Permitters OK plans for new home on Soledad Avenue, agree City can sell vacant Rutgers Road lot

A project to build a 3,225-square-foot, two-story single-family residence with a basement at 1421 Soledad Ave. received approval from La Jolla Development Permit Review committee (DPR) during its Nov. 8 meeting.

Applicant Tim Golba presented plans for a home that include a basement with a garage at the street level of Al Bahr Drive. The easement granting the next-door neighbor access to a rear garage would be left untouched, while the new house turns its back to it, and opens up to the front side of the lot (Soledad Avenue) where a yard and a dining deck will be built.

The proposed building’s Floor Area Ratio (FAR) — its size upon the lot total — is 0.47 where a 0.57 is allowed, said Golba. The construction materials to be used are stone at the basement level and stucco with wood siding on the upper floors. The project also features photovoltaic panels on the roof that will decrease the household’s energy consumption. A roof deck (with no proposed construction on it) was included.

The maximum height of the building will be 29.6 feet, but Golba said the home will appear to be only 22 feet tall. “It’s almost disingenuous to call it a 29-foot-tall building, because it’s really only 22 feet up on the pedestal,” he said, referring to the natural slope of the lot.

In its second and final presentation before DPR, the project didn’t present much controversy. However, a comment about construction staging was offered by trustee Diane Kane. “It occurs to me that you have a house under construction across the street, and the nearby La Jolla View Reservoir is going to go under construction, and you’re going to be in construction, so how is this construction going to be coordinated with city traffic?”

Golba replied that once the basement is excavated, construction will be staged from the lot, and digging out the lower level will take a week. A motion to approve the project passed 5-0-1.

Rutgers Road Street Vacation

The City’s request to vacate (give up for public purchase) a lot acquired in 1957 — with the intention of building a road there to connect Cass Street and Rutgers Road — received the DPR’s OK after two previous DPR presentations and one at La Jolla Parks & Beaches (LJP&B). The parcel sits half in Pacific Beach and half in La Jolla.

At the urging of DPR members, the City’s request was sent to LJP&B to find out if the community had any desire to turn one of the only empty public spaces left in the vicinity into a park. After LJP&B turned down the option (citing the hilly terrain), the request went back to the permitters who gave the City their approval to sell it.

Because the lot straddles two communities, trustee Angeles Liera suggested it might be difficult to sell, so she recommended the City consider adjusting the community line “to follow public rights of way.” The change was added to the approving motion, which passed 5-0-1.

If the City agrees, the community line dividing the lot in two will be set back north, and the property will only sit in Pacific Beach. The Pacific Beach Planning Association has already approved the City’s request for a street vacation. At a previous meeting it was said that a resident adjacent to the property had expressed an interest in buying it from the City.

Webb Residence

Applicant Brian Will presented for preliminary review a project to partially demolish and remodel a home at 5192 Chelsea St. The plan is to undertake the project under the remodeling exception, which allows applicants to avoid the community review process, but as Will explained, the inclusion of a pool triggered the site development permit and coastal development permit, “And here we are.” The remodeling process brings a “non-conforming” status to the home, which was built when a higher FAR was permitted in the area.

To achieve the remodeling exception, applicants must preserve 51 percent of the original structure. The committee asked Will to provide a drawing highlighting the parts of the structure that would be retained during the remodel.

Other board requests for the applicant to consider were: ways to include windows on the sides of the house; opening the side yards (or a window) for public views from the street to the ocean; photographs of the side yards; a rendering showing the ocean, bluff, pool and house; having the top 3 feet of the gate visually open; providing a landscape plan; providing a materials sample board; and providing a corrected geotechnical report. The application was then tabled to a later meeting.

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

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