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Family agrees to redesign beachfront home planned in Cayucos

A beach house is proposed to be built on a small swatch of land on the beach in Cayucos, shown here adjacent to the existing homes.
A beach house is proposed to be built on a small swatch of land on the beach in Cayucos, shown here adjacent to the existing homes. ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

Representatives of a family planning to build a controversial beachfront home in Cayucos have agreed to redesign the residence in an effort to address some of the concerns of neighbors.

After a daylong hearing, the San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission asked the Loperena family to redesign the home primarily to move it farther back from the beach. As originally proposed, the home would extend 28 feet over the beach at the north end of Studio Drive.

Bruce Elster of Morro Bay, the family’s representative, agreed to make the changes. The redesigned home will come back to the commission April 10.

The redesign will keep the home within the area’s 15-foot height limit, but a second story will be added to create more living space. The home could still extend over the beach, but it would be shortened in order to make it more compatible with the neighboring homes, said Commissioner Ken Topping, whose district includes Cayucos.

About 20 Cayucos residents and other opponents of the project attended the hearing. Eleven of them spoke. Their main concerns were the fact the home would extend over the beach and would be very visible from the beach and Highway 1 particularly from the north.

“I don’t believe anything should be allowed to extend over the beach as this does,” said Tracy Herman of Morro Bay.

No one from the public spoke in favor of the house. No one from the Loperena family spoke.

However, their representatives said the home would merely be an extension of an existing neighborhood. The home was originally proposed in 2006 and the family has been struggling to get it through the lengthy coastal planning and permitting process.

The family also went to the additional length of preparing an environmental impact report for the home. Such reports are rarely prepared for single-family homes.

“We are just asking to be treated fairly like everyone else according to the regulations,” said Kathy Novak of Morro Bay, another of the family representatives.

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