Muirlands-area remodel gets support from La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee on first hearing

The planned remodel of a house at 6064 Avenida Chamnez passed on its first review by the Development Permit Review Committee.
The planned remodel of a house at 6064 Avenida Chamnez passed on its first review by the La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The committee also decides to resubmit recommended changes to San Diego’s building code as the city prepares for its annual review.


A project to add to and remodel a house that abuts a steep slope in La Jolla’s Muirlands area got support from the La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee on its first hearing April 18.

The work would include a 1,402-square-foot addition to the front of the house, an interior remodel of 800 square feet and a 1,241-square-foot deck at 6064 Avenida Chamnez.

Kevin Leon, an architect at local firm Architect Mark D. Lyon Inc., said the property is next to a canyon but is “relatively flat” at the front. “We’re looking to add to the front of the house and a deck along the back,” he said.

Geotechnical and civil engineering reports were done to determine where the house could be expanded, Leon said. The roof would not be expanded or heightened, in accord with the neighborhood homeowners association, minimizing a change in view from the street, he added.

Further, the area of the house getting the addition is on a curve and subject to setback limitations, and therefore “I don’t think you are really going to notice” the addition, Leon said.

The project needs a site development permit because the property includes environmentally sensitive land, he said. A requirement of a site development permit triggers community review.

With few questions and no criticism of the project, a motion to make the DPR preliminary review final passed without dissent, as did a motion to support the development.

Other DPR news

Code recommendations: As the city of San Diego prepares for an annual review of its building code — during which it will collect comments for proposed revisions — the DPR Committee approved re-submission of some suggested changes intended to clear up ambiguous language and address issues that often come up.

The board has submitted the revisions in the past but the city did not act on them. So trustee Diane Kane suggested re-submitting the suggestions as part of this year’s review.

Among them are stipulations that attempt to tighten a loophole in the “50 percent rule,” through which a developer can bypass the costly and time-consuming coastal development permit process if a project retains 50 percent of the original walls. Some developers have stripped a property down to the wall studs and asserted they were abiding by the 50 percent rule.

The DPR board recommends a project be exempt from a CDP under the 50 percent rule if it increases the existing gross floor area by no more than 50 percent of what is already there and if the property has not undergone a renovation under the 50 percent rule in the previous three years.

The recommendation also is intended to address “serial permitting,” in which developers apply for multiple permits for minor renovations and incrementally increase the size of a house.

Other proposed revisions would address how basements factor into a project’s floor area ratio (the size of the development in relation to its lot) and how to calculate floor area ratio on beachfront lots.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Development Permit Review Committee next meets at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St. Agendas will be posted 72 hours ahead of time at ◆