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Permit reviewers approve 18,422-square-foot La Jolla Farms home development

DPR members assess the projected view from the street of an 18,422-square-foot house proposed for 9872 La Jolla Farms Road.
Development Permit Review Committee members assess the projected view from the street of an 18,422-square-foot single-story house with two levels of basement proposed for 9872 La Jolla Farms Road.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

With a renewed interest in the surrounding view corridor, the La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee focused much of its June 8 meeting on a planned development in the La Jolla Farms area before approving the requested permits.

The applicants seek an amendment to coastal development and site development permits to build a new 18,422-square-foot single-story house with two levels of basement at 9872 La Jolla Farms Road. The lot is currently a field used informally for neighborhood recreation. There also is a trailhead for public access at one end of the site, which will remain.

When the project was preliminarily reviewed in May, applicant representative Tim Golba said the property is owned by a homeowner next door who wants to develop it as a “guest house and man cave” with a yoga patio, meditation area and other recreational amenities. Most of the proposed house would be buried into the grading and not visible from the street, Golba said.

After a presentation including renderings and aerial views of the site and surrounding neighbors, attention shifted to the proposed view corridor from the street to the ocean.

Golba said part of the previous permit is a condition for a 15-foot view easement on the south side of the property. “We are maintaining that, we are not changing that, we are not adjusting that,” he said. But the current view corridor “bends over” one area of the property. “It’s mind-numbingly worthless,” he said.

Golba’s plan is to move some shrubs so a view window would look straight out to create a new line of sight to the ocean at the width specified in the original permit.

In December, the La Jolla Community Planning Association created an ad-hoc committee to examine coastal view corridors that have been blocked by residential development. Members of that committee attended the DPR meeting seeking assurance that the views would be preserved.

“View corridors are disappearing as fast as people put them up because they are full of bushes and trees,” said La Jollan Melinda Merryweather.

She said there also is a problem with people planting in the public right of way. “The city does not trim [vegetation at] these accesses anymore … and we have volunteers that trim those bushes,” she said.

Golba said maintenance is written into the easement and that the homeowner is responsible for it.

DPR trustee Angeles Leira said “the public realm has multiple functions; it’s not just a view corridor. It’s a link that introduces you to a wonderful view, and landscaping softens the need for fences and other security designs that we have to live with.”

Trustee Glen Rasmussen moved for approval of the project with a request that the applicant record a relocated and straightened southerly view corridor, create perforated fencing to afford more views, continue maintenance of the vegetation along the easement and add a trash can. The motion passed 7-0.

Projects planned for the property have been approved multiple times over the past decade but never built.

After an iteration was approved in 2014 but not built, the property was purchased by the current owner.

Other DPR news

Trustees heard a project seeking a coastal development permit to demolish a 1,541-square-foot house and 400-square-foot detached garage and build a new 3,382-square-foot one-story house with a new detached 560-square-foot garage at 9430 La Jolla Shores Drive.

After a largely favorable review, the board asked the applicants to return with additional information at the June 15 meeting. ◆