La Jolla Planners OK building plans for home on Chelsea St.


After garnering a nearly unanimous approval vote from La Jolla’s Development Permit Review (DPR) sub-committee in August, architect Tim Golba’s Stupin Residence project was also approved near unamity at the La Jolla Community Planning Association’s (LJCPA) Oct. 3 meeting at the Rec Center.

Located at 5191 Chelsea St. in Bird Rock, the project calls for a Coastal Development Permit to demolish an existing single-family residence and construct a new 4,493-square-foot two-story single-family residence with roof deck and attached garage. The scope of work also includes a 1,883-square-foot basement.

DPR approved the project 5-0-1 (following some concern about the roof deck), but it was pulled from the LJCPA consent agenda for full review by a LJCPA trustee.

Speaking proactively to the concerns that could be raised, Golba said: “The project itself is a replacement of a house on the corner. The house steps back each level, and the roof deck is welded into the roof, so you don’t see it. The ground floor even has openings in the massing, then steps back again (for articulation). There is a lot of movement and material changes. It’s a two-story house that is well under the height limits.”

However, LJCPA trustee David Little argued the house was actually higher than 30-foot height limit because code that outlines how height is measured was not being adhered to correctly. “You must measure the height from the finished grade or to the existing grade, whichever is lower,” he said, and opined that stipulation was not being followed. He asked that a foot-and-a-half be taken from each level as a precaution.

Golba responded that the project meets the most restrictive standards of height, and tops at 27 feet.

Occasionally interrupting Golba as he answered questions from the audience and the board, Little said: “Read the code, folks; he’s a good presenter, but you have to read the code.”

After just five minutes of discussion, the board voted to approve the project 11-1-1, with Little in opposition.

Also at LJCPA

No show, no go: Without a formal presentation from the applicants, who were not in attendance, LJCPA voted 10-3-1 against a development project in the Beach Barber Tract area. The applicants seek a Coastal Development Permit and Site Development Permit to demolish existing single-family dwelling unit and construct new 7,000-square-foot single-family dwelling unit at 7310 Vista Del Mar.

City Community Planner Marlon Pangilinan said an applicant is not required to present to local planning boards, but that “we always recommend they do, because it’s kind of political suicide if they don’t.”

However, neighbors Chris Freundt and Valerie Armstrong were in attendance, and spoke against the project due to its bulk and scale being out of character with the neighborhood, and the concern that the development would be used as a “small hotel.” The residents added that the “basement,” which is partially above ground, encompasses more than 3,000 square feet, bringing the project total to 10,000 square feet.

When heard at DPR, the vote was 3-2-1. DPR chair Brian Will said: “What was visible from the street was a nicely designed, well-articulated house, which was very large. That statement reflects a nearly split vote.”

Children’s Pool wall vote: Echoing the concerns of some La Jolla Parks & Beaches committee members (as expressed during its Sept. 23 meeting), LJCPA trustee Diane Kane said she was “disappointed” in the decision reached by the San Diego City Council over the Children’s Pool retaining wall. “As part of the contingent that went down to the City Council meeting,” she said. “I just want to say I am very disappointed in the response we got from our Council member in terms of backing up the findings of this organization. I think that was the wrong call and I think this is not going to end here.”

During its Sept. 17 meeting, the City Council determined that a 30-inch retaining wall at Children’s Pool will remain as part of a Substantial Conformance Review (SCR), in which the City proposed the project meets the terms of a previously approved permit for the Children’s Pool lifeguard tower reconstruction.

When the City was applying for the SCR, reps made the rounds to local planning groups. DPR voted against the wall because members disagreed with the City’s assertion that it was necessary, and that the project conforms to the terms of a permit issued in 2012. One month later, LJCPA ratified the findings.

Seat to fill: A seat vacated by trustee Glen Rasmussen, who stepped down in September for health reasons, must be filled within 120 days, per LJCPA bylaws. An election committee formed to find suitable candidates. Those interested can contact Candidates must have documented attendance at three LJCPA’s meetings in the preceding 12-month period.

La Jolla Community Planning Association next meets 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.