking of the food truck on Friars Road is subject to any city parking laws/limitations associated with the proximity to a college/university, in this case the University of San Diego campus. The findings of this investigation should be available in time for next month’s Planning Group meeting.
Whether the investigation’s findings rule in favor or against Kiko’s Food Truck, the Planning Group is hoping for an eventual compromise that both sides can agree upon, one that can also benefit the customer. At the meeting, several attendees recommended the food truck be positioned across the street, or perhaps further west on Friars Road, near Silver Terrace Park. One attendee commented that the SDPD Western Division parking lot, located along Napa Street and Friars Road, is usually empty and could therefore serve as a great location for the food truck. (Who says the police can always be found at donut shops? Why not taco food trucks, as well?)
We at the Linda Vista Update look forward to an effective compromise being eventually hammered out, because no one wants to see Kiko’s Food Truck and its great menu items disappear from the Linda Vista landscape.
You can check out how Netflix featured Kiko’s Food Truck by catching the “San Diego” episode of the Taco Chronicles (the Cross the Border Season).
Lunar New Year Celebration Today
Today January 26, the Bayside Community Center will sponsor a Lunar New Year celebration in conjunction with the Love, Linda Vista Farmers Market. The Farmers Market is held every Thursday (2:00 pm to 7:00 pm) at the Linda Vista Plaza Shopping Center.
This open air celebration will feature the following live music and performances:
5:30 pm - Southern Sea Lion and Dragon Dance
5:45 pm - Van Lang Center
6:00 pm - Naruwan Taiko Performances
Check out the above flyer for further details.
We hope to see many of our readers there.
Local Church Conducts Timely Food Giveaway
Inflation has certainly made life painful at the supermarket checkout line. Raising prices have continued to impact local families by making many healthy food essentials too costly to purchase on a consistent basis. Fortunately, several local nonprofit civic organizations and churches have played a role in serving as a valuable asset capable of providing as an alternative food resource for families in need. This past Saturday one such church located in Linda Vista—the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—conducted a well-attended monthly food distribution in the church’s parking lot. This event was conducted from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. The food, a quality variety of fresh and nonperishable food, was provided by the San Diego Food Bank. Both cars and walk-throughs were welcome to participate in the food distribution. The San Diego Food Bank furnished enough supplies for 260 households, with about $75.00 to $80,00 worth of groceries given to each family.
According to Church Bishop Greg Edwards, the church’s monthly food distributions have been conducted since last March, when they first handed out enough food for 68 families. These distributions are usually conducted on the second Saturday of each month, though this month’s event was held on the third Saturday due to the recent holiday period. Edwards, who stated that the food distributions were originally conceived by the church as a way to “promote goodness”, are open to anyone in the community. To qualify, household size and income must fall within certain ranges (click here to see the ranges), though qualifying verification is based on the honor system. No appointments are necessary for participants, however, if the participants are newcomers, Edwards asks that they be first registered by church volunteers while they wait in line. As part of this procedure, participant names are then collected and put into the church’s food distribution system; they are then given a laminated sticker that allows them to be easily processed the next time around.
Edwards says the church has tried to spread information about the monthly food distribution throughout the community by word-of-mouth and by posting flyers at various sites in Linda Vista.
As seen on Saturday, the food distribution is conducted in a very orderly and efficient process with church volunteers not only handing out the food, but also registering the participants, and guiding traffic in and out of the parking lot.
The next food distribution is scheduled to take place on February 11.
LV Update readers are encouraged to pass along this information to anyone who might qualify for the food distribution.
Where: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
6840 Osler Street
San Diego, CA 92111
Good Neighbor in Mission Heights
Every neighborhood needs one of these individuals. Some neighborhoods are fortunate enough to have several. They make the neighborhood a fun and welcoming place to live. They usually set the example by making a sincere effort to know most of the people on their block, or by helping to plan and execute activities that facilitate residents meeting their fellow residents; not an easy task in this day and age where we tend to hover over our phones and computers in solitary fashion. Yes, “good neighbors” are an essential component to any quality neighborhood that boasts of maintaining a genuine sense of community.
Back in the fall, while in search of a news article about the Linda Vista community we came upon an ethusiastic resident of Mission Heights that seemed to fulfill the criteria for being a good neighbor. Bree Partington-Wilnewic is an active resident of her community who wishes to play a role in developing that all important sense of community amongst her neighbors. We first met her back in October when we learned she was coordinating a Pumpkin Painting activity for the kids in her Mission Heights neighborhood. Her fun activity was being held at Mission Heights Neighborhood Park around the Halloween timeframe. Unfortunately, we arrived too late to see the activity in action. Nevertheless, she informed us of her intent to conduct activities for her neighborhood in the near future. We asked her to keep the LV Update in mind so we could publicize any upcoming events. She recently informed us of one such upcoming community event that she is planning for her Mission Heights neighborhood—a Valentine Arts and Crafts Day for kids and families to be held on from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm Saturday February 11 at Mission Heights Neighborhood Park. She also let us know of neighborhood activities she has coordinated in recent months, to include a Sidewalk Chalk event for kids in September that produced a number of “cool designs”, and a December neighborhood Food Drive for the San Diego Food Bank that collected $350.00. In listening to her, we were impressed by her initiative and her refreshing concern for community building in the neighborhood.
Her background growing up in a small Midwest community has inspired her to play an active role in the Mission Heights neighborhood. She claims her childhood community was a close-knit one in which people normally walked along the streets and said hello to each other. She explained to us that her habit of volunteering began as a teen when she volunteered for the organization Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.
In advertising her recent community activities, Bree has chosen the old fashioned route, going to door-to- door to distribute flyers and invite neighboring families to the events.
