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La Jolla Shores permit reviewers narrowly back Prestwick Drive home project

A rendering depicts a proposed project at 8457 Prestwick Drive, as presented to the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee.
A rendering depicts a proposed development at 8457 Prestwick Drive, as presented to the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee.
(Courtesy of EOS Architecture)

After a harsh critique last month, a home project proposed for Prestwick Drive narrowly got approval from the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee during its April 18 meeting.

The project calls for coastal development and site development permits to remodel and add 2,015 square feet to an existing two-story house and garage at 8457 Prestwick.

Applicant representative Jennifer Bolyn said the proposal aims to add height to bolster the view to the west, add a vaulted living room ceiling, renovate the frontage and redevelop the kitchen, dining room area and guest bedroom.

When PRC trustees considered the project in March, some said the coloring and facade of the house did not fit with the surrounding properties and asked the applicant team to meet with neighbors.

Regarding the nearby properties, Bolyn said at the April meeting that “there are several houses that are modern and new, and a lot of houses are original. … As neighborhoods transform, architectural styles change.”

Bolyn said the color for her project had been softened to a lighter shade of gray than what was originally presented.

She said the homeowners also reached out to some of the neighbors and received positive feedback. None of the neighbors attended the PRC meeting.

While some trustees were pleased with certain changes and said the house “looks like a modern home,” others said it was still not to their satisfaction.

“This is better, but it’s still not good,” said trustee Janie Emerson, who added that key issues are the “dark” exterior colors and an overhang above the front door.

Trustee John Shannon agreed that there are “jarring” aspects, especially the “cantilevered element over the front door.”

A vote on a motion that findings can be made to support the project resulted in a 3-3 tie, and Chairman Andy Fotsch broke the tie in favor of the development.

The La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee meets April 18 online.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Other Shores PRC news

The board also heard a report by the Village Visioning Committee on its streetscape plan that, while centered on La Jolla’s Village, is intended to “lace everything together,” including The Shores, Fotsch said.

The Village Visioning Committee is a La Jolla Community Planning Association ad-hoc group of Realtors, architects, engineers and others.

La Jolla urbanist and architect Trace Wilson, a member of the Visioning Committee, said the plan would create a “cohesive urban environment” that would look at piecemeal projects such as the Recreation Center renovation and Cliffridge Park beautification and provide a “macro view of La Jolla … from Turquoise Street to UCSD and the 5 freeway to the coast.”

Street updates would include changing parking spaces from parallel to diagonal to allow for more parking and to slow traffic. The plan also lists areas where roundabouts, bulb-outs and increased landscaping could be used to improve the pedestrian experience. In earlier presentations, Wilson spoke of using different trees on different streets to give them a sense of identity.

“It’s a very ambitious plan, but if we don’t have a big plan, we will just incrementalize ourselves, and that’s not what we want,” Wilson told the PRC.

Trustees praised the plan.

“I love the fact that we’re trying to have an overview so things are cohesive and make sense, rather than fixing this and changing that,” Emerson said. “If we have a plan, private developers or homeowners can fix what is in front of them as part of a larger plan.”

She also touted the potential climate benefits of having more trees and pedestrian activity.

“All of us working together is going to make that happen,” she said.

A motion to support the concept of the Village Visioning Committee’s streetscape plan and the integration of La Jolla Shores into the plan passed unanimously.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee next meets at 4 p.m. Monday, May 16, likely online. Learn more at lajollacpa.org. ◆