The county Planning Commission has denied a request to build a large bluff-top home on a historic lot in Cayucos.
The commission ruled that the two-story, 5,300-square-foot residence at the corner of Lucerne Road and Ocean Avenue was too big for the parcel and would result in the death of cypress trees lining the front of the lot. The trees are considered unique to the site, said Kerry Brown, the county planner for the project.
“Critical root zones extend through the whole building envelope, so potentially any project could affect the trees,” she said.
The denial came last week. Project applicant Marshall Lewis of Cambria said an appeal to the Board of Supervisors is likely.
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“It was sort of a disappointment,” he said. “We think the house would have been a real benefit to the streetscape of that part of Cayucos.”
A county-hired arborist said a 2,800-square-foot underground garage would likely kill the trees. Lewis said he is willing to replace the trees at a two-to-one ratio with any species the county wanted.
Developing the lot will be more difficult than usual because of its quirky ties to Cayucos’ past. It contains a water tower that historians say dates to when the property was owned by James Cass, who is considered the founder of Cayucos. It is also the site of a 1913 attempt to install a tidal water wheel for electrical generation.
The site currently contains a small, older residence and an old antique shop called Gull Cottage. A neighbor and the Cayucos Citizens Advisory Council objected to the development.