4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Mitt Romney's La Jolla mansion not a done deal

Architect appeals to California Coastal Commission to stop project

The red-roofed Romney home at 311 Dunemere Drive (center). Image from Google Maps.
The red-roofed Romney home at 311 Dunemere Drive (center). Image from Google Maps.

An appeal before the California Coastal Commission meeting on September 11 in Eureka against the planned larger home by Mitt and Ann Romney has been postponed. Architect and longtime La Jolla resident Anthony A. Ciani filed his original appeal on July 24, claiming the proposed “McMansion” on the Romneys' .41-acre beachfront lot is illegal under city and state laws and coastal usage policies.

The couple's goal is to demolish their 3009-square-foot house at 311 Dunemere Drive and replace it with an 11,062-square-foot home. Ciani told the Reader that “Romney postponed, not me, which only gives me more time to build my case.” He added that it's not personal. “This is not about Romney; it's about what's right. The issues rule, and I hope Romney's prominence will spotlight the importance of these issues.”

The La Jolla Community Planning Association previously voted to approve the Romney house project. But, Ciani says, “the Romneys claim they own the beach out to the mean high tide line and are using that area to enhance the size of their proposed new house.” Ciani argues that the La Jolla Land Use Plan shows the beach to be “dedicated” or “owned in fee by the City.”

Alexander Llerandi, a program analyst with the California Coastal Commission, told the Reader in an email that “at this time the item has not been formally scheduled for another hearing.” But Ciani said he expects Romney's team to “pack the room with supporters” at the October meeting in San Diego at the Crowne Plaza hotel.

Jill Esterbrooks, spokesperson for District 1 city councilmember Sherri Lightner, who represents La Jolla, said by phone that Lightner “will let the process work its way through.” The Romneys are represented by San Diego attorney and registered lobbyist Matthew Peterson, who specializes in real estate matters. Peterson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Tasty trip to Tijuana

They have everything you’d expect, including my latest fave taco, octopus
Next Article

The “radical inclusiveness” of an openly LBGTQ+ pastor

To embrace the reality that faith is about action
The red-roofed Romney home at 311 Dunemere Drive (center). Image from Google Maps.
The red-roofed Romney home at 311 Dunemere Drive (center). Image from Google Maps.

An appeal before the California Coastal Commission meeting on September 11 in Eureka against the planned larger home by Mitt and Ann Romney has been postponed. Architect and longtime La Jolla resident Anthony A. Ciani filed his original appeal on July 24, claiming the proposed “McMansion” on the Romneys' .41-acre beachfront lot is illegal under city and state laws and coastal usage policies.

The couple's goal is to demolish their 3009-square-foot house at 311 Dunemere Drive and replace it with an 11,062-square-foot home. Ciani told the Reader that “Romney postponed, not me, which only gives me more time to build my case.” He added that it's not personal. “This is not about Romney; it's about what's right. The issues rule, and I hope Romney's prominence will spotlight the importance of these issues.”

The La Jolla Community Planning Association previously voted to approve the Romney house project. But, Ciani says, “the Romneys claim they own the beach out to the mean high tide line and are using that area to enhance the size of their proposed new house.” Ciani argues that the La Jolla Land Use Plan shows the beach to be “dedicated” or “owned in fee by the City.”

Alexander Llerandi, a program analyst with the California Coastal Commission, told the Reader in an email that “at this time the item has not been formally scheduled for another hearing.” But Ciani said he expects Romney's team to “pack the room with supporters” at the October meeting in San Diego at the Crowne Plaza hotel.

Jill Esterbrooks, spokesperson for District 1 city councilmember Sherri Lightner, who represents La Jolla, said by phone that Lightner “will let the process work its way through.” The Romneys are represented by San Diego attorney and registered lobbyist Matthew Peterson, who specializes in real estate matters. Peterson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

The Guardian of Memory: brokenhearted at the border

Carlos Spector stacks the grain in a neat pile for the birds to fight over.
Next Article

Ryan Bowers’ posthumous collaboration with Crhymes

“His fingers kept twitching. His sweaty head was a little shaky. His lips were moving, but no words were coming out.”
Comments
25

David: Interesting story. Are you going to attend the October meeting, so others don't have to? Why would a couple with adult progeny need more than a 3k square foot home? I mean, hey, they've got the ocean and a good sized house. One would think it a proper size for the area and use.

Sept. 9, 2013

I do plan to attend the October hearing. For the rich and famous it's isn't about what they "need" but rather what they desire. It's an ego thing, and about displaying their wealth to others. And they do what's necessary to circumvent laws and rules that the rest of us have to follow.

Sept. 9, 2013

Dwb: I look forward to your report.

Sept. 10, 2013

I didn't do one, as it got such major media coverage elsewhere.

