Permitters OK Chelsea St. home remodel, review condo project

La Jolla Development Permit Review committee (DPR) at its Nov. 15 meeting approved plans for the remodeling of a home at 5192 Chelsea St. The project would partially demolish an existing 7,972-square-foot home reducing its size by 1,217 square feet for a 6,755-square-foot gross floor area. The plan is to carry out the construction under the “remodel” exemption, which will allow its current “non-conforming” status to continue.

One of the goals of the project is to build a swimming pool on the west side of the lot. To do that, the applicant will demolish part of the existing basement, reducing the footprint of the building. But to be able to comply with the “remodel” exemption, the applicant needs to keep 50 percent of the original walls. In doing so, the design keeps the windowless north and south walls of the home as they are now, which DPR members took issue with.

Trustee Angeles Liera said, “Can’t you poke some holes in the side yard walls? I’m eye-balling it, but you are allowing more than 50 percent of the floor area, and you’re actually changing some other windows.”

Applicant Brian Will responded, “We would like to put windows in, it’s a priority for my client, but so far, I haven’t found space to do so. If we have to submit a new permit after this home is built to add some windows, clients might pursue that.”

The 29-foot-tall, one-story and basement project features a kitchen, master suite, two smaller bedrooms, living/dining room, greeting room, laundry room, play room, two-car garage and a full basement. The remodeled home will be a shade of white stucco with dark wood accents and bronze windows. The roof will have red tile.

The applicant honored DPR’s preliminary review request to improve the view for pedestrians, so the front and two side gates will be 100 percent wrought iron, which pleased the committee. “Sometimes walking down there, one doesn’t know there’s an ocean,” Liera commented.

The project features existing 4-foot side yards, which DPR members said could be beautified by “creeping vines along the walls so the effect of the wall is softened.” Said Liera, “Having the greenery creeping brings a sort of freshness into the space. There’s not much you can do because you have that wall, the property wall and another one just like it right across. All you can do is something to enhance the space.”

DPR member Jim Ragsdale agreed. “I really like the idea of doing some vines that will go up, that makes a lot of sense, break it up. Another option might be some kind of relief pattern in the stucco to show some contrast, maybe in combination with the vine. Make that space come alive.”

Trustees had no other issues with the project, and a motion to approve it passed.

Condo Conversion: A project to convert an existing property into two condominium units was presented for preliminary review by applicant Beth Reiter. The 0.16-acre site is at 7435 and 7437 Eads Ave., in the RS-1-7 residential zone of La Jolla.

The applicant said there will be no new construction, but some interior remodeling and landscape plans are underway. The requirements for a final review, likely during the next DPR meeting, was for Reiter to provide measurements of the outside stair area, a plan showing the change of boundaries, and plans for the landscape and trash area.

New Member: DPR welcomed Lawrence J. Zynda from the La Jolla Town Council as a new trustee.

DPR next meets 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.

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