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DPR denies Park Row home additions but approves Black’s Beach sand relocation

La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee trustees voted down a request for permits for work at 1228 Park Row.
La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee trustees voted down a request for permits for work at 1228 Park Row.
(Bing Maps / La Jolla Light)

The La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee heard two very diverse projects during its Jan. 12 meeting, with two very different outcomes.

A project for additions to a home on Park Row was denied, while a retroactive permit to remove collapsed sand from a bluff overlooking Black’s Beach was approved.

1228 Park Row

Calling into question the accuracy and transparency of the applicant’s presentation, DPR trustees voted down a request for a neighborhood development permit and an amendment to a coastal development permit for work at 1228 Park Row. The project includes a steel lattice structure, a barbecue, metal rods at the roof parapet, a vehicle gate that encroaches into the public right of way and air conditioning condensers on the garage roof.

Applicant representative Dave Ball said many of the features would not be visible from the street and that some were installed as part of a previous construction project in 2015 but were not permitted at the time, so they are included in the most recent permit application.

The project also would include repurposing an existing enclosed carport as an accessory dwelling unit, but it was not part of the project description issued by the city of San Diego.

After his presentation, Ball said he “had been directed by [homeowner] Scott Kivel to direct any questions from DPR to the city” and said he would not answer any additional questions.

Ray Weiss, who has lived on Park Row since the 1970s, said neighboring properties have been severely affected by the project. “This is a project that has been built, and [the applicant] is now asking for permission for ... something that has existed there for years,” Weiss said.

He also called the presentation inaccurate.

“On the subject of the condensers for the HVAC [heating, ventilation and air conditioning], the applicant said there have been no noise complaints, but it is visible and audible from the neighboring houses and I complained at the last meeting. So to say there have been no complaints is inaccurate,” he said.

Weiss also said the distance between the proposed gate and the sidewalk is four feet, though the applicant said it is five feet. He added that the property measurements provided were inaccurate.

“This is a misrepresentation of the truth, plain and simple,” he said.

Though Ball said the proposed floor-area ratio is at maximum 0.55, trustee Greg Jackson questioned whether the FAR would actually be within what is allowed.

DPR Chairman Brian Will added that when the project was previously heard in early 2019, the applicant “vehemently repeated” that the proposed gate was within the owner’s property. “Now he has admitted it is not on his property” but actually on city property, Will said.

Neighbor Kate Adams said she was “astounded that when something breaks the rules, it can still go forth.” She expressed concerns about structures being on city property without a permit; that structure uses were changed and will change again to become an accessory dwelling unit; and that certain structures are more appropriate for commercial uses, such as the HVAC.

DPR trustee Mike Costello said he was concerned that the ADU was not part of the notice, and he called the gate a “safety issue.”

Jackson said “this is very much an ‘ask for forgiveness rather than permission’ type of project and that bothers me, partly because it shouldn’t work that way. We have examples all over town of where people just go ahead and do things ... figuring they won’t get caught, and if they do, they get retroactive approval.”

The committee unanimously passed a motion that findings cannot be made to support the requested permits because certain measurements need to be certified, the gate encroaches into the public right of way, the ADU had not been noticed, and gate design is inconsistent with the design of surrounding gates.

9044 La Jolla Shores Lane

Conversely, an after-the-fact site development permit to relocate collapsed materials from the base of the coastal bluff at 9044 La Jolla Shores Lane was approved.

Attorney Matt Petersen said bluff failures over Black’s Beach happen “all the time, naturally” and that recently a section of the bluff fell and impacted what is known as the Mushroom House. He said most of the dirt piled up behind the house, but it damaged the tram system that accompanies the house.

“These things have happened over the years, and my client, Buzz Woolley, has taken crews with wheelbarrows and taken the sandy material down to this beach,” Petersen said. The bluff collapse is a part of natural beach replenishment in that the eroded material gets pulverized by the ocean into sand, he said.

In the process of moving the material, a complaint was filed with the city, which issued a stop-work order and said a permit was needed. A presentation to the DPR Committee is required as part of the permit application.

A motion to support the removal of the bluff material and move it to the beach passed unanimously.

The DPR Committee meets the second and third Tuesdays of each month. The next meeting is at 4 p.m. Jan. 19. Learn more at lajollacpa.org. ◆