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La Jolla DPR Committee withholds vote on Gravilla Townhomes project

A rendering depicts the proposed Gravilla Townhomes development at 6710 La Jolla Blvd.
A rendering depicts the proposed Gravilla Townhomes development, which would include 12 units and 13 below-grade parking spaces at 6710 La Jolla Blvd.
(Courtesy of AVRP Studios)

Though the La Jolla Planned District Ordinance Committee was quick to support a proposed townhomes development earlier this month, the La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee had questions about the project April 19 and asked the applicant team to return at a future meeting before the group renders a vote.

The Gravilla Townhomes proposal calls for a coastal development permit for a new two-story project with 12 for-sale condominiums — including one affordable for people of very low income — with 13 below-grade parking spaces with car stackers at 6710 La Jolla Blvd., at the corner of Gravilla Street. The nearby alley is to be expanded.

Architect Doug Austin said “the idea was to keep [the architecture] simple and quiet. We have taken a few ideas from Irving Gill’s playbook … and decorate with nature.”

He added that the building’s height and scale are designed to fit in with its neighbors.

Many DPR trustees and others at the meeting had words of praise for the development, but there also were questions about height measurements, parking, how the project relates to its neighbors and more.

Trustee Glen Rasmussen called it a “good addition to the neighborhood” but urged a change from the light color because “there is so much dust and dirt that gets kicked up by traffic going by.” He said other properties painted in similar colors end up looking dirty when exposed to dust.

La Jollan Phil Merten said there were “a couple of technical issues” to consider, such as visual impacts and how the height of certain elements were measured.

“The building on the second floor and upward extends across the driveway opening and [impacts] the visibility area over the garage,” he said.

Gravilla Townhomes is planned for this vacant lot at La Jolla Boulevard and Gravilla Street.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

La Jollan Sally Miller noted that some buildings in the area are visible from “more than a mile away” within The Village, especially if they have lights, and she questioned how light pollution would be mitigated.

Austin said the development team is adhering to a city requirement to have light contained to the property. “They don’t want this to be a nuisance, but they want it to be safe,” he said.

There also was discussion of whether on-street parking in the area would be maintained amid the extension of the alley. One resident said on-street spaces “are always full.”

Trustee Diane Kane called the development “a handsome project” but wondered how windows would be aligned so they wouldn’t face those of neighboring properties.

Trustees requested an image depicting how the property would look among its neighbors.

The board asked the applicant to return to clarify those and other issues.

The La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee next meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, likely online. Learn more at lajollacpa.org. ◆