Roof deck is fiery issue at La Jolla permit-review meeting

Applicant’s rep Mahmoud Oriqat receives the La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee’s sole green light at its Aug. 13 meeting. He got the committee’s blessing for a variance and permit to build a soil nailing wall at 1643 Valdes Drive.

Complaints about roof decks were a running theme at the Aug. 13 meeting of the La Jolla Development Permit Review (DPR) committee, held at the Rec Center.

DPR asked applicant’s rep Tim Golba to consider removing one from the Stupin Residence, a project at 5191 Chelsea St. for which he seeks a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) to demolish an existing house and replace it with a 4,493-square-foot, two-story residence.

John Bannon, who identified himself during public comment as the project’s neighbor on the east, said he opposed the deck because it looks into one of his home’s bedrooms. (Golba replied that it was far from his yard.)

Neighbors also objected to the roof deck, and other changes, proposed by applicant’s rep Trip Bennett to 5911 La Jolla Mesa Drive. Bennett sought a CDP and Site Development Permit (SDP) to add a 1,175-square-foot master suite on top of the existing 4,135-square-foot house.

Julie Hamilton requested that its roof deck either be removed or outfitted with cable or glass railing. Neighbor John Frangos echoed her concern about the roof deck, and requested story poles for a recent cabana revision and commented that the pool has risen in height.

DPR trustee Mike Costello said that he discourages roof decks because “very few people actually use them.”

The applicants’ reps in both preliminary reviews were asked to return with specific deliverables.

1643 Valdes Drive

During the meeting’s only final review, DPR granted applicant’s representative Mahmoud Oriqat a variance and Neighborhood Development Permit for a nonstandard soil nailing wall, encroaching into the public right-of-way, to stabilize an eroded area at 1643 Valdes Drive.

The vote was 5-0-1, with trustee Diane Kane commenting: “You guys get an A-plus on presentation.”

1437 Virginia Way

Of the evening’s other preliminary reviews, the Scarano Companion Project came the closest to being fast-tracked: within a single vote. Architect Kim Grant sought a CDP to convert an existing 527-square-foot guest room into a companion unit on a site with an existing 2,248-square-foot single-family residence at 1437 Virginia Way.

The owner of the neighboring house, Grant explained, bought this house “to have a little control over it, to not have noisy neighbors next door and to keep it two stories.” she added: “By having this kitchen and having it deemed a companion, they can actually rent it.”

“Any new discussion items on this new countertop and sink?” DPR chair Brian Wills joked, suggesting that DPR shouldn’t take up time with such small issues.

Costello held out, however, asking Grant to call or contact the next-door neighbor “who’s not your client,” explaining that it’s a longstanding DPR policy to do so.

7310 Vista Del Mar

Neighbors expressed concern about the size and scale of the Israni Residence Project at 7310 Vista Del Mar. Applicant’s rep John Dodge appeared before the board to seek a CDP and SDP to demolish an existing house and construct a 7,000-square-foot new one in its place.

During public comment, Chris Freundt objected to the size of a walkout basement (3,800 square feet) that was not calculated in floor-area ratio (FAR). Dana Young said the setback on the proposed house’s southern side was too small. She also expressed concern that a wall in front of its southwest corner would not get built taller, which Dodge said he was willing to include as a condition of the permits). And Ed Esquenazi complained that the project “seems massive.”

Dodge was asked to return to DPR with, among other items, additional photos, a landscape plan with plant labels, a construction plan, and statistics on FAR and how many neighboring homes have basements.

7421 Monte Vista Ave.

Applicant’s rep Lindsay King — who sought a CDP to add a 491-square-foot second-story and 400 square-foot roof deck to a 1,400-square-foot residence at 7421 Monte Vista Ave. — was asked to return with an aerial photo, a photo montage of neighboring structures, and more three-dimensional images. DPR trustee Angeles Liera commented that the terrace “looks awkward,” and Kane requested more vines and a stained glass window.

— The La Jolla Development Permit Review committee next meets 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.