Permitters support Chelsea Street home remodel in La Jolla


By a vote of 6-3-1, the La Jolla Development Permit Review (DPR) committee recommended that the La Jolla Community Planning Association (CPA) ratify presenter Michael Morton’s application for a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) to remodel and add to an existing two-story single dwelling at 5251 Chelsea St.

However, this was the committee’s second vote on the project at DPR’s Sept. 11 meeting at the Rec Center. After trustees objected to the size of the roof deck (1,700 square feet) and a separate second-floor overhang — as originally presented — Morton agreed to move the deck 3 feet further from its side yard locations and reduce the overhang to 8 feet. (That motion failed 4-5-1.)

Morton then volunteered to throw in reducing the overhang to 6 feet above the face of the second-floor windows, as well as installing a planter buffer inside the new guardrail. That garnered a majority vote, with trustees Mike Costello, Elizabeth Gaenzle and Matthew Welch opposing.Costello said the roof deck “could be very noisy and destructive to the neighborhood,” in addition to noting that the renovated house plan “looks crowded,” like “a large rectangle across the lot.”

Neighbors rally

Most of the 23 members of the public crowded in the tiny room were there to express their objection to the Newmann Residence Project at 7742 Whitefield Place, which seeks a Site Development Permit and CDP to demolish an existing one-story single-family dwelling to construct a new, two-story, 10,861-square-foot unit with basement and attached garage.

In fact, DPR chair Brian Will moved the project up on the agenda as a courtesy — with the approval of the presenter bumped down by the move.

“The average-sized house in our neighborhood is 3,000-4,000 square feet,” next-door neighbor Bob Steiner told presenters Lindsay King and Paul Benton of Alcorn & Benton Architects.

“This is three-to-four times the average size,” Steiner continued, also noting that the previous owner built a swimming pool on the property that collapsed.

“There’s a reason there’s a 300-square-foot house where it is, built on solid ground,” Steiner said, “and there’s a reason that beyond that, things collapse.”

The presenters were asked to return with a number of different photos and to reduce square footage by 80 to comply with required floor-area ratio (FAR).

Kretowicz opposed

In a preliminary review, builder Ure Kretowicz proposed replacing decorative paving currently within the public right-of-way adjacent to his house at 7957 Princess St., with new granite porcelain tiles and signage identifying public access to a nearby pocket beach.

DPR chair Brian Will questioned the plan, claiming it “looks like it discourages public access.” Trustee Diane Kane suggested that, even as is, the right-of way looks too much like a private courtyard and should be redone to look like a City street.

“It’s public,” Kane said. “It’s not yours.”Costello said he would bring to the next DPR meeting a letter suggesting a course of action to CPA in advance of a California Coastal Commission’s (CCC) hearing on this new issue in October.

(Kretowicz has previously challenged the CCC’s requirement of the beach access path through his property, which was held up by both a 2013 San Diego Superior Court and a 2015 state appellate court decision.)

Consolidation considered

A preliminary review of the Ryan Lot Consolidation Project, at 5673 Linda Rosa Ave.,had applicant Rick Turner requesting a CDP to combine two lots into one. Gaenzle discovered two open permits for construction here already, to which Turner replied that one “should have been closed” and that the other is an active concurrently processing permit, whose FAR determination will impact the current permit.

Expressing concern that another “nice little house” will grow to four times its size, trustee Angeles Leira said she was uncomfortable just “playing with the numbers” to increase bulk and scale.

Turner was asked to return with plans for a proposed structure/remodel and to show the canceled permit.

Also at DPR…

Approval of a tentative map waiver and CDP, to convert three rental units to condos at 7210 La Jolla Blvd., passed swiftly, 8-0-2, with the committee expressing admiration for the property. (Known as Heritage Place, it’s a collection of three historically designated homes, dating back to the late 1800s, that were moved together for protection.)

— DPR next meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.