NOTHING DEVELOPS: DPR requires all project applicants to return

Applicant rep Tim Golba and landscape architect Frank Marczynski present the La Jolla Development Permit Review committee their landscape plan for two new homes at 1188 Muirlands Drive.

Despite a full plate of five reviews, three of which were docketed as final, the La Jolla Development Permit Review (DPR) committee did not green-light any projects at its March 12 meeting at the La Jolla Rec Center.

Applicant rep Tim Golba, seeking a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) to construct two new houses on two vacant lots at 1188 Muirlands Drive — which were damaged by overzealous grubbing — produced the landscape plan he was asked to at the Feb. 9 DPR meeting. He handed the floor to Frank Marczynski, owner of Topia Landscape, to explain the details. The plan called for planting 40 or more trees.

The committee wasn’t satisfied, however, asking Golba to return with a more detailed landscape plan specifying the type of trees — and their box sizes if they’re new — in addition to a list of which plants or trees would remain on the property. He was also asked to make the area look more natural, possibly with a creek.

“Channel Montecito,” DPR trustee Diane Kane playfully instructed Golba. (“Or a novel idea,” DPR chair Brian Will added, smiling, “channel the Muirlands.”)

Susan and Walter Smith present their plan to built a 15,000-square-foot house at 7248 Encilia Drive.


Susan and Walter Smith, partners in Education Lab Architects, continued presenting their case for a CDP and a Site Development Permit (SDP) to demolish an existing house at 7248 Encelia Drive damaged due to a landslide that occurred on a second lot at 7231 Romero Drive. They seek to construct a three-story single dwelling measuring 15,000 square feet on a 19,000-square-foot lot.

The Smiths explained that a previous Romero Drive property owner conducted improper shoring, which tore open the hill and caused the Encelia Drive house to move. An emergency CDP was issued for 14 100-inch caissons and now the soil is stable, they explained.

Two neighbors let the committee know that they considered the proposed house too large for the neighborhood. (When one complained that her whole view was blocked, Will explained that it was the committee’s purview only to address obstructed public views, not private ones.)The Smiths were asked to return with First Assessment Letter, a document identifying all required approvals and outstanding issues. (“It’s actually in our bylaws that we can’t review a project without a first draft,” said DPR trustee Mike Costello.) The committee also asked to see a comparison of how many multi-story homes are in the area, and a floor-area-ratio (FAR) worksheet.

The Smiths were also asked to consider reducing the side of the top floor, and to minimize or make transparent the decorative lily pads hanging over the house’s footprint that Will said “would go a long way toward reducing perceived bulk and scale.”Also at DPR

  • 544 Arenas: Will told applicant reps Brian Kuzdas and Lucy Martinez that the numbers they provided for the 3,408-square-foot house they intended to construct at 544 Arenas exceeded allowable FAR. “Unless some data is wrong, you’ve designed a house entirely too big,” said Will, who instructed the reps to double-check their FAR calculations and all zoning issues, or redesign the project to comply. (“I guess I’m going to have one more trip,” Kuzdas replied.).
  • Historic remodel: A preliminary hearing was held for applicant rep Karina Urias, who seeks a CDP for a 194-square-foot addition/remodel to an existing 3,222-square-foot historically designated dwelling, for an 88-square-foot addition to an existing 619-square-foot garage, and for a new 729-square-foot detached companion unit at 7025 Vista Del Mar Ave. The committee requested to see bigger drawings, an aerial photo and FAR calculations.
  • Alcorn entertained: Architect James Alcorn presented his hand-drawn designs to construct a 500-square-foot companion unit over an existing detached 500-square-foot garage at 714 Forward St. Alcorn said of the project, eliciting laughter: “This is what happens when a daughter’s friend asks if you’ll do something for her.” When a committee member complimented his drawings, Alcorn replied that he prefers drawing by hand “because I don’t know how to use a computer.”

DPR next meets 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 9 at the La Jolla Rec Center, Room 1, 615 Prospect St.