La Jolla permit group reviews 3 projects with a ney, yeah, stay

During its Tuesday, Oct. 18 meeting, La Jolla Development Permit Review committee (DPR) approved a project, denied another and continued a third to a later meeting.

Chelsea St. three-story

Denied was applicant Claude Anthony Marengo, whose proposal to build an 8,963-square-foot single-family residence at 5228 Chelsea St. was first presented Oct. 11 to rave reviews. Marengo was back the following week with more project details. This time around, he faced opposition from community members.

Larry Hogan, who identified himself as a Chelsea Street neighbor, brought up the possibility that the residence might become a short-time rental. Another neighbor, Mary Kinyon, elaborated, “I’m disturbed by this house’s (design plans), because it’s not in scale with the neighborhood; it’s much larger. It is two houses away from where I live. We’ve been inundated with short-term rentals, and I see the resulting increase in traffic, burglaries ... we’ve had the highest ever this year and it’s very upsetting. We want to have a safe and healthy neighborhood.”

Marengo replied, “I guarantee you with his kind of project there won’t be any short-time rentals. It’s an expensive project, if you short-term rent it, it would lose the value (of a new house).”

DPR member Mike Costello proposed that the third floor deck be eliminated to reduce neighborhood unease as a roof deck could become a party area. “Decks aren’t really used (in our neighborhood). Taking off that deck is going to help alleviate the concerns of the neighbors in attendance and others who didn’t make it tonight.

However, Marengo said he would not eliminate the deck.

After a failed motion that findings couldn’t be made for a coastal development permit “due to the roof deck, the mass and configuration with the street, and the transition between old and new structures,” DPR member Brian Will reached an agreement with Marengo to set back (by six feet from the street) the third-floor bathroom, which is the only enclosed room on the proposed roof. “The reason I’m making this motion is if it is pushed back and someone is walking down the street, you won’t see it anymore, the parapet is going to block your view of that bathroom.”

Marengo agreed to the setback and Will put forward a motion that findings could be made for the permit with this change, but the motion failed 3-4-0.

Tensions rose during final arguments, with the high point being Marengo’s statement, “I’m just tired of this group doing of code compliance work in their committee, I think it’s inappropriate and should stop.”

A final motion that findings could not be made for a coastal permit, passed with a 4-2-1 vote. The project will be up for ratification at the next La Jolla Community Planning Association meeting, 6 p.m. Thurdsday, Nov. 3 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.

Permit Review board chair steps down after five years »

Going ‘Green’ on Camino de la Costa

The DPR committee approved a project to demolish an existing residence and construct a 5,886-square-foot two-story single-family home with a basement at 6436 Camino de la Costa.

The project boasts 100 percent sustainability. The applicant plans to install 44 solar panels on the flat roof, use high-performance energy-saving glass, reduce the structure’s blueprint to boost stormwater infiltration and use recycled construction materials.

Architect Lauren Williams showed the permitters a front courtyard separated from the street by a railing fence with flat, horizontal bars that originally featured 2 inches of space for every 5 inches of metal. “There is a security concern for our client,” she said.

However DPR member Diane Kane questioned the home’s approachability. “So you are providing nice security for the people in the house, but there’s no interchange with what’s going on with the people in the street. And I think that’s a shame. We’re losing that interconnectivity, which is what makes community and makes the street safer.”

Homeowner Melinda Shough added, “I’ve lived (on that street for 30 years). We have a great community and we know all our neighbors, and we love them and they love us. ... Truthfully, when we bought this house, our neighbors were so thankful we bought it, because we are friends, so we have an open-door policy.”

An agreement was reached between the applicant and the DPR to keep the visibility of the railing fence at 50 percent, and the project was approved.

New Soledad Ave. Residence

Plans for the demolition of an existing 1,878-square-foot residence and the construction of a new 3,225-square-foot single-family dwelling at 1421 Soledad Ave. was presented for preliminary review by applicant Tim Golba. The project features a two-story home over a basement with a front courtyard. The presentation was continued to a later meeting.

— DPR next meets 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8 at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.