La Jolla Shores permitters approve Lookout Drive projects

Three projects by the same applicant for Lookout Drive were narrowly approved at the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee (PRC) June 18 at La Jolla Rec Center.

Site Development Permits and Coastal Development Permits were approved, 3-2-1, for the development of two detached, two-story, single-family residences totaling 7,132-square-feet on two existing vacant parcels adjacent to 7729 Lookout Drive (in projects simply titled Lots 4 and 5); and for the development of a two-story single-family residence totaling 4,070-square-feet on a vacant lot at 7729 Lookout Drive (titled the Lot 2 project).

The project is adjacent the historically designated Cliff May house, once owned by the late architect considered the father of the California Ranch House, at 7727 Lookout Drive.

The vote came after almost an hour-and-a-half of presentations, discussion, debates and concerns from neighbors, one of whom hired an attorney to argue for postponing a vote.

The projects were previously heard at the May PRC meeting, but the board had a list of items that the applicant needed to address and return with, before it could vote. (Further, this project was heard toward the end of the meeting when there was a lack of a quorum).

In its return, project architect Lisa Kriedeman addressed the concerns associated with the Spanish-Mediterranean style (similar to the Cliff May house) developments.

The first was conflicting numbers in the previous presentation. Kriedeman explained that some square-footage figures incorporated a garage and others didn’t, and some were from previous designs that have since been revised. She also noted there was, on one occasion, a typo that added an extra 0 to one of the measurements.

Board members also questioned the applicant on the setbacks proposed, and Kriedeman pointed out there were “38 setbacks that are less than or equal to what we are proposing.”

Speaking for the project, PRC trustee Andy Fotsch said: “There is certainly no question that this is a very dense neighborhood. From that standpoint, a lot of these homes have at least two setbacks that are close to the property line. These (proposed) homes — from a setback standpoint and how they are laid out in massing on the lot — certainly conform to the neighborhood.”

Other questions arose about the drainage, so Kriedeman explained the design choices that would encourage water to be moved to a drain pipe and away from other properties. “With regard to drainage along the whole street, we are putting curbs and gutters in front of our properties and will try to maintain it,” she said.

When PRC chair Dave Gordon asked if any trustee would like to make a motion in support or against the project, he was met with a moment of silence, broken by trustee Janie Emerson opining: “I think it’s telling that no one wants to make a motion.”

However Angie Preisendorfer made a motion in support because “(the applicant) has addressed a lot of issues,” which passed 3-2-1.

The projects proceed to La Jolla Community Planning Association for ratification, which next meets 6 p.m. Thursday July 5 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.

In other PRC news:

Election addition: The board is considering a revision to its charter to formalize an annual election and some board positions. The committee is appointed and renewed by governing organizations once a year, and some members argued the chair should be formally chosen at that time.

Current chair Gordon, in searching other charters for guidance, noted the conflicting language among the different sub-committee groups: La Jolla Development Permit Review has an election for chair in July, but its bylaws make no mention of vice-chair or secretary; while La Jolla Planned District Ordinance has a chair, vice-chair and secretary, but no mention of an election; La Jolla Traffic & Transportation elects a slate of officers once a year.

Any changes to the charter would need to be approved by the La Jolla Community Planning Association.

La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee next meets 4 p.m. Monday, July 16 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St. lajollacpa.org

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