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Proposal for Bishop’s center clears hurdle

The Bishop’s School’s plans for the new Library & Learning Center cleared a hurdle last week, but school representatives aren’t totally satisfied.

In April, the Development Permit Review Committee rejected Bishop’s plan to amend a permit to increase the height of the previously approved library by 4 feet to lift it out of a flood plain.

Last week, committee members voted 7-0 for the modifications, but required developers to seek a variance rather than a deviation as well as requiring them to trim 1 foot off their 4-foot height deviation request.

Chris Neals, an attorney representing the private school, said DPR reasoned that a “variance would be less precedent-setting than a deviation.”

Joe LaCava, who chairs the La Jolla Community Planning Association, which will hear the Bishop’s proposal on Aug. 5, explained the difference.

“A variance is more akin to a hardship, you’re saying there’s something unique about the project that doesn’t allow the standard rules to apply,” he said. “With a deviation, you’re saying you can make a better project if you deviate from some rule of the municipal code.”