Shores Permit Review Committee approves 10-year extension of T-Mobile wireless facility in Cliffridge Park

Photo simulations of what the T-Mobile wireless facility at Cliffridge Park would look like with a "radome shroud."
Shelly Kilbourn presents photo simulations to the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee of what the T-Mobile wireless facility at Cliffridge Park would look like with a “radome shroud” on the antennae.

A T-Mobile cell tower in Cliffridge Park is slated to remain for 10 more years after the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee lent its support to a permit extension during its April 19 meeting.

T-Mobile seeks to renew the land-use permit for the wireless facility and install what is known as a “stealth radome shroud” to better disguise it.

The facility has been in operation since 2000 in the northwest part of Cliffridge Park, said applicant Shelly Kilbourn, representing T-Mobile. There are two wireless facilities in the park: a green T-Mobile pole hidden in the trees and a yellow Sprint pole, she said.

Kilbourn said the green pole provides cell service to the surrounding residential areas to the east and west and along Torrey Pines Road. She called it “an integral part of the [T-Mobile] network.”

She said T-Mobile is not proposing changes to the height of the 20-foot-9-inch pole but seeks to add a radome over the antennae. “They are well-hidden in the tree but visible up close, so we would like to add a screen element to hide the antennae,” she said.

Kilbourn added there would be “no changes to the antennae, no change to the frequency, no change to the equipment.”

A motion to support the requested extension passed the Permit Review Committee, 4-1. Trustee Matt Edwards objected without comment.

In 2014, a third wireless facility was proposed for Cliffridge Park but triggered the ire of area residents and parents of Torrey Pines Elementary School students. Many cited concerns with electromagnetic field exposure. The proposal was voted down by the La Jolla Shores Association and La Jolla Community Planning Association.

In 2018, small cell infrastructure designed to enhance the strength of wireless devices was installed in front of Torrey Pines Elementary at 8350 Cliffridge Ave. by way of a small beige box affixed to a lamppost on the sidewalk.

Other PRC news

Plans to remodel and add to a house at 7946 Paseo del Ocaso were approved.

The applicant seeks a site development permit for a remodel and 1,596-square-foot, first- and second-story additions to an existing 2,010-square-foot, one-story house. The project includes a 388-square-foot attached guest quarters and a 362-square-foot second-story deck.

Architect Josh Kordasiewicz said the second floor will be new and consist of the master suite with deck over the existing garage, an inset master bedroom and a remodel of the roof. The floor area ratio (a building’s floor area in relation to the size of the lot) is increasing to 0.65, and the house will be 28 feet 8 inches at its highest, though the majority is “well under the [30-foot] height limit,” he said.

Kordasiewicz said the landscaping is currently at the required 30 percent and that setbacks will remain on the majority of the building.

Concerns were raised about whether there would be enough parking onsite with the addition of the guest quarters, but Kordasiewicz said, “We have cleared all the assessment letter comments with the city in the last week.” He said neighbors had signed letters of support.

A motion that findings can be made to support the proposal passed unanimously.

The La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee meets the third Monday of each month online, pending items to review. The next meeting is scheduled for May 17. Learn more at ◆