Bridges and roadblocks at permitters meeting


The fourth La Jolla Development Permit (DPR) committee meeting was the charm for Kathi Riser, who finally got her client a map waiver and amendment of a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) to sell three condos at 7460 Herschel Ave.

Riser, representing the owner as senior land-use consultant with the Atlantis Group, reported at the Sept. 18 DPR meeting that all issues have been resolved: an obtruding backflow preventer was corrected; the City agreed not to require a street light and will not continue undergrounding utilities in the area; and the cement has already been poured on a driveway acceptable by neighbor Shayne Gilder, who had his narrowed from 12 to 10 feet when a storm drain was rebuilt for this project.

“I really want to thank this committee,” Gilder took the floor to announce. “Had it not been for you, I would not be anywhere.”

The motion passed 6-1-1, with Angeles Leira opposing.

Benton opposed

Also at the meeting, following a litany of objections from most of the same neighbors at the Sept. 11 meeting, the committee voted that it couldn’t make findings to grant a Site Development Permit and CDP to architect Paul Benton to demolish an existing one-story single-family dwelling at 7742 Whitefield Place and build a new, two-story, 10,861-square-foot unit with basement and attached garage to replace it.

By a vote of 6-0-2, DPR found the Newmann Residence Project, as presented, “inconsistent with the Community Plan with respect to bulk and scale, community character, transition between new and old development and public views from Torrey Pines and the Canyon.” Before the vote, Benton was urged by DPR chair Brian Will to make adjustments and return, but declined to.

“I think we have a good application,” said Benton, who served as DPR chair from 2010 to 2016.

Roadblock for Kretowicz

Even more strongly rebuked was developer Ure Kretowicz, who had sought DPR’s recommendation to replace 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 the pocket beach.

Instead, DPR voted 7-0-1 to send a letter to the La Jolla Community Planning Administration formally opposing the pending California Coastal Commission (CCC) CDP amendment application for the same project, and proposing that the entire cul-de-sac be restored to a City street.

“The bottom line is all we really want is public access back to make it smooth, easy and visible,” said DPR trustee Mike Costello “We need to have the beach access open. That’s all we’re really concerned about and to have the driveway look like it’s still a cul-de-sac.

Will asked if Kretowicz wished to hear the letter read aloud.

“No, not really,” Kretowicz replied. “I have read this letter and I don’t agree with it. It’s a slap in the face to the hard work the Coastal Commission has done on the project. I would strongly suggest that you don’t send this letter. I think this letter is a mistake.”