Prescription for Dr. Marshall Lewis: If you haven’t already done so, take down that #*&% sign.
It sounds like relations between you and your neighbor are bad enough without adding a great big fat log to that proverbial fire by posting a sign that identifies your neighbor as — well, there’s no nice way to put this — an a - - hole.
If this is to be your future home, Dr. Lewis, you might want to rethink the in-your-face attitude.
For those readers who may have missed this little drama, here’s a recap: Lewis is seeking to build his dream home atop a scenic coastal bluff in Cayucos.
Some North Coast residents — including the Cayucos Citizens Advisory Council — say the home is too big, and the design is completely out of character for the community. Others say it’s his property, and he should be allowed to build what he pleases.
Both sides make valid points.
We believe in private property rights, and that means that property owners should have leeway to develop what they please, within reason.
But neighboring residents have rights as well, and if oversized, inappropriately designed homes detract from the character of their communities, that’s a concern that needs to be addressed.
That doesn’t mean that an arbitrary square footage limit needs to be enforced. After all, a mansion might look perfectly fine in an out-of-the way lot on the Nipomo Mesa, but be totally inappropriate for a beach community.
There are other ways to better ensure compatibility, such as setting design guidelines, height and setback regulations, etc.
However, those rules must be clear from the outset, and that wasn’t the case with this parcel. While there are design standards for other parts of Cayucos, this particular lot was not covered.
On top of that, Lewis’ application was already kicked back once.
At the behest of the Board of Supervisors, he redesigned the project by scaling back the size from the original 5,300 square feet and realigning the driveway, among other changes. He also had additional studies done, including one that examined using the property for multifamily housing. He’s also agreed to county conditions, including replacing any cypress trees that will be removed at a 2:1 ratio, and preserving a historic water tank on the site.
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors voted 4-1, with North Coast Supervisor Bruce Gibson dissenting, to approve the revised project.
While we share concerns about the appropriateness of the design, given the history of the project we understand the board’s decision.
We may not like his house, but requiring Lewis to jump through more hoops now seems unfair, with one exception.
The sign has got to go.