La Jolla Shores permitters approve Roseland Drive addition


A project to add to a second floor to house deep in the hills of Roseland Drive passed unanimously — but with some recommendations — on its first review Sept. 17 at the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee (PRC) meeting.

Homeowner Valerie Sussman seeks to add a 1,377-square-foot second-floor to an existing 1,933-square-foot single-story house, and redevelop the first floor to add 39 square feet at 7830 Roseland Drive.

“We are not tearing down the existing lower walls, we are just adding articulation to the lower floor,” said designer John Kavan of Jackson Design Remodel.”The second floor is over the existing footprint. We chose the approach of taking all of our mass and pull it away from the street. We have a soft scale at the street level.” He added that the elevation would be “kept lower” and use the same Craftsman-style architecture of the existing house with a pitched roof.

The house is on a cul-de-sac type street, largely hidden from public view and adjacent to a vacant lot.

The early reviews were positive. Trustee Angie Preisendorfer said: “From the street level, you’ve done a great job,” with other trustees nodding in agreement.

PRC chair Dave Gordon noted the house was “nicely articulated” with the changes.

Although the board appreciated the design, several wondered if neighbors agreed, and asked about whether surrounding homeowners had been notified. Kavan said there’s been “a little bit” of communication with neighbors.

“It is a small enough cul-de-sac with a very limited number of houses,” Sussman explained. “There is an elderly woman (next door) and she had some concerns about this project encroaching on her property, but I reassured her.”

Additional outreach was done by way of bright green City notices posted around the site and tri-fold notices that were sent in the mail.

However, Gordon opined: “Nine times out of 10, people throw the mailers in the trash,” and suggested, “I highly recommend you actually talk to the neighbors because … a lot of times neighbors find out about it and speak out at the last minute. I would reach out, explain what you are doing and get some feedback.”

All said, a motion to make the preliminary review final and approve the project passed 8-0-0.

Slate of officers elected

Following a suggestion a few months ago to have an annual election, the board opted to do so at its September meeting. Gordon was re-elected chair, trustee Andy Fotsch was elected to the vice-chair and, while serving in the role informally, Preisendorfer was elected secretary.

The PRC Charter does not dictate if and when the board should have an election, but that may change. As early as the next meeting, the board will review and suggest updates to its charter.

“My main goal for reviewing the Charter is to document the things we are already doing, but are not written anywhere, because I often get comments from people to the effect of ‘well that’s not how we did it when I was on the board,’ and this would solidify some of these things.” Gordon said.

— Shores PRC next meets (pending items to review), 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.