In addition to being a good neighbor, Bree works as a realtor. She is interested in homes and design, to include fixer upper projects. And she likes to bake, a skill that can often qualify someone to be a very “popular” good neighbor.
In looking toward the future, Bree is thinking of coordinating a community Easter Egg Hunt in April for her neighborhood.
Asked if she had anything to say to LV Update readers, especially those in the Mission Heights neighborhood, she commented “Come to my events. You don’t have to have kids to come and have fun and meet other people.”
We at the Linda Vista Update wish Bree good luck in her community building activities, we hope her upcoming Valentine Arts and Crafts Day is a rousing success, and we commend her for being such a good neighbor.
If your neighborhood has its own activities and you wish to publicize them, send us an email with the details and we will do our best to spotlight them in this newsletter.
Offer Your Opinions on the Linda Vista Library
The Linda Vista Library is one of the community’s most popular venues. This library is routinely used by many local residents for such activities as checking out books, conducting research, completing school homework, utilizing internet resources, a conducting meetings, and receive tutoring. But if you are a frequent patron of the library, you might have some fresh or expansive notions regarding how the library can be used in the future. If so, you might want to play a part in contributing feedback to the San Diego Public Library’s on-going Master Plan.
According to the San Diego Public Library’s web site, “The San Diego Public Library and the Library Foundation SD are developing a new Master Plan to provide a long-range vision and strategy for San Diego Public Library facility, technology, and program investments. The plan's first phase combined analysis of internally and externally sourced data with robust engagement with community members, stakeholders, and leadership and staff of the San Diego Public Library and the City of San Diego. The first phase framework document outlines an aspirational vision for the San Diego Public Library. High-performing libraries and library services should be equitable, engaging, and experiential, geographically accessible everywhere, and empowered with the necessary resources to thrive. In the next phase, the library needs broad community input on specifics of what you love about your local library, what you would change, and what you would add. Open houses and moderator-led listening sessions are being held in every San Diego neighborhood to gather this community input.”
A recent listening session was held this past Saturday at the Linda Vista Library., moderated by Kelly Verheyden, Supervising Librarian for the San Diego Public Library. If you missed this opportunity to provide your input, no problem. You can still communicate your thoughts by taking a brief Library Master Plan survey. Just click here to take the survey. It doesn’t take much time to complete.
Make your voice heard! Don’t be shy! Take the survey.
LV News Briefs:
—Community Town Hall: Councilmember Raul Campillo (District 7) will host a Community Town Hall for Linda Vista and Mission Valley residents on Thursday February 2. The Town Hall will be held from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the University of San Diego's Mother Rosalie Hill Hall (5998 Alcala Park, San Diego). Please attend the Town Hall and let your community concerns be communicated to the Councilmember.
—New Green Bin (Organic Waste) Presentation: The City of San Diego is providing a series of free informational presentations* for City-serviced residents on the new green bin and collection schedule. These presentations are offered as virtual Zoom webinars or in-person workshops at select locations. One of these presentations will be conducted on Saturday February 4 from 11 am to noon at the Linda Vista Recreation Center (7064 Levant Street, San Diego CA 92111). The presentation will cover:
What goes in the new green bin.
Importance of recycling your organic waste.
Green bin cleaning and storage tips.
Q&A session with City staff.
You can register for this presentation by signing up here. Please read the details listed on the flyer below.
—Community Clean-up: Bayside Community Center is conducting its monthly community clean-up on Sunday February 5 at 10:00 am. Volunteers will meet in the Linda Vista Library parking lot. Bags, gloves and trash pick-up utensils will be provided by Bayside.
—Congresswoman Sara Jacobs: If you need assistance dealing with a federal agency regarding such issues as small business loans, immigration challenges, issues with Social Security or Medicare, or VA benefits, the office of Congresswoman Sara Jacobs is available to help. Please go to the Congresswoman’s web site listed here to obtain assistance.
—Report those Pot Holes: Use the City’s Get it Done App to report concerns with such things as streets, lights and sidewalks. Urgent street related issues can be reported by dialing 619-527-7500 .
—Linda Vista Community Planning Group: The Linda Vista Community Planning Group is looking for volunteers to run for its board positions. Community Planning Groups provide citizens with an opportunity for involvement in advising the City Council, the Planning Commission, and other decision-makers on development projects, general or community plan amendments, re-zonings and public facilities. The recommendations of the planning groups are integral components of the planning process, and are highly regarded by the City Council and staff. The Linda Vista Community Planning Group meets the fourth Monday of each month at 6:30 pm. The election for board positions will be held next month. Individuals who reside in Linda Vista, go to school in Linda Vista, or who conduct business in Linda Vista are eligible to run. Individuals interested in running should fill out the application located here and submit it to LVPGSecretary@gmail.com.
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The Linda Vista Update publishes informative, interesting, and fun news about Linda Vista and its neighboring communities.
Hello! Love this newsletter it always keeps me in the know about LV. I live in Friars Village and although close to the location of the taco truck, it is not the HOA that is located where Kiki’s is parked nowadays.
Also, I have to say, the truck doesn’t provide restrooms and that causes sanitation issues. I have witnessed many people peeing on the flower stand, near the liquor store, on the grass behind the store—it’s pretty gross. As a vegan, I have my opinions in general about seafood, but this place is bringing down the neighborhood. After witnessing the lines I imagine they make enough profit to rent a space. IMO, Kiki’s needs to class it up a bit.
The article about the Taco Truck should be corrected to reflect that the community impacted by its operations and that showed up to provide comment at the LVPG meeting is Park Place and not Friars Village as reported.