La Jolla's Permit Review group hears Caplan Residence proposal: Park Row four-bedroom home to be constructed in Spanish style

A project to redevelop a small house on Park Row was heard by La Jolla's Development Permit Review committee (DPR) during its Dec. 20 meeting at La Jolla Rec Center. The presentation was slated as a preliminary review, and therefore the board did not vote on whether to approve the requested permits associated with the project. Instead, the board provided a list of items they need to hear more about, so the project will return at a January meeting for additional review.

Applicant Tim Golba requested a Coastal Development Permit and Site Development Permit for the Caplan Residence at 1418 Park Row. The project involves the demolition of a single family residence and construction of a 4,302-square-foot, two-story single family residence with a 579-square-foot garage.

Golba explained the new house would be a four-bedroom house, in a "u-shape," with a family room, kitchen, office space and two-level theater (technically two level because there are steps required to access it), along with outdoor decks and terraces. The design is considered a traditional Spanish style, with a maximum height of 26.6 feet. The Floor Area Ratio is under, but "near maxed out" of, maximum allowances.

Much of the front yard massing comes from an existing tree on the property, which would not be removed with the construction. Golba did not know what type of tree it is, but said he would return with that information.

Because of the "eclectic mix" and orientation of houses that surround the property, the design was strategic, Golba said. "There is a variety of styles on that block, and many are two-story. The immediate next door neighbor built a large blank wall that faces the property (I'm going to develop), so we don't have much of a view from the ground floor, but at the second floor, the view gets much better," he said. "We put the theater where we did because it is seven feet from a blank wall (which is not a good place for windows or fencing and) does not invite interactions between neighbors."

As such, much of the common areas, especially the bedrooms, are upstairs. Golba said the property is designed that way so "we're not looking at anyone and no one is looking at us, and we like it that way" and to provide a decent view.

He said "quite a bit of roof area" is eligible for solar panels to ensure that 50 percent of future power is sustainable.

As for landscaping, as posed by DPR member Angeles Leira, Golba said, "We don't know yet, but street trees will come up when we apply for building permits. We would try to match whatever the designated street tree is for that area." The unidentified front yard tree would also remain. Several members noted that the addition of palm trees would make the property more consistent with the neighborhood.

Also to be consistent with the neighborhood, DPR member Diane Kane said she would like to see the front fencing opened up (current renderings show a two-foot wall topped with about three feet of fencing) and palm trees installed. But overall, Kane said that she "likes the project a lot" because it's "an improvement from the plain vanilla boxes we've been getting."

As such, Golba said he would return with answers to DPR members' queries on landscaping, fencing and roof options, and present any available alternative designs.

La Jolla DPR meets 4 p.m. the second and third Tuesdays of the month at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. lajollacpa.org

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