Development Permit Review Committee sends three La Jolla projects back for more work

Plans call for a one-story home at 6825 La Jolla Blvd. to be converted to multiple units.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Applicants for a mixed-use project on La Jolla Boulevard and two home remodels are asked to return with more information and images.


Applicants for three projects considered during the Jan. 17 La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee meeting were asked to return with more information before the group takes a vote. The proposals include a mixed use-development on the northern end of La Jolla Boulevard and two remodels in the southern part of La Jolla.

For the mixed-use project in the Barber Tract, applicant Scott Frontis seeks permits to convert a one-story home to a multi-unit space that includes retail, office spaces and residential units, including a junior accessory dwelling unit, at 6825 La Jolla Blvd.

Frontis said the property is occupied by the owners, who run their business there. “The location is near a heavy commercial area … so we’re proposing to have a mixed-use building with commercial space on the first level and two units [onsite]. The owners would like to use Unit 1 as an office space and their primary residence. Unit 2 would have a two-level residential unit and junior ADU.”

Access to the commercial site would be via a ramp from the street to the front. The residential units would be accessed via Bonair Way in the rear. There also would be a dedicated commercial parking space onsite.

However, DPR trustee Angeles Leira said it was “a bit weird” to have access on Bonair Way instead of immediately in front.

She also said she wanted to see a streetscape that shows the property in relation to its neighbors, plus an aerial depiction of the development on the property and a design of the sidewalk to see how it matches the surrounding area.

DPR trustee Diane Kane said there is an opportunity to “unify the street” with trees proposed for the public right of way.

Noting that an effort is underway to create a streetscape plan throughout La Jolla, Kane said, “I think this whole area will look very different in a few years and I think it would be great to get things coordinated.”

Though Frontis did not provide renderings, DPR trustee John Fremdling said: “The concept here is quite remarkable. They have encapsulated the entire building; they are not going to bulldoze [the existing property]. This is something we want to encourage. It’s a place to live, work and have an income property. It’s what the city is trying to do — have people live and work in their area — and the design is quite tasteful.”

The development got the blessing of the La Jolla Planned District Ordinance Committee on Nov. 14. It comes amid local discussions about whether mixed-use projects with ground-floor commercial space are needed along La Jolla Boulevard.

The Adelante Townhomes project farther down La Jolla Boulevard in Bird Rock, which is not proposed to have ground-floor retail, won support from the DPR Committee in December and the PDO panel this month.

Members of the La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee meet Jan. 17 online.
(Screenshot by Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

Other DPR news

Vista del Mar: Acknowledging that the presentation was “a little odd,” applicant representative Roger Sammon is seeking permits to remodel a house at 7056 Vista del Mar Ave. in the Barber Tract and build an accessory dwelling unit.

However, the project cannot proceed until a code amendment integrates the terms of California Senate Bill 9, which was signed into law in September 2021. The bill, authored by state Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), intends to ease the process for a homeowner to create a duplex or subdivide a lot, and contains provisions for creation of ADUs.

“We’re ... waiting for adoption of a new code update but presenting as if it was going through,” Sammon said. “We want to get the process going for the owners.”

The house currently is above allowable floor area ratio (the size of a development in relation to its lot) following a renovation more than 30 years ago, yet the applicant is looking to add a 749-square-foot attached ADU and a 333-square-foot deck.

The DPR board was troubled by the deviation from the standard approval process and the excess FAR and asked the applicant to return with additional imagery to show the existing house compared with the planned expansion, clarity on whether a special condition would be required to approve a house that exceeds the allowable FAR, the project’s parking impacts, aerial photographs and more.

Wrelton Drive: Applicants are seeking permits to add to a two-story residence at 625 Wrelton Drive near Tourmaline Surfing Park. Work is to include a 186-square-foot first-floor addition, a 2,074-square-foot second-floor addition and a 115-square-foot penthouse and decks.

Project representative Phil Quatrino said there is a main residential unit and a detached unit being used as an office on the property. All the work is centered on the main house.

The style of the house would change. Kane said “the current style has a lot of movement and a lot of smaller volumes, and I think the new style is more standardized and sleeker.”

She questioned how the detached unit would keep with the aesthetic of the main house. She asked for more detailed drawings including materials and renderings of the two units as proposed.

DPR trustee Mike Costello called the house “a neighborhood landmark” and said the new architecture is “not as inspired as the original architecture. … I would ask you to reconsider that.”

The board also asked the applicant to provide site sections that show building heights, plus additional imagery, clarification on whether the property is historic or needs to have the view corridor preserved, and more.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee meets the second and third Tuesdays of each month. The next meeting is at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, online. Learn more at ◆