Oct. 13, 2013

Okay

Oct. 16, 2013

I only have one comment on Romney. Leave. Leave San Diego you jerk. We don't want you here. We don't want your selfish politics leaking into our lives. You lost the election and the 47% want you to leave. You are unwelcome and we will smile, but always hate you. Go back to Utah. Take your magic underwear and your freakish cult religion with you. Romney, you are not welcome here. GO AWAY.

Sept. 9, 2013

Wow, how do you REALLY feel?

Sept. 10, 2013

I think I'd rather live next door to the Romneys than to Ponzi. What an outburst! Seems like the kind of guy who might use a hand grenade to settle a neighbor dispute.

Anybody else tired of people identifying themselves by percentages. "I'm the 99%," We 47%." May as well say, "We the self-branded sheep of America."

By the way, if you are the 47%, you want guys like Romney around. Because he's part of the 5% that pay 85% of the taxes that buy the government freebies you 47% love so much..

Sept. 10, 2013

As CNNMoney reported, "Romney paid 14% effective tax rate in 2011." I believe it was reported that Mitt's secretary paid a much higher rate. The Reader's Dorian Hargrove previously reported that Romney paid several $thousands to lobbyists/attorneys to push his house project through city approval. Romney will be paying more as he defends his point of view [or his new house cutting off the view!] before the California Coastal Commission.

Sept. 10, 2013

The 47% was from an infamous remark by Romney. So it is okay to identify everyone else by percentages? That doesn't tire you out?

Sept. 10, 2013

Dwbat: Thanks for the fact check. When I mentioned the 14% to a friend who, like the secretary, pays more, and asked if he were going to figure out how to pay less, he merely stated, "Well, gotta pay for services somehow." Now there's a civilized attitude.

Sept. 10, 2013

Romney's people appear to be going off a standard version of "riparian rights" as generally recognized in real estate law. However, if the City's laws are more stringent than generally applied as concerns beach frontage, that could be one argument against expansion. Even the general principle has a "reasonableness of use" clause, which can be fairly broadly interpreted...it'll be interesting to see how this plays out, to say the least.

Sept. 10, 2013

Yes, it will be quite a battle. Ciani also intends to raise other legal issues in October at the hearing.

Sept. 12, 2013

Ciani informed me today that he has written to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, Interim Mayor Todd Gloria and City Council President Pro Tem Lightner, asking for an investigation into who actually owns the beach area outside Romney's home. The Coastal Commission staff is apparently relying on City information that is incorrect about that ownership, Ciana says. His letter said in part: "I am not opposed to development on the waterfront, but I believe every one deserves equal treatment under the law, and it appears that this is an illegal taking of the public's land for private purposes, without just compensation, without proper permits and/or other legal administrative and legal actions."

Sept. 27, 2013

Here's an update on the Oct. 11 public meeting. It will begin at 8:30 a.m., at the Crowne Plaza, 2270 Hotel Circle North. The agenda item is Appeal No. A-6-LJS-13-0226 (Romney, San Diego).

Oct. 1, 2013

I forgot to mention there will be live streaming of the meeting. Go to: www.coastal.ca.gov/ at 8:30 on the 11th.

Oct. 3, 2013

LATE UPDATE: The CA Coastal Comm. just voted 7 to 4 this morning, to approve the Romney project.

Oct. 11, 2013

Looks like the CA Coastal Commission is caving right, left and down the middle.

Anyone see the article about the 35 year old member of the commission who said he had attended many Comic-Cons--looks like they just ignored all the issues with the expanded convention center. While I am tempted to say, "What a bunch of idiots!", I am sure the story is larger than that.

Oct. 13, 2013

From their two San Diego recent decisions, the Coastal Commission seems to be acting much like the CA Public Utility Commission: serving the rich and power elite instead of the people and the public interest.

Oct. 13, 2013

DW: perhaps now would be a good time to ask the Governor to review his appointments thereto. Thanks for this reminder, I will send in my email....you never can tell.

Oct. 15, 2013

I was surprised when the Coastal Commission staff recommendation (denying the convention center expansion) was overruled. Something sounds a little fishy, just like with the Romney decision. A house cleaning at that Commission and the CA PUC is needed.

Oct. 15, 2013

It doesn't matter now how non-residents think. The Romneys now get to tear down their old "shack" and build a new mansion next year.

Oct. 14, 2013

LATEST UPDATE: Romney attorney Matthew Peterson emailed that he had a 45-minute phone conversation with Ciani. Peterson said they "were able to work thru many issues." He added: "I assured him that we will not include the word 'passive' in the dedication and that alleviated his concern re public access." Peterson also mentioned "the potential to increase lifeguard presence at the beach. Mr. Ciani thought that was a great idea."

Oct. 16, 2013

DW: it sounds interesting. No doubt Mr. Ciani would want those assurances committed to paper, and flesh out what "potential to increase" means:)

Oct. 16, 2013

Construction is not expected to start until Spring, so there's time for any such agreements to be put in writing. I think the lawyer's reaching out to Ciani was tactful, and could be useful in future situations in La Jolla.

Oct. 17, 2013

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close