Civic report: La Jolla Community Planning Association, Aug. 2
by Mariko Lamb
Published - 08/08/12 - 02:27 PM | 2649 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print

• The city Planning Commission will hear the City Council’s application for a site-development permit (SDP) for a year-round rope barrier at Children’s Pool beach on Aug. 30. The meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the San Diego City Council Chambers, located at 202 C St. on the 12th floor.

• District 1 City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner and the La Jolla Historical Society are working together on changes to the historic designation process. If adopted, properties listed on state and national registries will automatically be designated by the city without having to go through a separate Historical Resources Board (HRB) hearing. The HRB’s policy committee will hear the proposal at its Aug. 13 meeting.

• Lightner, the San Diego Workforce Partnership and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation are sponsoring the “Connecting to Careers” job training fair. The free event will feature career counselors, exh-ibitors from top local businesses, and informative workshops on Aug. 25 from 8 a.m. to noon at Golden Hall, located at 202 C St.


• Walk San Diego is seeking volunteers to conduct “walk audits” at the end of September for a free upcoming smart phone application. The walk audits would entail walking around your neighborhood and identifying streets that are in need of repair. To volunteer, contact Walk San Diego at (619) 544-9255.

• The Bird Rock Community Council will host “BirdStock: Taking it to the Streets” on Aug. 11 from noon to 4 p.m. The music festival will take place on La Jolla Boulevard from Midway to Camino de la Costa. Proceeds will benefit Bird Rock Elementary School.

• The La Jolla Community Center continues to seek donations to complete construction of its revamped community center.

• The Community Planners Committee is continuing the battle against unsightly utility boxes, said LJCPA trustee Joe LaCava.


• Bob Collins was elected as LJCPA’s newest trustee.

• Matthew Walsh was appointed as the Development Permit Review committee’s newest trustee.

• LJCPA trustees ratified the appointments of Phil Merten as chairman, Mike Costello as vice chairman and Laura Ducharme-Conboy, Jim Fitzgerald, LaCava, Rob Whittemore, Cindy Thorsen and Tony Crisafi as trustees to the ad hoc committee on operating procedures when LJCPA trustees represent applicants or organized opponents of a project under review by the LJCPA.

“Anybody and everybody who wants to take part in discussions at the ad hoc committee and have their opinions recorded, please attend the meetings and do so,” said Merten. “Our goal is to be inclusive in points of view as we possibly can.”

The committee will also discuss whether or not LJCPA trustees should take a formal position on code violations affecting community or neighborhood character.

• The mayor’s office has decided to include the community planning groups as the nexus to get public input on capital improvement projects. More information about how to get involved is forthcoming.


• The SPOT Kids sign, located at 7632 Herschel Ave. was approved, as it was found to substantially conform to the La Jolla Shores Planned District Ordinance (PDO).

• Findings for an extension of time were made for the Mazon residence at 7921 El Paseo Grande and the Lai residence at 2037 Torrey Pines Road.

• Trustees voted to deny the city’s request to increase the speed limit on Nautilus Street from 25 mph to 35 mph.

“By raising it to 35, all that means is that [police] can use radar on that street,” said trustee Orrin Gabsch, opposing the idea. “I don’t think raising the speed limit in this particular area makes sense. It’s past the middle school, and I don’t think you’re going to get much more enforcement via radar to make it worthwhile.”

At the current 25 mph speed limit, an officer can still ticket a driver for speed violations if the officer follows a speeding driver in his or her own patrol car.

“I think the last time anybody was tracked by a moving squad car and got a ticket for speeding was back when they were filming the Keystone Cops. They use radar, or they don’t do anything to enforce,” said trustee Dan Allen, who supported the city’s request. “If you don’t raise the speed limit to an enforceable level, there won’t be any enforcement.”

• The LJCPA voted that the findings could be made for a coastal development permit (CDP) and neighborhood development permit (NDP) for the proposed Bird Rock Station project, a mixed-use commercial space on a vacant 0.37-acre site, located at 5702 La Jolla Blvd.

The project — which will include 10 residential units and 7,726 square feet of commercial space — has undergone many revisions before ultimately gaining the approval of the community planning groups and neighbors.

“I’d really like to thank Michael Krambs, the owner, and [owner’s representative Claude Anthony Marengo] for moving forward with a purely two-story project. This is a situation that had a lot of angst in the community for a long time and I applaud them,” said neighbor Darcy Ashley. “There has been some really wonderful back-and-forth with making adaptations for the neighbors … I’m 95 percent on board with this project if not all the way there.”

Ultimately, trustees agreed that the project was in conformance to the planning codes and voted to support the findings for a CDP and NDP.

• The LJCPA approved a variance for over-height walls within setbacks, elimination of on-site parking and walls above three feet within the required visibility areas at a 2,000-square-foot lot at 875 Gravilla St.

The variances were requested to rectify a code violation for the existing retaining wall separating the driveway from the street-side curb cut.

“You have a situation where the existing house is very small, the lot is very small, the driveway was only eight feet wide — where 12 feet is required by the code — the gradient was 22 percent up the driveway versus the minimum requirement,” said the applicants’ representative Matt Peterson. “The problem that [the owners] had is that current cars can’t make it up into the garage. It is not a long enough driveway. The angle of the driveway up into the garage and such a short driveway makes it so the cars get beached.”

Merten, who pulled the consent item from the LJCPA’s July agenda for a full discussion, took exception to the elimination of the only on-site parking space due to the conversion.

“Rather than address the parking situation and changing the design of the driveway by lowering the garage floor down to create a contemporary parking space, instead the money was spent building a lot of retaining wall in the front yard,” said Merten. “Rather than solve the problem, it just ignored it and went about it and did something else in the process of eliminating the parking space.”

Peterson countered that the only alternative that would make the garage compliant with the current code would be to build a tunnel, which would cost a fortune and eat up a big chunk of the 600-square-foot cottage.

“I understand that there’s a reluctance to take away the only parking spot, but there’s not one there now,” he said. “Why force someone to have a garage and a curb cut if it doesn’t serve any purpose?”

In the end, trustees determined that the findings could be made for the requested variances, but that a deed restriction must be added, stating that if the owner chooses to increase the square footage of the existing home in the future, the on-site parking spot must be restored.
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