Permitting chair gets his permit to build on La Jolla Rancho Road

The La Jolla Development Permit Review (DPR) Committee green-lighted their leader, Brian Will, for a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) and Site Development Permit at its meeting on July 17 at the Rec Center. Will proposes to construct a new, single-dwelling unit on a half-acre vacant lot between 832 and 850 La Jolla Rancho Road. (He recused himself from the discussion/vote and was replaced as chair by trustee Mike Costello for the project.)

After throwing a bit of shade during the project’s initial presentation on July 10, the committee reversed itself when Will came back with some answers to technical questions.

“One thing I’d like to say is that it doesn’t look like a 5,000 square-foot-house from outside,” Elizabeth Gaenzle said.

“Congratulations, Mr. Will,” Costello added. “We will see you at CPA and see if we change our mind.” (After DPR approves permits, they still must be voted on by the La Jolla Community Planning Association.)

“If they don’t like it,” added trustee Diane Kane, referring to Will’s clients, “let me know because I’m ready to move in.”

Reserve passes

Applicant Kent Coston returned to DPR with the goods. After making several significant improvements to his plans to build a 5,000-square-foot house at 6850 Country Club Drive, Coston was recommended, 6-1-1, for a Substantial Conformance Review.

Costello called the revised plans “a big improvement,” complimenting the greened-up roof he said now makes it look “like an old, overgrown ruin.”

Not only was there no public objection, but neighbor Louis Levy wrote a letter to Coston stating that he read the Light’s coverage of the June 19 DPR meeting — at which the project was declared “a little too regal” — and he couldn’t understand the objection.“I take issue with people speaking on my behalf,” the letter stated, adding that Coston and Levy do not know each other.

The lone DPR holdout was Gaenzle, who objected to Coston’s identification of a loophole allowing the garage to remain at 1,000 square feet not calculated in the floor area ratio (FAR). According to Municipal Code, unbeknownst to the committee, garages don’t need to be included in FAR if they’re open on three sides, and garages can be up to 3,000 square feet.

“The fourth time’s a charm,” Coston said as he exited.

Herschel driveway hits highway

Squabbling continued in the case of the map waiver and CDP amendment sought for three residential condo units at 7460 Herschel Ave. (Construction on the condos, as well as a new catch basin and storm drain, was already completed but shortened neighbor Shayne Gilder’s driveway, at 7444 Herschel Ave., by three feet.)

Because Gilder was still so unsatisfied with all solutions offered by his neighbor, Will warned co-presenters Kathi Riser and Dan Tobar not to seek a vote because “it won’t go well.” But they did and Will was correct. (It failed unanimously.)

Not only is the problem unresolved, it is confounded because both sides have cited support for their sides from two City employees with the same last name who they apparently thought were the same person.

The applicant and neighbor are citing contradictory testimony from City staff,” Will said. “I urge both to meet together with staff or at least (include) all in correspondence. The committee expects to see a consistent single testimony, with supporting documentation, of what the City’s stance is.”

— The La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee next meets 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.

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