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La Jolla DPR Committee gives green light to Country Club house on first review

A rendering depicts the home project approved for 1627 Kearsarge Road.
A rendering depicts the home project approved for 1627 Kearsarge Road, which was presented to the La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee during its July 13 meeting.
(Photo by Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee fast-tracked a home project in the Country Club area, voting July 13 to make its preliminary review final and determining that findings can be made to support the development.

Homeowners and architects Taal Safdie and Ricardo Rabines seek a coastal development permit to build a new two-story, 2,481-square-foot single-family residence with an attached carport and convert an existing 965-square-foot cottage to a companion unit at 1627 Kearsarge Road.

Much of the new construction would be into the hillside at the top of the site, where there is currently no development, Safdie said. The carport would provide off-street parking and be located at one of the highest points on the property. The converted accessory dwelling unit would have “as much distance as possible” between it and the house, Safdie said.

“Part of the design was trying to be sensitive to the neighbors on either side of us, so we set the building back so we don’t block their views to the ocean,” Safdie said. “The house is set back on both sides with planters on either side. … We wanted to build a structure that is low and unassuming from the street. There currently is no view to the ocean from Crespo [Drive, the street behind and parallel to Kearsarge] because it is completely overgrown. We have [created] a view through the carport at the top of the building to the ocean.”

Any preliminary DPR review can be made final by a unanimous vote, allowing the committee to make a recommendation on the project. The members were quick to make the review final.

After a short series of questions, DPR trustee Diane Kane said: “I think you have a great project. Welcome to the neighborhood.”

Trustee John Shannon said: “I would like to think that everything that came before us was as well-done and easy to judge upon the merits of it as this is. … It seems like a great example of what we like to see.”

Trustee Angeles Leira said she has “always loved Hillside Drive and the old houses that were there. This house has some of that more mid-century modern look of those clean, crisp houses that were going up. They were understated but quite nice and very simple. I commend the architects for having such good taste.”

A motion that findings can be made to support the project passed 7-0.

Other DPR news

The committee asked the applicants for a planned storm drain replacement project to return at a future meeting.

The city of San Diego project calls for coastal development and site development permits to install 252 linear feet of storm drain, a concrete energy dissipater and a curb inlet on La Jolla Farms Road between Blackgold Road and Greentree Lane. City projects that require a coastal development permit and/or a site development permit must go through DPR.

As part of the project, crews would “abandon” 58 feet of existing storm drain and construct the new pipe with 18-inch reinforced concrete.

The goal is to “capture stormwater and better manage its flow,” according to project managers.

However, after a series of questions that spanned more than an hour, DPR trustees did not cast a vote and asked the applicants to return with more information about the path of water from the outfall to the beach below, indications of communications with those who live in the area, renderings or other depictions of the energy dissipater, additional water studies and more.

The Development Permit Review Committee’s next meeting begins at 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 20, online. Learn more at lajollacpa.org. ◆