La Jolla permit-reviewers OK two projects in final 2019 meeting

Architect Trip Bennett looks on as land-use attorney Julie Hamilton gives an opposing view to additions proposed by his team to 5911 La Jolla Mesa Drive at the Dec. 17 La Jolla Development Permit Review committee meeting.

At its Dec. 17 meeting at the Rec Center, the La Jolla Development Permit Review (DPR) committee voted 4-0-1 to recommend a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for a 7,172-square-foot, two-story new house with basement, 788-square-foot garage, 629-square-foot guest quarters, and a detached 423-square-foot companion unit at 6216 Avenida Cresta.

“This is one of the first projects I’ve seen like it that is very nice,” trustee Matt Welsh told applicant’s rep Daryl Olesinski. “I know the lot. It fits very nicely in the neighborhood and I appreciate it.”

The project heads to the La Jolla Community Planning Association for review on Jan. 9.

7315 Cuvier/614 Sea Lane

DPR also unanimously recommended a CDP and tentative map waiver for an addition to two existing single-story units that total 1,167 square feet each at 7315 Cuvier St. and 614 Sea Lane.

“We either will use this or we will never do it,” said applicant’s rep C.A. Marengo. “We’re just preserving our rights for the future.”

“Nothing real controversial,” replied trustee Mike Costello.

“Was that a motion?” asked DPR chair Brian Will.

“That’s the best motion I’ve ever gotten,” Marengo joked.

5911 La Jolla Mesa

The third time was not the charm for the team of applicant representatives seeking a CDP and Site Development Permit to add a 1,175-square-foot master suite and a pool cabana to the 4,135-square-foot house at 5911 La Jolla Mesa Drive — even though they scaled the cabana down from a 907-square-foot companion unit.

The major issue was whether the construction encroaches into the approved open space/environmentally sensitive lands (ESL) area, with the applicant’s team (including architect Trip Bennett and attorney Matt Peterson) arguing no encroachment and land-use attorney Julie Hamilton, representing one of the neighbors, arguing major encroachment. (Both showed government maps supporting their conflicting positions.)

“We have a very real dispute over where the line is,” Will said. “It is standard practice to hire professionals to plot the precise boundaries of ESL and open spaces that are roughly identified in the community plan. It is not uncommon for the City and county’s own Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data overlays to show sensitive habitat boundaries pass right through the middle of homes and related development, as they do in this case. They are indicative of when/where further analysis is warranted, but they are not meant to be precise boundaries.”

The committee asked to see a fire buffer zone, a photo from across the canyon with the proposed canyon superimposed, and an original GIS map before voting on the project. It also said it would e-mail senior City planner Marlon Pangilinan and environmental planner Jeff Szymanski, asking them to confer and agree upon the limit of allowable development in the canyon.

— La Jolla Development Permit Review (DPR) Committee next meets 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14 at the Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.