La Jolla Planners review Hillside house, Black's Overlook fence and more

The La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) labored into the night, July 5, reviewing several projects presented for approval — four of which passed inspection. Over the course of the three-and-a-half hour meeting, a house on Hillside Drive, a parking reconfiguration project near UC San Diego, a companion unit in the Beach Barber Tract area, and a letter to ask the City to remove and replace the fence at Black’s Overlook all the got the green light.

Hillside house

A project that was heard three times at the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee (PRC) before it was approved in April, was rehashed once again.

Applicant Alejandro Doring requests a Site Development Permit and Coastal Development Permit for a 3,868-square-foot addition and interior remodel to an existing 3,126-square-foot residence, and construction of a new 6,880-square-foot residence with new 815-square-foot three-car garage located at 7687 Hillside Drive. The resulting development would be two Spanish-inspired houses of nearly 7,000-square-feet each; one is considered the “upper house” given its location uphill from the “lower house.” The latter would not be seen by most passersby due to the depth of the lot.

Reaffirming what he told PRC, Doring said construction crews would remain largely on site to mitigate traffic impacts on the tight and winding street, already plagued with excessive construction projects that have led to traffic jams and environmental concerns.

The applicant said the adjacent neighbors “have been happy with us” for his efforts.

Hillside resident Nancy Manno, while commending the applicant for being “exceedingly courteous,” said she was concerned about drainage. Doring said it would be resolved with a bio-retention basin, and was addressed in the City engineer’s report.

However, LJCPA trustee Diane Kane added: “I have a major concern about drainage and its cumulative impact on the neighborhood. This property is at a point where it collects all the water coming down the hill, and there has been tremendous amount of additional development above this property that is sheeting water down the hill. The City’s strategy for drainage on Hillside Drive is to send the water into the street, and channel the water. There is no system for drainage. You are adding more hardscape and I am highly concerned.”

However, in support of the project, trustee Matt Mangano explained the depth of the engineering report that went into this project. “If every project on Hillside Drive had a thorough geo-technical report, a bio-retention system and a full study, we wouldn’t have many of the issues we do,” he said.

A motion to approve the project passed 11-2-1.

Parking on La Jolla Scenic North

After some confusion following the June La Jolla Traffic & Transportation (T&T) meeting, LJCPA decided to fully review a proposal to implement a two-hour parking limit along the east side of La Jolla Scenic Drive North between Scenic Place and Sugarman Drive.

“The reason we are hearing this is because there was a mischaracterization and uncertainty of what people expected and what the T&T motion approved,” explained LJCPA vice-president Helen Boyden. When resident applicant Carol Hernstad walked the neighborhood with petition in hand, she went beyond the boundaries of where the new parking limitation would be in place for signatures. The signatures went up to 8600 block of La Jolla Scenic Drive, but the request would stop short of that.

“We were concerned a misunderstanding would occur, so we wanted this to be clarified … we don’t oppose this, we just want it to be clear,” Boyden said.

Explaining the need for such a change, Hernstad said: “I have lived there for more than 14 years, but since UC San Diego has so little parking for its students and students no longer want to pay for parking, our street has seen a tremendous amount of traffic, especially in the morning. It has become intolerable to drive from our driveways or to our homes. The students park almost to our driveways and we have no visibility.”

She noted other surrounding streets that are less busy have two-hour parking limitations. The proposal was approved 13-0-1.

Black’s Overlook fence

After a brief discussion, the board agreed to send a letter to the appropriate City offices requesting the six-foot chain-link fence at the edge of Black’s Overlook be taken down and replaced with a four-foot, but difficult to climb, fence. The location of this fence is the ocean end of a short concrete pedestrian walkway at the end of the cul-de-sac on La Jolla Shores Lane.

The letter reads in part: “This letter requests the removal and lowering of an un-permitted fence overlooking Black’s Beach, so as to substantially meet California Coastal Commission requirements associated with the Coastal Development Permit that granted this fence. This walkway is used by surfers to check the surf at Black’s, and by the public for its spectacular ocean views.

“The California Coastal Commission pulled the file on this fence last year, upon the request of a resident. The file indicates that in 1977, the CDP required a low profile (approximately four-foot high), low-maintenance, wooden or metal fence be constructed by the property owners on the bluff edge or seaward side of the public access easement. This fence would serve to designate the limits to public access on the bluff edge to provide for safe, visual appreciation. A sufficient number of (cautionary) signs shall be posted to warn of the hazards of crossing the fence.

“We ask that the 6-foot chain-link fence be removed and replaced with an updated 4- or 5- foot unclimbable fence with vertical bars and signage, substantially in conformance to the CDP, as those have been placed in other, similar locations in La Jolla.”

The fence was discussed at the May LJCPA meeting, at which City representatives said the height was at the request of public safety personnel.

The board voted 12-0-1 to send the letter.

Barber Tract companion unit

While in the application process to create a companion unit on a property located at 622 Palomar Ave., architect Michael Morton sought to correct an issue of lacking parking as part of a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) issued for the property.

He requested a CDP to remodel a 1,005-square-foot, two-story, detached single-family residence and convert a 488-square-foot existing detached second floor office to a companion unit, and agreed to add four parking spaces to the property.

Speaking for the project, Morton said: “The CDP was approved in 1999 and the house was constructed. But the CDP required four parking spaces (that were never built). The City has requested that we provide four parking spaces on the site. So we are removing all the encroachments that extend into the public right-of-way and rebuilding the driveway, rebuilding the sidewalk, and demolishing and removing the front area of the property.”

The detached junior companion unit does not require additional parking because of its size and proximity to a bus line. Arguing the project meets the terms of the companion unit ordinance, the board voted to approve the project 10-3-1.

La Jolla Community Planning Association next meets 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 2 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. lajollacpa.org

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