La Jolla planners OK guesthouse, deny retroactive beach closure


By Pat Sherman

During the June 6 meeting of the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA), board members discussed whether a 700-square-foot residential structure proposed for Crespo Drive should be considered a guesthouse or a separate residence.

The Development Permit Review committee voted to approve a coastal development permit (CDP) for the project in March, though LJCPA member Dan Allen, who lives in the vicinity of the project, pulled the item for further discussion.

“We have no intention of renting that property out,” its owner, Anthony Morreale, told those in attendance. “We don’t want anybody living down there. We just want a little more space when we have family or guests (visiting).”

Architect Conrado Gallardo said the guesthouse would not contain a full kitchen, and thus not qualify as a separate residence.

The nearly quarter-acre property — which includes a primary residence with a local historic designation — includes a driveway off Crespo. Another driveway accessing the guesthouse will be on Kearsarge Road.

Allen said he is concerned that the property would impact parking on Kearsarge Road, and requested that the applicant reduce the width of the new driveway to accommodate two parallel, street parking spaces, as was done with another residence on Kearsarge Road 10 years ago, at the request of the LJCAP.

However, Gallardo said Kearsarge Road is not wide enough in that area to accommodate street parking. The addition of parallel spaces would also require grading and a reduction of the property’s setback, he said.

“We did a lot of massaging on the design to meet all the requirements with parking,” Gallardo said, noting the addition of a lower-level, two-car garage on the guesthouse.

Though Allen and another neighbor said they did not receive the required public notice about the project, LJCPA trustee Bob Collins said the city verified that a notice was sent and posted.

In the end, the association voted to approve the project by a vote of 10-0-5.

In other LJCPA news

Beach closure permit denied

: Park and Recreation Department District Manager Dan Daneri asked LJCPA members to approve a retroactive standard coastal development for the nighttime beach closure at Children’s Pool, which ended May 15.

The mayor requested an emergency permit for the closure to protect the pupping seals earlier this year, though city regulations require that emergency permits are replaced with standard permits. Following some heated exchange between Daneri and beach access proponent Ken Hunrichs, the group voted not to approve the permit, “on the grounds that the timing is absurd.”

Confounded over beach closure

: The LJCPA grappled further with the mayor’s involvement at Children’s Pool, this time with his proposed 24- hour closure of the beach during the seal’s winter pupping season.

The city presented the proposal during the LJCPA’s May meeting. After some discussion, trustees voted to reject a draft negative declaration prepared for the beach closure, and request the city instead prepare a full environmental impact report.

At the June 6 meeting, trustees voted 9-6-1 to reject proposed city amendments to the La Jolla Community Plan that would create an Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area (ESHA) at the Children’s Pool to allow the 24-hour beach closure.

The group then considered allowing the proposed ESHA, so long as language suggested by LJCPA Vice-chair Joe LaCava was inserted into the community plan that would prevent the city from closing any of La Jolla’s other beaches due to “colonization” by wildlife.

Trustee Ray Weiss said that, pro- cedurally, LaCava’s amendments — though favored by both seal advocates and pro-beach access proponents — would need to be publicly noticed before being voted upon.

In the end, LaCava made a motion to postpone his amendments indefinitely.

Weiss argued that, ultimately, what happens at any of La Jolla’s beaches is not up to the LJCPA, but under the auspices of state and federal regulatory agencies. Having the community plan in conflict with state and federal law is not a good position to be in, Weiss suggested.

Anger over tree removal

: Though the removal of a heritage eucalyptus tree at 7850 Ivanhoe St. was pulled for discussion by LJCPA trustee Dan Courtney, architect Claude-Anthony Marengo had the tree removed before the group had a chance to discuss the item on June 6 (removal of the tree was approved by the Planned District Ordinance subcommittee in April).

“It was a beautiful tree; it wasn’t sick,” trustee David Little said. “That tree has been there for 100 years and he can’t wait 30 more days before he cuts it down to find out what the community wants?”

Trustee Gail Forbes argued that eucalyptus trees are prone to dropping limbs, leading to property damage and personal injury, and that the Ivanhoe tree’s roots were causing the sidewalk to buckle.

Trustees voted to request the city refrain from removing more heritage trees until the LJCPA has made its recommendations.

Infrastructure input sought

: Vice-chair Joe LaCava, who was recently re-elected chair of San Diego’s Community Planners Committee (the umbrella organization overseeing the city’s 42 community planning groups), said the city is now seeking input for its 2015 fiscal year public infrastructure budget, including projects in La Jolla. Community members were first asked to submit suggestions for projects last year.

“This time, rather than waiting until September, we’re going to start in July, so all La Jollans and La Jolla organizations are encouraged to participate,” LaCava said, noting that last year the city received 225 recommendations, 12 of which made it onto the city’s budget (though no new projects from La Jolla were included).

LJCPA bylaw changes:LaCava said some “minor changes” to the LJCPA bylaws approved by members in March are close to being adopted by the city. He said the city attorney found some of the changes “a little confusing” and requested that they be reworded.

“The essence of what we did has been preserved in its entirety,” LaCava said. “I believe the tweaks have just improved the eloquence of the bylaws. We will bring that to the trustees in July to make sure that you agree that the spirit of the intent has not been changed.”

Upcoming pipe repairs:Representatives from the city’s Public Works department provided information about two separate pipeline rehabilitation projects in La Jolla, both scheduled to begin this fall.

Some of the city’s more than 3,000 miles of wastewater pipelines are more than 10 years old, are deteriorating and must be either replaced or repaired to avoid stoppages and spills.

The first project, to begin in the fall and conclude by December of 2015, includes repair of 7.93 miles of sewer mains and laterals in La Jolla and the UTC area at a cost of $7 million.

The project includes repair or replacement of manholes, installation of cleanouts, curb ramp installation or replacement, and road resurfacing or repair in work-disturbed areas.

The other project involves repairing 4.12 miles of sewer pipeline in La Jolla and a few other parts of City Council District 1 at a cost of $5 million. It should be complete by December of 2014, the city said.

Representatives told the LJCPA there would be an odor generated by application of epoxy resins, which are used to repair the pipe lining. Workers entering the underground pipes will be wearing protective gear as required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, though project officials say there should be no danger to residents near the project area.

The city will send notices to residents before work begins. Residents may be asked not to use their sewer lines for several hours during some portions of the work.

For more information, phone senior engineer Louis Schaar at (619) 533-7492 or project manager Maryam Liaghat at (619) 533-5192.