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La Jolla Shores permit reviewers OK Prestwick Drive home development

A rendering depicts how a planned home development at 8330 Prestwick Drive would be viewed from the street.
A rendering presented to the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee depicts how a planned home development at 8330 Prestwick Drive would be viewed from the street.
(Screenshot by Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The project would tear down a single-story, 2,276-square-foot Ranch-style house and build a new home nearly three times the size.

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Plans to demolish a house in La Jolla Shores and replace it with one nearly three times the size got the approval of the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee during its Feb. 16 meeting on the board’s second review of the proposal.

The project would tear down a single-story, 2,276-square-foot Ranch-style house at 8330 Prestwick Drive and build a new 6,583-square-foot single-family home with a pool, a terrace and two garages.

During a preliminary hearing last month, applicant representative Cori Sanchez from Island Architects in La Jolla said the proposed house is comparable to how “the neighborhood is right now” in setbacks and square footage and that the project is “nowhere near the 30-foot [coastal] height limit.”

However, PRC trustee Janie Emerson said she had several concerns about the setbacks on the north side, the size of the house, how glass would reflect light into neighboring properties and how the project would be viewed from the beach below. There also were questions about the basement, height measurements and more.

On Feb. 16, Sanchez said plans had been revised in the past month to address drainage concerns so runoff would be reduced from what it is now. She also presented projected views from La Jolla Shores below and how the property would be viewed from the street, saying, “We’re keeping the profile the same, with landscaping across [the property].” She also said the glass would be minimally reflective.

“The proposed project is consistent with trends in the neighborhood [and] development and surrounding houses similar in design and scale,” Sanchez said. “The finishes and colors meet the intent of the La Jolla [Planned District Ordinance]. We continue view opportunities with a low-profile roof and height unification with adjacent houses on the north and south side. … There is articulation [architectural features] on the front facade, vs. the current home that has a flat facade.”

She said the project also meets landscaping, height and setback requirements.

One neighbor who attended the meeting questioned whether the project conforms with local height requirements “not from the street above but counting everything coming down the hill.”

Island Architects founding principal Tony Crisafi said it complies “with the overall height limit as well as the zoning height” and added that “it’s not just a matter of whether this complies or not, the design goes beyond that by hugging the ground and being set into the ground. It was the intent of this design to fit gently into the existing streetscape.”

A rendering depicts how a planned development at 8330 Prestwick Drive would sit into the surrounding hillside.
(Screenshot by Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The height issue was the only public comment about the project, but some PRC members also shared the concern.

But after a short series of questions about the elevation, setbacks and the driveway and garages, the board voted without dissent to support the development. PRC Chairman Andy Fotsch customarily abstained, and trustee Marouane Abdaoui recused himself due to his employment with Island Architects.

Trustee Matt Edwards said, “I think [when this is built] we’ll be looking at another beautiful structure on the ridge.”

Other Shores PRC news

View corridors: The board was briefed on an effort to preserve view corridors in La Jolla in the face of development through an update of a presentation given to the La Jolla Community Planning Association last fall.

View corridors are unobstructed views to the ocean from the nearest public road that “shall be preserved and enhanced, including visual access across private coastal properties at yards and setbacks,” according to the La Jolla Community Plan and Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan.

An ad-hoc committee formed under LJCPA looked last year at properties that should have open view corridors to see if they are indeed kept unobstructed. The group also submitted recommended changes to applicable building codes to make sure the corridors are preserved or enhanced.

Speaking to how those issues would apply in La Jolla Shores, committee member Joe Terry said the La Jolla Shores Planned District Ordinance “addresses the use and density of structures [in The Shores] … and contains a few references to view corridors, views of the ocean or ‘see-throughs,’ which is the term for coastal view corridors.”

He suggested that committees such as the La Jolla Shores Planned District Advisory Board and/or the La Jolla Shores PRC review how the Shores Planned District Ordinance has addressed view corridors to determine whether the applicable documents are adequate or need to be edited.

“San Diego has done a poor job of establishing and enforcing coastal view corridors, and as a result, we have lost valuable assets,” Terry said.

The PRC agreed to review the documents and report back.

Next meeting: Though a location has not been confirmed, Fotsch said the Permit Review Committee will meet in person at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 16. The site will be listed on the next agenda, which will be available at lajollacpa.org. ◆