Development permit reviewers support four La Jolla projects

A rendering depicts a duplex planned for Nautilus Street across from La Jolla High School.
(Courtesy of Stosh Podeswik)

Structures across from La Jolla High School, at the La Jolla Cove Hotel & Suites, and in the Barber Tract and Bird Rock get the green light.


In its fourth presentation to the La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee, a plan to develop a duplex across from La Jolla High School got approval to proceed through the planning process — barely.

The DPR voted 3-2 on March 15 that the project meets local building guidelines and that the committee could support its construction. The recommendation proceeds to the La Jolla Community Planning Association for ratification or further review.

The project includes demolition of a single-family residence and construction of two new two-story single-family homes with basements that will include junior accessory dwelling units for each home at 735 Nautilus St. in The Village.

In the plan, the units are separated by six feet, with a motor court on the west side of the property that serves as a driveway and an entrance for both units. From the street, the project would appear to be one unit in front of the other, instead of side by side.

Since the plan was first heard, it was revised to better meet elevation and setback standards. As such, the size of the development was reduced and certain roof elements were removed. The property now tops out at 24 feet.

“I think it slimmed down more and it looks quite nice. There is a better elevation here,” said applicant Stosh Podeswik.

At a previous meeting, DPR trustees said they wanted to see renderings of the project in relation to its neighbors, plus plans for landscaping, sidewalk improvements and drainage.

Podeswik said the hydrology and drainage plans were submitted to the city of San Diego and there had been no comments suggesting they were insufficient.

Though an image was submitted showing a drawing of the development in a streetscape, some trustees said they needed more.

“The city is looking at what is within the lot line and we are looking at what is within the lot line and how it relates to the adjacent properties,” said committee member Diane Kane. “We don’t have that information. It may be fine, it may not be fine, but it is hard to tell.”

Trustee Angeles Leira said she had concerns about runoff and the use of permeable surfaces that enable water to get through, given that the property is at the bottom of a hill. But she applauded balcony and window features that “give the building articulation” and reiterated that she liked the design.

A motion to support the project passed with Kane and Leira objecting and DPR Chairman Brian Will customarily abstaining.

Other DPR news

Three other projects won DPR approval on 5-0 votes, with Will abstaining:

Cove Hotel parking: A project to build two levels of parking and a terrace deck with landscaping and a swimming pool in place of the existing parking structure at the La Jolla Cove Hotel & Suites at 1141-1171 Coast Blvd. was approved after the board got a better visual of what the structure would entail.

The new structure is to be built where there is currently ground-level open-air parking behind the hotel frontage, so it will not be visible from the street.

A rendering of the planned La Jolla Cove Hotel & Suites parking and terrace plan
A rendering shows the planned La Jolla Cove Hotel & Suites parking and terrace plan, as presented to the La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee on March 15. The hotel is on the right side of the rendering.
(Screenshot by Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

A previous version of the plan that called for building a smaller parking structure and terrace in the same location was approved in February 2021. Aesthetically, the plans are the same, but the new plan involves excavation to provide more parking area.

Valentina Castilla from Alcorn & Benton Architects said plans call for excavating the dirt that is currently under the pool and building the parking structure there, and renovating the terrace that tops it. There would be an upper and a lower deck with pool features, lounge chairs and landscaping.

With a better visual representation of how it would look, the board supported the project.

Dowling Drive duplex: The DPR supported a coastal development permit to convert a one-story residence into a 4,258-square-foot two-story duplex with attached tandem garages at 6253 Dowling Drive in the Barber Tract.

The property is near the La Jolla Bike Path, and residential designer Stephanie Lupton said the owner would assist ongoing efforts to maintain the path through annual community cleanup events.

Lupton said existing trees fronting the property will remain and that new ones will be planted. She showed how the new development would look in relation to its neighbors and from the bike path, along with fencing and drainage plans.

Van Nuys ADU: Lupton also presented plans and renderings for a new two-story, 1,200-square foot detached accessory dwelling unit with a new attached two-car garage at 760 Van Nuys St. in Bird Rock.

During a previous presentation, Leira expressed concern that a partially covered deck could later be enclosed and “become a room really fast.” La Jolla planners have grappled in the past with carports and patios that, when enclosed, add square footage to a house that exceeds the floor area ratio limit.

Those concerns remained at the March 15 meeting. Lupton said the owner does not intend to enclose the deck. “It is just to get some outdoor space because there is no real yard … and this provides a shade element,” she said.

The board then voted for the project.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee next meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, likely online. Learn more at ◆