Permitters OK antenna updates, want historicity for home expansion


During the Aug. 16 meeting of the Development Permit Review committee (DPR), two permit renewals were approved for AT&T wireless communication infrastructure, and trustees heard a coastal development permit application for the expansion of a single family dwelling at 7991 Prospect Place in the Village.

The first request, to renew the permit of an AT&T wireless communication facility, was presented by project manager Caitlin Kes. “We call this a renewal, because we are already there; we already have our permit, but technically this is a new application to an existing wireless facility,” she said. The antenna, located on 2122 Via Casa Alta, property of KGTV, now holds eight AT&T antennas, and AT&T is seeking an equipment change.

“The landlord also told us that the tower is a little bit stressed and he wanted to take some stuff off the site, so we’ve been working with him to see what we really need to keep it operational and take off everything else we don’t need,” Kes said.

Two of the existing eight antennas will remain, and six will be taken down. Five new devices will be put in place, so the number of antennas that AT&T will own on the tower will be down to seven, with space for one future antenna and four unoccupied positions.

The change will upgrade AT&T’s network in the area, amplifying the coverage throughout Mount Soledad and leaving the door open for new technologies to come. “The goal is to (eventually) go to 5G,” Kes said.

The phone company employee indicated that the total power output of the antenna would remain stable, and there are no controversial buildings, such as schools or hospitals, in the area. “It’s mostly residences, and even the residences are pretty far away,” she said.

The second project consisted of another renewal application for an existing wireless communication facility, this time on 1570 Alta La Jolla Drive. The antenna permit expires next month, and without it, explained project manager Jamo Stephenson, “That whole community would not be able to talk to anyone.”

Stephenson pointed out that the 10-year permit doesn’t allow for any changes in the facility. “Even if we switched out another thing that’s about the same size and frequency, we would need a Substantial Conformance Review (from the City of San Diego),” he said.

The projects must pass a final vote at La Jolla Community Planning Association, 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.

In other DPR news:

Steel Residence expansion: Plans for a 5,922-square-foot addition to an existing 833-square-foot residence at 7991 Prospect Place were heard. Trustees showed interest in preserving the historic nature of the structure and the practical issues involving the basement and maneuvering cars in the garage.

In March 2015, the front cottage on the site was designated “historical” by the city’s Historical Resources Board. A second building at the rear of the property was denied the designation.

The expansion proposal includes the removal of the rear cottage, the addition of a basement, a supplement on the rear of the front cottage and a second-story master suite.

Of the plans, DPR chair Paul Benton said, “The neighborhood character is quite strong around this site. It has some wonderful examples of beach cottages and it’s desirable to have something that’s compatible both with the neighborhood and the historic building on the site.”

On the design for the addition, member Diane Kane commented, “The Secretary of Interior Standards (for historical buildings) says additions need to be both ‘compatible and differentiated.’... We need to have some flexibility in what we are letting people do, but you still need to keep the historic compatibility of what you are saving.”

The applicant was asked to consider changes to the exterior design that increase the compatibility of the design with the historic one, with an emphasis on the roof.

The project will again be reviewed at the next DPR meeting, when the applicants will provide information about materials (both existing and proposed), basement excavation and the foundation system in relation to the slope to the west, the proposed automobile lift and views from the side yards of the property to the adjacent building.

DPR next meets 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St.