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Panel tightens two-story regulations

Members of the La Jolla Planned District Ordinance Committee voted Monday to amend the community’s blueprint for development so it unequivocally bans changes in planning areas designated for two stories within the city’s 30-foot height limit.

Impetus for amending the ordinance came from the City Council’s approval in late 2008 of Bird Rock Station, a three-story, mixed-use project with condominiums in a two-story designated planning area. The council vote overrode community objections.

“Our experience has been the city’s Development Services Department ignores the language in the La Jolla PDO,” said John Berol of the La Jolla Community Planning Association (CPA). “This (amendment) may not be a perfect solution, but it offers the best alternative before us.”

Planner Mike Costello agreed. “We need to reaffirm the PDO so they (city) will listen,” he said. “If we are not definitive they will ignore us further.”

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The amended PDO language states, in part, “In no case shall a deviation pursuant to a Planned Development Permit … or a variance … be granted to exceed the maximum number of stories allowed.” It was approved on a 5-2-1 vote.