Planning Commission OKs controversial building plans for Cayucos home

dsneed@thetribunenews.comApril 10, 2014 

The county Planning Commission Thursday approved plans to build a controversial beachfront home in Cayucos.

The vote was 3-1 with Commissioner Ken Topping, whose district includes Cayucos, casting the no vote. Commissioner Jim Irving was absent.

Topping’s concerns were the home’s potential vulnerability to sea level rise and storm surge. He questioned whether the sea level change analysis done by the applicant was up to date. He wanted the home moved back from the seaward edge of the bluff it would be built on.

“I would feel much more comfortable if we had a project that reflects the latest science by moving the house up and back,” Topping said.

The other commissioners disagreed, saying the applicants have already redesigned the home once to meet neighbors’ concerns that the home's proposed balcony would hang over the beach. They also cited the county staff’s determination that the home would be safe from sea level rise and coastal hazards for the next 100 years.

“Let’s get this done,” said an exasperated Commissioner Don Campbell.

Planners representing neighbors said they did not know if the decision would be appealed to the Board of Supervisors. However, Commissioner Tim Murphy, who chairs the commission, said he expects the project to be appealed all the way to the California Coastal Commission.

The commission first heard the project in January and asked the applicants to redesign the house so that its balcony did not extend over the beach. The home is proposed for a narrow lot on Studio Drive near the intersection with Highway 1.

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