La Jolla advisory group updates

Briefs from the La Jolla Community Planning Association and Development Permit Reviewers

Planning Association: 
A plea for ‘Clean Elections’ heard

During the May 7 meeting of the La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA), John Malugen of San Diegans for Clean Elections discussed his group’s goal to get an initiative on San Diego’s November 2016 ballot that would provide a voluntary system of public campaign financing aimed at curbing “the power of special interests at City Hall.”

“The idea of our initiative is to provide (candidates with less money or name recognition) a certain amount of money to run a credible campaign,” he said, noting the contribution would be about $6 per year.

“There is another election that goes on before the real election, and that is when the candidates go around and scrounge for money, and the big money donors determine who you’re going to choose from,” Malugen said. “We feel that a candidate who is funded by the public will be more responsive to the public, specifically to the neighborhoods, and to the planning groups.”

The LJCPA advises the City of San Diego and other government entities on proposed development and infrastructure projects in La Jolla.

Permit Review Group: 
PDO deviation up for discussion

During the May 19 meeting of the Development Permit Review (DPR) group (a subcommittee of the LJCPA) trustees discussed a deviation sought by owners of the building at 1111 Prospect St. (at Herschel Avenue), site of the former Hotel Parisi.

The owner, PHP Management, came before the DPR in April, seeking to increase the amount of office space they are allowed per La Jolla’s Planned District Ordinance (PDO) document, or blueprint for design, due to difficulty leasing retail space on the building’s ground floor.

PHP initially sought a deviation from the PDO to allow 50 percent office use on the ground floor of its building, where a maximum of 25 percent is otherwise allowed.

During the DPR’s May 19 meeting, the applicant requested a deviation for slightly less ground floor office space — 44 percent — although the DPR ultimately voted to recommend 35 percent be approved.

“They prefer to keep the retail, but … at least for some time in the future, both the building and the community are far better off with something in the building rather than a vacant space,” DPR chair Paul Benton said.

The applicant will present their original proposal for a 50 percent deviation during the LJCPA’s monthly meeting, 6 p.m. Thursday, June 4 at La Jolla Rec Center, 615 Prospect St.

Planning Association: 
Appeal on Rushville Street rebuild

During its June 4 meeting, the LJCPA will also consider taking action on an appeal of a residential home rebuild on 820 Rushville St., adjacent the La Jolla High School athletic field.

The San Diego Planning Commission will consider the appeal (filed by a private citizen) during its next hearing, 9 a.m. June 11 in the 12th floor of City Hall, 202 C St.

The owners are seeking permits to demolish an existing single-family home and accessory structure and construct a 3,007-square-foot, two-story residence and 458-square-foot garage in its place.

In December, the DPR voted 5-4 that findings could not be made to recommend permits for the large, “boxy” project. More information at

During the LJCPA’s May 7 meeting, some trustees and audience members were not happy that a procedural “irregularity” prevented the LJCPA from filing its own appeal of the project, as originally intended.

“I talked with others who verified the irregularity,” LJCPA board president Joe LaCava said. “We’ve kind of learned a lesson on this, but the LJCPA can still go down and defend its decision on the project.”

Board appointments

La Jolla architect Tony Crisafi has been appointed to return as chair of the La Jolla Shores Permit Review committee, replacing architect Phil Merten.

LJCPA trustees also voted to appoint fellow trustee Fran Zimmerman to fill a vacancy on the Planned District Ordinance committee.