At the Jan. 5th, 2012 La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA) monthly meeting, the Trustees voted to ratify a nominee to the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee (LJSPRC). They did this despite the fact that on April 14th, 2011 the City of San Diego issued a Civil Penalty Notification for code violations for her home on Avendia de la Playa. The City cited her home for nine code violations, which includes an illegal garage conversion and the removal of three off-street parking spaces.
The leadership of our community planning group has known of these violations for the past eight months, yet chose not to share this information with the other Trustees.
When we informed the other Trustees of the violations, Trustee Joe La Cava stated his rationale for her ratification was; “To ensure as a member of the LJSPRC she would be under the umbrella of the LJCPA, thereby receiving indemnification and defense from the City of San Diego”.
Trustees Rob Whittemore and Michael Costello’s justification to ratify the nominee were based on a “forgive and forget” mind-set. “We probably all have code violations of some kind,” stated Mr. Costello.
As residents of La Jolla we believe it is not rational for our community group, to ignore our codes and knowingly appoint a nominee to the LJSPRC when that individual is themselves, in violation of the codes they are appointed to judge others by.
Although there is no Floor Area Ratio (FAR) restriction in La Jolla Shores, at this same meeting, Trustee Phil Merten urged trustees and the public to support the appeal of an applicant’s proposed home based on FAR. However, the author of the La Jolla Shores PDO and former City of San Diego Architect, Mike Stepner, has stated; “A FAR was not included in the La Jolla Shores PDO because it was not believed to be a useful tool for guiding development in our neighborhood. Because of the nature of the area, it was felt that more specific design guidelines were required. Set back and height requirements coupled with design guidelines was a much better way to ensure ‘unity with variety’ in new projects”.
Co-author of the LJSPDO and former architect Dale Naegle confirmed there is no FAR restriction, as evidenced on building plans he prepared for his clients in La Jolla Shores.
It is time our community group must stop appealing applicants based on its self-serving and self-imposed FAR restriction. Their arbitrary FAR will lower property values of older homes in La Jolla Shores by approximately 15 percent to 25 percent.
As residents of La Jolla Shores we believe it is reprehensible for this community group to disregard our LJSPDO and impose their capricious FAR’s when reviewing an applicant’s project.
If you have concerns about the current or past actions of our community groups send your concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to see the above mentioned City of San Diego Civil Penalty Notification it can be seen here.
Bob and Kim Whitney
Members of The La Jolla Association and residents of La Jolla