• Public written comments regarding the proposed sale and relocation of La Jolla’s Wall Street post office will be accepted until May 26. Send all letters to: USPS Diana Alvarado, USPS Pacific Facilities Services Office, 1300 Evans Avenue, Ste. 200, South San Francisco, 94188-8200. For more information, visit www.savelajollapostoffice.org.
• The La Jolla Historical Society is inaugurating a weeklong youth summer camp for aspiring architects, announced trustee Laura DuCharme-Conboy. The camp, conducted by local architects and educators, will take place from July 23-27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for middle and high school students. The cost of the camp is $300 ($350 after June 1) and includes lunch donated by local restaurants. For more information or to register, email [email protected] or call (858) 768-7010.
• The former MTV “Real World” house in Bird Rock was scheduled to host a “big, commercial-type party,” announced trustee Mike Costello. After neighbors’ complaints that the party would be a code violation in a residential zone, the owners have agreed to drop plans for the event.
“Due to a lot of good peoples’ efforts, code enforcement said that this would be a violation of city law, and the owners — we believe — have agreed not to hold the event,” Costello said, praising the dedicated efforts of District 1 City Councilwoman Sherri Lightner, Erin Demorest, Michelle Fulks and Joe Parker for their help.
• Architect Michael Morton announced his resignation from the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee (LJSPRC) citing an unfair hearing of the revised Hillel project, which was presented to the joint committee at its February and March meetings.
“A fair hearing by an applicant is a very important right that all applicants should be receiving,” Morton said. “I’m asking formally that the CPA form an organizing committee to investigate this issue, and report back to the CPA trustees and the board with the results of that investigation.”
The alleged unfairness of the project reviews stem from Morton’s claim that several LJSPRC board members failed to disclose they currently or previously held positions that were in organized opposition to the project.
“If you are a part of an organized group in opposition to a project, and you are sitting on a committee before an applicant, you have to disclose that,” he said. “Many members of that subcommittee were part of organized groups in opposition to that project. They neither disclosed, nor chose to abstain from voting or recuse themselves from that vote.”
• Trustees ratified approval of the proposed LJCPA appointees to the joint committees and boards, including Development Permit Review, La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee, La Jolla Planned District Ordinance Committee, Traffic & Transportation Board, Coastal Access & Parking Board, Community Planner’s Committee and the Ad Hoc Committee on trustees representing project applicants or opponents. Appointee selections can be viewed at www.lajollacpa.org.
• Due to Ray Weiss’ resignation from the LJCPA, President Tony Crisafi will form a Special Election Committee to be ratified at next month’s meeting.
Construction, projects around town
• The La Jolla Shores lifeguard tower project is under construction and is slated for completion in August. The lot will be resurfaced by Memorial Day weekend, and thereafter only five parking spaces will be closed for the remaining construction.
• The Children’s Pool lifeguard tower project is expected to begin shortly after seal pupping season, which ends on May 15.
• The Jacobs Medical Center project — a more than 500,000-square-foot expansion of the hospital facilities at the UCSD Medical Center La Jolla — began construction on April 9 and will be completed in the spring of 2017.
• The La Jolla Traffic & Transportation Board (T&T) voted 4-3 to approve a requested street vacation for the Hillel project, located at 8966 Cliffridge Ave. LJCPA member Pat Granger asked LJCPA trustees whether T&T should have heard the Hillel project before the environmental impact report and traffic study are out. She also queried why T&T trustees do not have nameplates displayed during their meetings.
• LJCPA trustees approved coastal development permits (CDP) and site development permits (SDP) for the Contreras, Kates, Abelkop and Browar residences, as well as street closures for the Taste of the Cove event on Sept. 6. Trustees ratified the denial of a proposed green zone at 1025 Prospect St.
• The $4.6 million Sewer and Water Group 820 project (GJ 820) will replace approximately 1.5 miles of sewer main and less than one mile of water main, as well as abandon the Coast Walk sewer, which currently hangs off the bluff and has reached the end of its lifespan. Streets that will be affected include Jenner, Cave, Prospect and Silverado streets, Coast Boulevard, Park Row and Exchange Place. Construction for the project is expected to begin after the summer moratorium in October 2013 and take approximately one year to complete.
• Trustees approved a coastal development permit for the Keating residence, located at 6933 La Jolla Farms Road.
Trustees issued concerns over one particular element of the proposed plan — a 30-foot rectangular tower situated at one corner of the residence.
“I could not come to the finding that this element made the reasonable type of transition in scale from the one-story house next door,” said trustee Phil Merten. “I like everything about this project. I think it’s well detailed and well designed. I just wish that tower had been scooted back just a little bit further. It’s a pretty big element you’re going to be looking at.”
Costello questioned whether the tower could be “tucked away” elsewhere on the residence, where it would be “less of a nuisance” to the eastside neighbor.
Architect Taal Safdie countered that there are no windows or viewpoints from the neighboring house in sight of the tower structure, and a tall hedge exists between the two properties. The only ocean view from the neighboring house is from the guesthouse, and those views were wholly preserved, she said.
“It’s 30 feet from the nearest structure,” said DuCharme-Conboy, commending Safdie’s use of material and minimizing scale within the building envelope. “I do think it’s an attractive house and I think it will be a nice addition to the [La Jolla] Farms, especially when you think of some other houses in the Farms. Yes, they have a traditional look, but they’re big and bulky and massive, and this one is broken up.”
• Standard & Poor’s recently raised San Diego’s credit rating two notches from A to AA-, allowing the city to borrow money for bonds at lower interest rates, announced Erin Demorest, representative for District 1 City Councilwoman Sherri Lighter. The city recently approved $75 million in infrastructure bonds, which will go toward resurfacing roads, updating fire stations, upgrading libraries, repairing storm drains, and other much-needed infrastructure repair and improvements — including reconstruction of the La Jolla Cove lifeguard tower, replacement of storm drains along Avenida de la Playa, and repair to a protective barrier for an unstable coastal bluff in Bird Rock — Demorest said.
• City Council is currently updating policies in the 600 series, which primarily concern land use, announced trustee Joe LaCava.