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Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has been making up for lost time on the giant remodel of his beachfront home in La Jolla's posh Barber Tract community. Just days after suffering defeat at the polls, Romney removed the hold on the building permit at 311 Dunemere Drive.

"That application was placed on hold at the request of the applicant, who removed the hold request in November 2012," writes a spokesperson for the Development Services Department. "As a result the application process is continuing. A hearing date has not yet been scheduled, but when it is, it will be publicly noticed as required by the San Diego Municipal Code regulations."

The plan to demolish the current 3,000 square-foot home for one more than three-times the size, with a 3,600 square-foot basement and a garage with car-lifts, received national attention from the media, causing Romney to put the project on hold during the election.

But the former Governor of Massachusetts has let go of that hold. According to the project manager, the application for a coastal development permit is now back on the table.

Recent lobbying disclosures show that in the weeks before and after the election, Romney once again turned to lobbyists to push the project through the City's pipeline.

From October 1 2012 to December 3, according to a disclosure filed by San Diego law firm Peterson and Price, Romney paid $1,600 to help gain "approval of a [Coastal Development Permit] for home at 311 Dunemere, La Jolla."

It is not the first local outfit that Romney has turned to. Back in May 2010, long before becoming the Republican nominee, Matt Potter reported that Romney hired La Jolla architectural firm Island Architects to get the permit approved. By 2012, the presidential hopeful had already given local lobbyists thousands of dollars to work on his behalf.

In August of last year, Peterson came to the Romney's defense when the couple were sent a late notice from the City for falling three months behind on their payment to the City.

But with the election now behind him, plans to renovate his beachfront home are back on and, according to a City spokesperson, the plan "has not changed in the past year or so."

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monaghan Feb. 5, 2013 @ 11:24 a.m.

Let's get back to the subject: the president of the La Jolla Community Planning Association, Tony Crisafi, is a principal partner in Island Architects, the firm Romney cannily has hired to build his Very Big House.

Such projects are usually presented to the local community planning group which, in its limited advisory capacity, makes or with holds recommendations to proceed. When there's a conflict of interest, as in this case, one expects the planning group member will recuse himself from deliberations and voting.


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