La Jolla Permitters OK Lookout Drive addition, despite neighbors’ concerns

Architect Trip Bennett presents his renderings for an addition to a property at 7777 Lookout Drive.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Despite opposition from the neighbors, the Glenister Project was approved 4-0-1 on its first presentation during the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee (PRC) meeting Jan. 22 at La Jolla Rec Center.

About a dozen nearby residents were in attendance to raise questions about the project. It proposes an expansion (and added garage) to the ground floor, and adding a 1,445-square-foot second floor on the top of an existing 3,303-square-foot single-family residence at 7777 Lookout Drive. The second-floor additions include a master suite and studio over the new garage.

Issues with the project centered around parking, impact to neighbors’ views (which is not within the PRC’s purview to debate and cannot be considered when taking a vote) and how the project’s size fits in with surrounding houses.

The project applicant’s rep, architect Trip Bennett, said the City requires two parking spaces for that size property, which would be provided with the garage that fits one car, and a driveway on which another car could park.

However, resident Bradford Noble noted that parking is an issue on the street, and there would actually be a reduction in parking with the new development.

“Right now, you can fit four cars on that driveway, but you are constructing a garage that could fit one car in and one car behind it. So we’re losing parking,” he said, adding that his only view would be blocked with the addition of the above-garage-studio.

Resident Rebecca Levi commented that the houses on that block are “on the smaller side” and questioned whether the scale and density fits with the neighborhood.

Bennett explained that the second story had been scaled back, “just not as much as the neighbor would have liked.”

After the public comments against the project, PRC trustee Tony Crisafi spoke briefly in favor of the design. “It looks great. You’ve done a good job melding this addition into existing home,” he said. “This house was neglected for a long time, so it’s nice to see someone putting some love into it. … I think the massing looks good.”

A vote in support of the project passed 4-0-1. The project will proceed to the La Jolla Community Planning Association for ratification.

In other Shores PRC news:

Prestwick Drive project: After a 40-minute presentation, representatives for a project on Prestwick Drive were asked to come back to provide additional information to trustees.

Applicant’s rep Chandra Slaven explained that the design team has communicated with neighbors and hosted a meeting to go over the plans, and committed to do so again in the future. However, some items that were provided to the neighbors were not provided to Shores PRC, including floor plans, total gross floor area and other figures, a neighborhood streetscape and other architectural measurements.

Further, echoing concerns from neighbors in attendance, PRC trustee Crisafi suggested reducing the overall size and height of the project to make it more consistent with other houses in the area, and reduce its impact on neighbor’s views.

The project involves the demolition of an existing single-family 4,067 square-foot residence at 8230 Prestwick Drive, and construction of a one-story single-family residence with basement, decks, garage, mechanical room and backyard swimming pool, totaling 12,092 square-feet.

Companion Unit approval: A proposal to change the use of a covered patio and guest quarters at 2465 Hidden Valley Road into a companion unit was approved 5-0-1. There would be no new square footage associated with the conversion, said applicant representative Claude Anthony Marengo, and the only change is that the sides of the covered patio would be enclosed to create the companion unit.

Bylaws approved: After three months of discussion, a motion to approve the revised bylaws were passed unanimously, and will go to La Jolla Community Planning Association for ratification.

The proposed charter revision — which chair Dave Gordon said was largely a codification of protocol (such as an election policy and noting when they meet) and adding a stipulation about when an applicant should leave the room to avoid influencing other members — was distributed in October 2018.

The update was approved 4-1-0 in November, but before it could be ratified by the La Jolla Community Planning Association, was asked to be heard by the La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA), given that LJSA appoints three members to PRC.

After LJSA heard the bylaw revisions at its Jan. 9 meeting, PRC voted on them once again, approving them unanimously.

La Jolla Shores PRC next meets (pending items to review), 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.