DPR OKs modern Sea Ridge, Country Club area development

DPR chair Paul Benton examines renderings for the Sea Ridge Drive project.
(Ashley Mackin)

For the first time in close to a year, La Jolla’s Development Permit Review committee (DPR) exercised its right to turn a preliminary review into a final review during its April 12 meeting.

After reviewing for the first time the Turquand Residence at 1745 Castellana Road in the Country Club area, permitters determined findings could be made for the requested Coastal Development Permit for the demolition of existing one-story single family residence, storage and stairs, construction of a new two-story single family residence, site retaining walls, site stairs, pool and exterior hardscaping.

Applicant Taal Safdie, of Safdie Rabines Architects, said the proposed development is similar in bulk and scale to the surrounding homes. “Our approach was to take advantage of the spectacular views and keep the concept of how the house looks from the street the same,” she said. “From the street, you only see a very little bit of the house. The majority of what you see is a series of terraces of landscaping up to the top of the house.”

Of the landscaping planned for the terraces, she said several cypress trees on the property would remain. There is also currently ivy and bougainvillea, but developers are planning to remove much of the ivy and replace it with more bougainvillea in different colors, and other drought-tolerant plants.

Other slightly visible (from the street) elements include the underside of the roof, which Safdie said would likely be a type of wood and the retaining wall, which will be similar to what is already in place.

Meeting attendee Patrick Ahern said, “I think the bulk and scale is relative to everything around it and it will fit in nicely. And I really like the green garden wall.”

Others in support, and in attendance, included the homeowners and a few neighbors. So while DPR members said they were “excited” about the design, the thing reviewer Brian Will was most excited about was the proof that neighbors had been contacted, and that they were in support of the project.

Because the neighbors offered “positive words and wishes of good luck,” and the board could think of no other questions for the applicant to answer, Will moved the presentation be made a final, which passed unanimously. The recommendation will proceed to La Jolla’s Community Planning Association for ratification.

In other DPR news:

Sea Ridge Drive home approved: Following the more conventional route of a preliminary review followed by a final review, and gradually minimizing the list of questions to answer, the home build project at 311 Sea Ridge Drive in Bird Rock garnered board approval.

After discussions in March and April, DPR voted that findings could be made to demolish an existing single dwelling unit and construct a 8,968 square-foot single dwelling unit at 311 Sea Ridge Drive. The project incorporates a roof-mounted photovoltaic system consisting of solar panels sufficient to generate at least 50 percent of the project’s projected energy consumption.

Following some problematic renderings, in which the color was portrayed inconsistently, applicant Elizabeth Carmichael presented newer renderings and material samples in the proposed colors.

Applicant Elizabeth Carmichael shows material samples for the home build project at 311 Sea Ridge Drive.
(Ashley Mackin)

The board also discussed a clear glass wall that lines the property that creates a view corridor, but also creates a stark divide between the house and the street. “We played quite a bit with the side wall and the materials to get the transparency you wanted to the front patio area. So we lowered the sidewall to three feet and utilized clear glass above that,” Carmichael explained.

Observing that the proposed sidewall does create a view corridor to the ocean, DPR chair Paul Benton commended the project. Answering all board questions, a motion that findings could be made for the requested permit passed, 5-1-0.

Moran Residence plans: Draft plans for a second story expansion for a home at 7348 Vista del Mar Ave. (near Marine Street Beach) were heard, but the applicant, Claude-Anthony Marengo was asked to return with more information. Marengo requests a Coastal Development Permit and Site Development Permit to construct an addition and interior remodel at an existing single dwelling unit totaling 12,344 square feet.

“We have a one-story and a second-story element, most of which is in the same footprint as the first floor, that we are going to add on to,” he explained. With the additions, the house will be 27 feet at its highest point. He will return to a future DPR meeting with more details.

– DPR meets 4 p.m. second and third Tuesdays at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.