Beachfront home remodel waits on council decision

OCEANSIDE — The City Council voted to postpone a decision on whether to move forward with the Planning Commission’s recommendation to deny a beachfront home remodel.

The vote was 3-1 to put off giving the final word on the South Pacific Street home remodel until April 20. Councilwoman Esther Sanchez voted no and Mayor Jim Wood was absent.

Prior to the vote Councilman Jerry Kern said he anticipated a vote that evening would be 2-2, and it would be better to postpone the decision until all council members were present.

The Planning Commission unanimously recommended a denial in December 2015, citing the planned remodel height, scale, color and form would not fit the neighborhood. The commission also said they were not supportive of extensions beyond the stringline, which determines how far out towards the ocean homes can be built.

The proposed remodel would add 1,515 square feet to the home, and 652 square feet to the deck and balcony.

Plans would exceed regulation height and stringline limits.

The first floor deck would extend 9.5 feet beyond the stringline. The second floor deck would extend 5.5 feet past.

The rooftop would be a foot over the 35-foot height limit. Rooftop heating and cooling system equipment, and chimney would add more height.

Allowance for going over regulation limits is discretionary.

Homeowner Dan Matlach spoke in support of moving forward with the remodel. He said remodel plans abide by current 1986 zoning regulations that allow projects to exceed limits. He also noted other beachfront homes that exceed limits and were grandfathered in, or approved.

“Decks may be allowed if they do not substantially obstruct views,” Matlach said.

Matlach added the Planning Commission overstepped its decision-making by denying the project. He said commissioners voiced their preference for the 1992 zoning ordinance, which has not been approved by the Coastal Commission, and made their decision based on it, not the current city ordinance.

“It could not be a more obvious case of selective enforcement,” Matlach said.

Most speakers at the meeting supported the Planning Commission’s recommendation.

Beachfront homeowner Carol Walt said she followed the city’s 1992 ordinance guidelines when remodeling her home even though the ordinance was not approved by the Coastal Commission. She added allowing the proposed remodel would be a “huge mistake.”

“This house blocks view all of neighbors,” Walt said. “For many years the Planning Commission has been consistently protecting all of our homes.”

The council will discuss and vote on whether to uphold the denial at its next regular meeting.

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