A proposal to build a bluff-top home on a Cayucos lot with several links to the county’s past will go before the county Planning Commission on Thursday.
Cambria architect Marshall Lewis has applied to build a 5,300-square-foot, two-story residence at Lucerne Road and Ocean Avenue in northern Cayucos. The project will replace an existing home and an old antique shop called Gull Cottage.
The Cayucos Citizens Advisory Council and a neighbor have raised several concerns, including the size of the house, its effect on cypress trees lining the road and a request for a variance to exceed curbside setbacks.
The lot has several ties to the county’s early history.
It contains a water tower that dates to the time the land was owned by Cayucos founder James Cass. Planners recommend that the water tower be retained or relocated to the Cass House or some other historically appropriate location in Cayucos.
The rocky beach below the lot is the site of an early experiment in harnessing wave energy.In 1913, Cayucos businessman Achille Tognini installed a tidal water wheel there.
Storms quickly destroyed the experiment, but the channel in the rocks where the water wheel once stood is still visible. The proposed development would not affect the parcel’s intertidal area.
Neighbor John Black is protesting the development. Other neighbors have voiced support for it.
Black’s concerns include a 2,800-square-foot underground garage; the overall size of the project, which he says is out of character for the area; and the fate of mature cypress trees on the lot.
Planners say the development is consistent with planning guidelines for the Estero Bay area. They have met with Black several times to try to allay his concerns.
Only two cypress trees can be removed to make way for the development, and steps will be taken to protect the rest during construction, planners say.