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Whitney development is a threat

By Bernie Segal

La Jolla Shores resident

I write in opposition to the views expressed by the Lysaught family regarding the proposed Whitney project (The Light, June 17). Both the La Jolla Community Planning Association and the La Jolla Shores Association considered this proposed project and both recommended its denial.

Contrary to the Lysaughts’ contention, there is no “concerted effort” to prevent larger buildings on Avenida de la Playa. There is however a concerted community effort to prevent the Whitneys from constructing a massive three-story building on a corner double lot where the ratio of total floor space to lot size not only would be one-third greater than the adjacent building, it would be one-third greater than any other building on Avenida de la Playa West of La Jolla Shores Drive, one-third greater than any other building in the La Jolla Village business district, and one-third greater than is allowed anywhere else in the City of San Diego on a similarly zoned property. Although they have had ample opportunity to challenge the accuracy of these floor area ratio comparisons, the Whitneys have never done so.

If allowed to be built, the precedent created by the massiveness of the proposed Whitney building would make it virtually impossible for the city to deny equally massive buildings on the rest of the block ... until the entirety of Avenida de la Playa from La Jolla Shores Drive to the ocean was lined with “Whitney looking” buildings.

The Lysaught article makes it appear that opposition to the Whitney project is because it would be three stories. That is just untrue. The Lysaughts bought on the same block as the proposed Whitney project and built a three-story building. The community did not object because it followed a “Shopkeeper” concept, where the property was one of four 25-foot-wide lots and designed in a duplex pattern to create a 10-foot separation between the window sides of adjacent buildings at the second- and third-floor levels to maximize light and ventilation into every residence. None of the four Shopkeeper buildings (including the Lysaughts’) was designed with a floor area ratio more than 1.7 in comparison to the 2.34 floor area ratio being sought by the Whitneys.

The Whitney project in its present configuration threatens to change forever and for the worse, the look and feel of the entire business district of La Jolla Shores. All residents of La Jolla, whether they live in the Shores or not, should take an interest in this proposed Whitney development, and vociferously make known their opposition to it.