Parking structure plan at La Jolla Cove hotel expands

The La Jolla Cove Hotel & Suites plans to build two levels of parking and a new terrace deck.

Expanded plans for a parking structure and terrace at the La Jolla Cove Hotel & Suites will return to La Jolla’s Development Permit Review Committee in coming months after the board sought renderings and further information at its Feb. 8 meeting.

The project calls for coastal development and site development permits to build two levels of parking and a terrace deck with landscaping and a swimming pool in place of the existing parking structure at 1141-1171 Coast Blvd. The new structure would not be visible from the street.

A previous version of the plans that involved building a smaller parking structure and terrace was approved in February 2021. Aesthetically, the plans are the same and the result would look similar to what was already approved, but architect Paul Benton said the new plans involve excavating further down and into the property.

“The improvements that were discussed at our last presentation were construction of a deck over the parking area,” Benton said. “We’re expanding the area that will be affected. The owner thinks it would be a tremendous opportunity to do some additional excavation.”

Landscape architect Jennifer Stahlhammer said, “We have taken the area that is parking only and made it an amenity space with pool, sunning area, seating and landscaping.”

The applicant team did not provide renderings to illustrate what the finished product would look like, to the chagrin of some DPR trustees.

“I have to wonder what everything around it looks like,” Angeles Leira said. “I have to visualize myself in that space.”

Trustees also had questions about how the excavated material would be removed and how trucks would maneuver to and from the hotel.

“There are only so many roads away from there,” trustee Greg Jackson said. “One is one-way in the wrong direction, one is an immensely steep hill that goes into a Y [shaped intersection] that is full of traffic. Big trucks aren’t going to make it. … I want to know there is a solution that doesn’t destroy public access to The Cove for a year.”

The applicant was asked to return at a future meeting with a rendering of what is proposed and how it compares with what was previously approved. The committee also sought “reassurance” that someone would be looking into construction access and impacts and soil removal.

La Jolla Cove Hotel & Suites was acquired in December 2014 by Apartment Investment and Management Co. In 2017, the hotel completed interior remodeling of the rooms, removing furniture to create more space and rearranging the suites so more bedrooms would have a view, among other changes.

The property and the adjacent historic Red Rest and Red Roost cottages were sold in 2018 to a group of investors in the hotel business.

Other DPR news

Two residential projects were approved during the Feb. 8 meeting.

Hot tub and landscaping: The committee found that a project to increase the size of a private hot tub and change the landscaping at a property in the Windansea area substantially conforms to an existing approved permit.

Applicant representative Claude Anthony Marengo said he believed the new plans are in line with the existing permit “given we are within the existing perimeter walls … and the visual impact is less.”

The project involves enlarging the pool area behind a fence, removing a palm tree and adding new landscaping.

Bird Rock ADU: The board reluctantly lent its support to permits needed to maintain an unpermitted accessory dwelling unit on a site with a 2,145-square-foot single-family home at 5648 La Jolla Hermosa Ave.

Architect Kevin Leon said the unit was permitted as a garage and later was converted to an ADU and a bedroom was added to it. He said he is looking to remodel the ADU by reducing the square footage and increasing the setback.

Jackson said “it’s very annoying that things are getting built and then someone comes and asks permission, but I’m not sure what to do with that.”

Next meeting: The La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee meets at 4 p.m. the second and third Tuesdays of each month. The next meeting is Feb. 15. Learn more at ◆