News

La Jolla Permitters fast-track Fairway wall, slow-track everything else

At its June 12 meeting at the Rec Center, the La Jolla Development Permit Review (DPR) Committee fast-tracked a Process 3 variance to build a slope-retention wall at 7001 Fairway Road exceeding residential height requirements.

Land-use consultant Robert Trettin, representing owner Karen Dow, told the committee that the slope never recovered from the heavy rains two winters ago and is slowly coming down.

“We’re in a bit of a hurry because it’s going to fail soon,” he said, promising to make the wall, which will vary from 8-22 feet, look “as natural as possible.”

The committee voted 5-0-1 to make the preliminary presentation final, then 5-0-1 to recommend the variance to the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA), with DPR chair Brian Will abstaining.

Slow-tracked

Other presenters on the agenda were asked to return, including Kent Coston, who seeks a Substantial Conformance Review for a 5,000-square-foot, two-story house proposed at 6850 Country Club Drive. At issue was whether any part of the original Coastal Development Permit (CDP) required an architectural style that fits the natural landscape.

“It was presented to CPA that the natural character of the site and the indigenous species and environmental plans would be preserved,” said architect Phil Merten, chair of the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee, who spoke during public comment, “and what I’m looking at is some formal, Italianesque heroic designs.”

Will said Merten brought up a good point but that “what I don’t know is whether that was a requirement of the CDP. I was not a part of this committee when that original CDP came through, and I would love to know for sure.”Will told Coston that the members needed a week to read and process the quite-lengthy CDP.

Neighbor dispute

A preliminary review for a map waiver and CDP amendment for three residential condo units at 7460 Herschel Ave. seemed likely to be green-lighted until a neighbor put the kibosh on. Shane Gilder, who owns the property at 7444 Herschel Ave., claimed that when contractors redid the storm drain connecting in front of his property, they shortened his driveway by three feet.

“I need to protect my big investment in life that I worked for,” Gilder said. “This is everything that I have and it’s very important that I protect that.”

Gilder also said he was physically assaulted by the workers when he entered the property to question them about their actions.

“They pushed me off the property,” he claimed.In addition, Gilder said, a water backflow preventer was installed with exposed piping that’s close enough to the sidewalk to pose a danger to children walking the route to school.

As Gilder and real-estate developer Vince Ferrer took turns stating their cases, it became clear there would be no vote.“If there was a vote, it would not go well for you,” DPR trustee Mike Costello told Ferrer.

At the end of the meeting, while committee members packed up, Gilder and Ferrer did something unusual for a public meeting. They grabbed a table together in the back of the room and began working their issues out. Ferrer said he would redo the driveway almost exactly as it was, and promised to do something about the backflow unit.

Property owner Shane Gilder, left, and developer Vince Ferrer decide to put their heads together instead of continuing to butt them.
Property owner Shane Gilder, left, and developer Vince Ferrer decide to put their heads together instead of continuing to butt them. COREY LEVITAN

“This is the way it works out sometimes and it’s nice to see,” Costello said. “You don’t want to win something at a meeting and then have fights with your neighbor for years afterward.”

—The DPR committee next meets 4 p.m. Tues., July 10 at the La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Propsect St., bit.ly/planningagendas

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