Plan for 11,754-square-foot replacement home in La Jolla Shores encounters resistance from neighbor

Attorney Julie Hamilton (right) explains a client's concerns to the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee.
Attorney Julie Hamilton (right) explains a client’s concerns to the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee about a project to build a new 11,754-square-foot house on Calle del Cielo.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Meanwhile, Shores permit reviewers give support to a separate project for a demolition and new house.


A proposal to demolish a home and build a new one 2½ times larger will return at a future meeting of the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee amid backlash from a neighbor concerned about privacy and what he considers a lack of communication.

The project would tear down a 4,545-square-foot single-family residence and an attached garage and build an 11,754-square-foot single-family home, garages and a pool at 8305 Calle del Cielo.

The Permit Review Committee took up the issue March 16 at the La Jolla Recreation Center during its first in-person meeting in three years. Previous meetings had been online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

PRC Chairman Andy Fotsch of La Jolla-based Will & Fotsch Architects is the applicant representative and asked trustee Larry Davidson to preside over the discussion. Fotsch then presented the project.

He said the plan for the new house is to “push it back from the street,” obscuring it from public view. The front yard setback would be nearly 76½ feet, with 12- and 7-foot setbacks on either side. The rear setback would be at least 15 feet.

The rear of the house is what concerns David Odmark, the neighbor immediately north of the property, according to Odmark’s attorney Julie Hamilton.

The biggest issue, Hamilton said, is that the large windows on the back of the proposed house would “look right down into his master bedroom.”

The project would be “looming over the other houses in the area,” she added. “This is not a design issue. The issue [is] this house is huge.”

Odmark also is concerned that “there’s a substantial amount of grading involved because they are, in fact, cutting into the hillside to set this project back,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton added that she repeatedly tried to meet with the applicant team but was unable to. “Any opportunity to work things out was kind of lost,” she said.

Fotsch said his client, fearful of having to redesign the house, indicated no interest in meeting with neighbors until the project was presented locally.

Fotsch added that all applicable city of San Diego departments have “signed off” on the project.

Fotsch said he would bring back the proposal at a future PRC meeting and in the meantime is “happy to study the visual intrusion” issue, possibly including adding hedges along the back of the house and reducing or removing an upper balcony off the primary bedroom.

Most of the trustees indicated a desire for community collaboration, though Davidson said the committee is “not required to make sure that any applicants reach out to the neighbors.”

Other PRC news

Applicant representative Tim Martin describes plans for a new house on Lowry Terrace in La Jolla Shores.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

7964 Lowry Terrace: A project to demolish a home and replace it with one of similar size won the committee’s approval.

The proposal would tear down the existing 3,367-square-foot one-story house at 7964 Lowry Terrace and build a 3,733-square-foot one-story residence with a two-car garage and covered outdoor lanai.

The project began more than a year ago as a remodel for the property’s owner at the time, applicant representative Tim Martin said. However, that project was abandoned and the house was sold. The new owner is now seeking an entirely new house.

The planned home is 366 square feet larger than the original but is “small-scale,” Martin said. He added that he has met with eight of the property’s neighbors and no issues with the proposal have emerged.

The plan is to “take maximum advantage of the rear yard because it is not a view property,” Martin said. “The profile of the building [will be] as low as possible” so as not to interfere with neighbors’ views, he said.

The entire lot would be lowered, he said, partly to mitigate the steepness of the driveway.

The project’s setbacks would be five to 16½ feet, “not much different from the original,” Martin said.

The planned height of the whole building is about 15½ feet, he said, with no roof deck and nothing below grade.

The landscaping has been completely redesigned and is to include trees along the front of the house.

The PRC voted to support the project, with Davidson opposed. He expressed concern that the plan hadn’t yet received full clearance from applicable city departments.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee next meets at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 20, at a location to be determined. Learn more at ◆