La Jolla Permitters OK three projects: Muirlands Water Project, Buckingham Drive demolition, Kolmar Street conversion


La Jolla’s Development Permit Review committee (DPR) gave final approval to three projects during its Feb. 9 meeting, sending them along to the La Jolla Community Planning Association for ratification.

Muirlands Water Project

Initially discussed at the Jan. 19 meeting, a water project planned for the Muirlands area will involve 8,936 feet of pipe replacement and 2,300 feet of new pipe within the public right of way at multiple locations on various streets: Avenida Manana, Avenida Wilfredo, Manana Place, Muirlands Vista Way, Muirlands Drive, Solymar Drive, Newkirk Drive, Inspiration Drive, Terryhill Drive and Havenhurst Drive, plus other alleys and easements in the area. Work is scheduled to start in June or July, and expected to last 11 months.

Project manager Jericho Gallardo brought the committee more details about staging and storage, indicating the equipment used for trenching would be kept on Avenida Manana, Muirlands Vista Way, Newkirk Drive and Havenhurst Drive at different times throughout the project.

“We chose these streets because they are the widest in this area, so there is plenty of room for storage and staging,” Gallardo said. “Contractors are always looking for the fastest way in and out of an area, so depending on where they start the project, they would likely store their equipment in one place and move it occasionally as they move the work.”

As previously reported in La Jolla Light, the water project will be held concurrent to the planned undergrounding project in Muirlands. Phase one of the undergrounding project (which will ultimately take down overhead power lines and replace them with small utility boxes), will begin this summer. The larger phase two, which includes trenching and heavy street work, will begin in May 2017. Gallardo said once the undergrounding work is complete, the streets will be repaved.

A motion to support the project passed unanimously.

Buckingham Drive demolition

Also up for a final review was a demolition at 1525 Buckingham Drive, which would tear down an existing 3,235-square-foot single dwelling unit, 701-square-foot detached garage, pool house, swimming pool and shed(s).

Project representative Dustin Hauck said there are no plans for what will replace the house, which he said is vacant, has not been maintained and is falling into disrepair. “We are going to scrape the property clean of all structures and put a split-rail fence around the property, which we think will look better than a chain-link fence,” he said. “A few groupings of trees are also in poor condition and interfering with the demolition, so they will be removed.”

A motion that findings can be made for the requested Coastal Development Permit affiliated with the demolition passed 5-2-1.

Kolmar Street conversion

Project applicant Brian Rowe sought a Map Waiver and Coastal Development Permit for the conversion of an existing 3,698-square-foot residential duplex into condominium ownership on a 0.115 acre property at 247-249 Kolmar Street.

DPR member Diane Kane expressed concern over a resurgence of areas in La Jolla being “condo-ized,” which Rowe did not dispute. He said, “there was a big boon of parcels becoming condos in 2005-2006 that might be starting back up again.”

The board determined there was no need for a return presentation and voted unanimously to accept the presentation as a final review, agreeing that findings could be made for the project documents.

In other DPR discussion

La Jolla Scenic home build: Following a courtesy presentation (during which DPR members cannot vote or make recommendations to La Jolla Community Planning Association), project applicant Joshua Wood returned to request a Site Development Permit for environmentally sensitive lands for the construction of a new residence with a garage for four parking spaces totaling 10,380 square feet. The 1.37-acre site is located at 6083 La Jolla Scenic Drive South.

“This is a new residence on an existing vacant lot, in a mix of stucco, stone and veneer on the exterior,” Wood said. Although the house is visible from the street, it is at the end of a very long driveway leading to the property.

DPR member Angeles Leira said she saw “no issues with the house itself,” but would like to have a better idea of how it fits into the area and the landscape (given it is adjacent a canyon and on environmentally sensitive lands). The board requested Wood return with an aerial photo showing the site, the canyon and driveway all the way back to La Jolla Scenic Drive South on both sides of the driveway and both sides of the canyon; as well as provide a site section through the driveway; any new staff comments that have been received since the December courtesy review on the drainage and brush management plans.

Wood agreed to provide the information at a future meeting.

La Jolla Blvd. mixed-use: A Coastal Development Permit for the demolition of two existing commercial buildings and the construction of a two-story, 11,433 square foot mixed-use building with four residential units and two ground floor retail spaces at 5652-5656 La Jolla Blvd. is sought by project applicant Claude-Anthony Marengo. He informed the committee that the exterior of the project would have slate blue siding, a bronze aluminum frame and clear smoke glass.

Raising a few members’ eyebrows was the hallway between the two proposed retail spaces, which meets the ADA accessibility laws, but at only four feet wide, was called “a dark passageway” and “brutal.”

Because the ADA component is not a “sellable” part of the project, Marengo said he would limit the width to what is required by federal law, but would revisit the proposed width.

The committee asked him to return with a photo montage to show how the proposed building fits with surrounding structures facing La Jolla Boulevard; an aerial photo; a design concept for the ADA-hallway; corrected drawings (to address a printing error on the presented drawings); and a material sample board.

— La Jolla DPR meets 4 p.m. second and third Tuesdays at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.