Permitters consider three new home projects in La Jolla


A project to demolish an existing single-family, one-story cottage and construct in its place a two-story-over-basement house at 5626 Dolphin Place was reviewed at the July 11 meeting of La Jolla Development Permit Review (DPR) committee and met with opposition from neighbors.

Plans call for a 2,400-square-foot house with a 1,236-square-foot basement and a 475-square-foot garage, totaling 4,110 square feet of constructed area on a 0.11-acre site.

“Our main level is our bedroom level, then our living area is upstairs. We have a master bedroom off the back with a view deck, a play-spa area, and then a large landscaped area in the front,” architect Joshua Wood explained. The design features a U-shape element on the second story, white stucco walls with glass elements and red brick touches, emulating downtown Chicago buildings.

But for next-door neighbor Teresa Lasher, the project means she will lose some of the ocean views from her home. “This plan will eliminate the majority of our western views, all our bathroom views, most of our bedroom view and part of our deck views,” she said, adding that when she and her husband bought their house, they expected the adjacent property to be developed, losing their first-floor sweeping views of the ocean, but not their upper-level views.

Wood replied, “The neighbor to the left doesn’t have a view over us, but a view around us.”

The neighbors and architect met once before the project presentation, and of the meeting, Wood said, “They reached out to my client with a couple of suggestions, so it’s in the process.”

Lasher added, “We’re asking them to make changes in their vacation home so we don’t experience this in our forever home.”

DPR board member Angeles Leira said its a good thing that architects meet with surrounding neighbors before starting the development process to reduce controversy. “I love the way (the design) looks,” she started, “but sometimes you get so tight into it, you don’t have the flexibility to change it. You need to bring in some flexibility, maybe that U-shape that’s so great needs to be modified, and I think you need to look at the floor-to-ceiling height.”

DPR chair Mike Costello offered, “This situation happens a lot and one of the things you can do is work with the neighbors, and we hope that will happen. There’s no place in the law that states you have a right to an ocean view, but we ask you to get a hold of the neighbors and see what you can do.”

In other DPR news:

Megdal residence: Architect Tim Golba presented the Megdal residence project to demolish an existing residence and construct a 4,670-square-foot single dwelling unit and attached 527-square-foot garage in its place at 6003 Vista De La Mesa.

DPR members reviewed the project, made suggestions and set a final review for the July 18 session. The single-family dwelling design features a partly transparent glass fence, vanishing-end pool in the frontyard and indoor-outdoor articulation. The project also includes a 2,897-square-foot subterranean basement.

Bodas residence: Plans for a new 6,000-square-foot residence to be built on the Country Club Drive property formerly belonging to the Copley family were presented and approved at the July 11 DPR meeting. Architect Tim Martin said he faced challenges on the design due to conditions imposed by the Copleys on the parcel before they sold it to the Manchester family.

“The Copleys created some conditions, a private view restriction on the lot to keep the height of the building (low) that’s fairly significant and severe. The other thing that came with it was a lot size adjustment,” Martin explained, adding that an easement that provides access to the home from the street will be attached to the lot. “We have another (private) design committee here that has to approve our project, and agree to the easement.”

The architectural design resembles a hacienda (mostly one-story elevations throughout) with three towers that touch the almost 15-foot height limit, courtyards and wings for bedrooms and libraries.

DPR trustees expressed their awe for the design and level of detail Martin provided. “I’m ready to give you a standing ovation,” said trustee Diane Kane.

A motion to transform the preliminary review into a final review passed unanimously, and trustees approved a second motion to accept the plans. The project advanced to La Jolla Community Planning Association, whose next meeting is 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3 at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.

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