Garage issue keeps La Jolla Shores permitters from voting on home rebuild


The review of the “Hick’s Residence” project during the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee was a rocky one, Sept. 16 at the Rec Center. After some disjointed discussion and applicant’s representatives acknowledging the presentation was largely for feedback, the board opted not to vote on the project. The project will be heard again at a future meeting.

Applicants reps Nick Wilson and Haley Duke from Island Architects sought a Site Development Permit and Coastal Development Permit for a project at 8405 Paseo Del Ocaso, to demolish an existing single-story house and construct a new two-story, single family residence to tie into an existing garage.

The meeting was often fragmented, with trustees asking one presenter questions and audience members asking different questions to the other.

At times, those asking questions went up to the board to stand directly in front of the renderings and diagrams, prompting chair Dave Gordon to request the meeting be kept in order. But during the course of discussion, questions arose about the garage, how views would be preserved, the size of the house in relation to its lot (even though The Shores does not have a Floor-Area Ratio maximum), articulation and more.

Duke explained that an “open house” with neighbors was held two years ago, at which some residents said the rebuild was “satisfactory,” and other responses were “open ended.” Soon after, applicant’s reps met with their client for a redesign.

The most eyebrow-raising facet of the project seemed to be the garage.

The development involves tearing down the existing house — except for the garage — and building the new house. When the house was first constructed in the 1940s, the garage was — and still is — about a foot away from the house’s property line, and does not have a park-able driveway.

So when applicants said the rest of the house would be torn down, but the garage would remain in its current configuration, PRC trustee Ted Haas asked, “How is that even legal?”

Fellow trustee and Island Architects founding principal Tony Crisafi said there was a stipulation that allowed for such an approach in local building codes.

Other PRC members said they had issues with the garage as a centerpiece around which the rest of the house would be built, with Janie Emerson calling the plan a “no go” in its current iteration.

However, trustee Andy Fotch opined: “Based on a lot of homes we see in this area, I was happy to see this. Overall, the articulation is good, but it is one of the largest houses from a square-footage standpoint. However, compared to a few other things we’ve seen lately, this is nice overall. It’s a good fit for the lot.”

The applicant’s reps said their clients have not seen the final drawing, nor have plans been submitted to the City for consideration.

As such, the project would come back for additional review — and a vote — at a future meeting.

— La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee next meets (pending items to review), 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 21 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.