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Development Permit Review Committee approves 3 La Jolla remodeling projects — one that was already built

A rendering depicts work planned at 1542 Copa de Oro Drive in La Jolla.
A rendering depicts work planned at 1542 Copa de Oro Drive. The project was approved at the Nov. 10 La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee meeting.
(Courtesy)

It’s not often that a project that has already been built goes before the La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee for approval. But such was the case for a detached dwelling on a lot in the Barber Tract neighborhood.

The applicant’s representatives sought retroactive approval via a coastal development permit and neighborhood development permit for a new 535-square-foot unit on a lot with an existing 2,100-square-foot, two-story apartment building at 305 Bonair St.

Architect Mark Krencik, representing the applicant, said a previous accessory dwelling unit was “knocked down inadvertently during a construction project” and was rebuilt using the previously allowed setback. However, that also meant “taking a notch” from the front unit to allow for three additional feet on the new dwelling.

By applying for a neighborhood development permit, the previously allowed setback could apply, land-use counsel Neil Hyytinen said.

The last time the board heard the project, on Oct. 20, DPR trustee Greg Jackson said the structure appeared to “stick out.”

In the most recent hearing Nov. 10, trustee Mike Costello said he was a little concerned by the “tearing down and then asking” and said “I have a problem” with the rebuilding using pre-existing allowances.

But trustee John Fremdling said the previous structure “was such a wreck, if you blew on it or hit it with your car, it would have fallen down … it was embarrassingly bad. This is a tremendous improvement to the entire property.”

However, the entire property is covered with concrete, and several board members recommended hedges or other vegetation so it, as Fremdling said, “doesn’t look like a parking lot.”

“It needs some softening,” trustee Diane Kane agreed.

Krencik said he would add a plan for landscaping that includes vines that would grow up a wall.

A motion that findings can be made to support the project passed 6-1, with Costello dissenting because he feels the project gives “nothing to the community.”

Other DPR news

Barber Tract remodel: Another Barber Tract-area project, this one to remodel a one-story house, also was approved.

Applicant Claude Anthony Marengo sought an amendment to a coastal development permit and site development permit to remodel the 2,638-square-foot single-family residence at 6715 Neptune Place and build a 1,846-square-foot second-story addition with a roof deck, for a total of 3,867 square feet after 617 square feet is removed from the existing home as part of the remodel.

Marengo called the project “simple and straightforward,” with white sidings and black windows, and said the area is “a neighborhood in transition.”

A motion to support the project passed 6-0.

La Jolla Mesa remodel: Though it was slated for preliminary review, a project in the La Jolla Mesa area was approved unanimously. Any preliminary DPR review can be deemed final by a unanimous vote.

The project calls for a coastal development permit for a partial demolition, remodeling and 784-square-foot ground-floor addition to a 2,871-square-foot, one-story single-family residence at 1542 Copa de Oro Drive.

Representing the applicant, architect Michael Morton said another contractor previously worked on the project “and they hired people that were not familiar with working in the coastal zone.” The previous contractor “tore down too many of the walls,” and it didn’t comply with the so-called 50 percent rule, under which a project would not have to apply for a CDP if 50 percent of the walls remain.

Morton took over and requested a CDP.

He said the project meets all the basic requirements for floor area ratio, height, setbacks and driveways and would add landscaping to the property.

“It’s basically a new home on the same footprint,” Morton said.

Kane said, “I think you are doing a lovely job; this is a great improvement” and moved to make the preliminary review final. The board agreed and voted to approve the project.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee meets the second and third Tuesdays of each month, with the next meeting scheduled for Nov. 17. Learn more at lajollacpa.org. ◆