Civic report: La Jolla Community Planning Association, Nov. 1
by Mariko Lamb
Published - 11/07/12 - 04:11 PM | 4906 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
• The nonprofit group La Jolla Shores Tomorrow (LJST) succeeded in its opposition to the construction of a private residence intended to be built at 8490 Whale Watch Way, which the nonprofit viewed as counter to the La Jolla Shores Planned District Ordinance and La Jolla Community Plan, announced Rob Whittemore, LJST representative.

“La Jolla Shores Tomorrow contested this project on grounds that property owners and developers must respect bulk and scale limits, height limitations and reasonable setbacks,” he said. “After considerable negotiation, the owner of the property submitted a letter to the city of San Diego terminating his project application.”

Whittemore thanked LJST president Dick McCormack for his leadership in helping resolve the dispute and independent consultant Phil Merten for his assistance in the case.

• In a divided vote, trustees motioned findings could not be made for a substantial conformance review for an existing coastal development permit at 1456 Nautilus St. because the architectural concept — which changed from a three-level modern flat roof style to a two-level Mediterranean style — is significantly different from its original design.

The applicant’s representative, architect Bob Belanger, argued that the footprint size, location of the driveway and position of the development on the site are largely similar to the permitted project, which was previously approved at the city level and does not vary drastically from the original concept. He also said the architectural design fits in more with the neighborhood character, has a smaller floor-area ratio and is lower in height than the previously approved project.

“We feel that what we’re proposing better fits in with the neighborhood,” he said. “The homes in this area tend to be Spanish style. They have eaves, they have Spanish style roofs, and that’s the primary reason that the owner of the property proposed this change.”

Trustee Laura Ducharme-Conboy said the aesthetic of the architectural style is irrelevant to the trustees’ responsibility to determine substantial conformance.

“Whether we like the new style better than the old style or we don’t, that’s not what we’re here to discuss,” she said. “The fact that they’re so radically different [means] this is not in substantial conformance … This is going from one style to something completely, radically different.”

She and other trustees advised Belanger to apply for a permit amendment, not a substantial conformance review.

“When an applicant has been issued a coastal development permit or site development permit and they come in and propose a major change, the process is to go through a permit amendment, which is a reconsideration of all the issues under the permit amendment,” explained trustee Merten.

Some trustees were hesitant to reject a project that is smaller with a similar orientation on the lot and a less intrusive view blockage from Nautilus than the previously approved project. In the end, trustees voted 8-6-1 that the project is not in substantial conformance to the existing permitted project.

• The LJCPA continued its discussion about the community’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) priorities and voted to send a detailed list of project priorities to the city.

Listed parks and recreation priorities included improvements to the Coast Boulevard sidewalk at the Children’s Pool, restoration of Scripps Park, enhancement of the South Coast Boulevard Park and walking path along Coast Boulevard, and completion of a parking feasibility study for the restoration of up to six parking spaces on Coast Walk.

Transportation priorities included the completion of all phases of the Torrey Pines Corridor project, the fruition of a plan to create a promenade at the confluence of Prospect Street and Girard Avenue — otherwise known as the “Belvedere Dip” — and the installation of a sidewalk at La Jolla Hermosa Park in Bird Rock.

“The development of a list this year will be a starting point for us to continue this conversation next year and also prioritize as a community which projects we want to fight for that might not be on the city’s radar,” said LaCava, who spearheaded the community outreach effort to bring awareness about the CIP input process.

• The mayor’s office recommended denial of San Diego Canyonlands’ proposal to dedicate parkland in La Jolla as dedicated open space, announced LJCPA vice president Joe LaCava.

“The city wanted to preserve its options in the future,” LaCava explained. “There is one last window of opportunity. The item will go to full council through the efforts of [District 1 City Councilwoman Sherri] Lightner.”

La Jolla sites that are proposed for dedication include a small parcel of isolated hillside slope on Caminito Muirfield and the La Jolla bike path from Beaumont Avenue and Via Del Norte to Nautilus Street and Fay Avenue, totaling approximately 15 acres in the La Jolla planning area.

The City Council will hear the item in mid-November.


• The Children’s Pool beautification project is still in need of funding, announced Phyllis Minick, chair of La Jolla Parks and Beaches’ beautification committee.

“It will take approximately $250,000 to rebuild the sidewalk, rebuild the benches and the area surrounding the new lifeguard station,” she said.

The city has agreed to waive permit fees by coordinating its renovation with the construction of the new Children’s Pool lifeguard tower, which is slated to begin next summer, Minick said, urging donors to take action as soon as possible to get the project in the pipeline. To receive a completed grant proposal for recommendation of the beautification effort to a potential donor, contact Minick at

• Site clearance and demolition for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s Research Support Facilities project is expected to begin in December. The project will replace old, dilapidated storage buildings in Seaweed Canyon, just north of Birch Aquarium.

• La Jolla Shores Association (LJSA) member Tim Lucas announced the advisory group still has two vacancies on the board for anyone interested in helping advise the city on issues related to parks in the La Jolla Shores area.

• City Council District 2 will no longer represent any of La Jolla, announced District 2 City Councilman Kevin Faulconer’s representative Katherine Johnston. LJCPA chair Tony Crisafi thanked the councilman for all his support over the years and expressed the planning association’s appreciation at the meeting.

• The city’s Land Use and Housing Committee will consider an item on the regulation of oversize-vehicle parking at its upcoming meeting on Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. at the City Council chambers. The meeting is open to the public, and anyone is welcome to attend to weigh in on the issue.
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