Shores planning subcommittee says no to downsized Jewish student center project

By Dave Schwab

daves@lajollalight.com

A smaller Hillel Jewish student center proposed across from UCSD got the same answer from the adjoining single-family neighborhood — no.

La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee (PRC) voted 5-2-1 and 6-1-1, respectively, against recommending issuance of a site development permit and granting a street vacation for a 6,600-square-foot Jewish student (significantly less than the 12,000-square-foot facility originally proposed) on a small triangular parcel on the south side of La Jolla Village Drive between Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Scenic Way.

“The bulk and scale of the project and its style would be disruptive of the architectural unity of the area,” argued architect and committee member Phil Merten who made the motion for denial.

Committee member Michael Morton disagreed. “There are other modernistic homes in that area that have this type of architectural vocabulary,” he said.

Hillel spokesman Bob Lapidus detailed project changes disputing the notion it would be an exclusively religious facility or incompatible with the surrounding neighborhood. He said improvements would include a park-like setting with enhanced pedestrian access.

Attorney Julie Hamilton representing local residents argued the size and nature of the project make it inappropriate for its designated site exacerbating parking and traffic problems.

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