For those who are thinking of building a home on the bluff, you may want to consider this recent case seen at Encinitas Undercover – hat tip WC!
The property owners purchased a vacant lot in 2012 for $1,700,000, and it appears this approval process has been underway ever since.
In 2013, the City of Encinitas planning commission approved the homeowners’ plan to build a two-story 3,553 square foot home with a 1,855 square foot underground basement and a 950 square foot garage. The seaward side of the structure would be set back 40 feet from the edge of the bluff.
Shortly thereafter, the geotechnical engineers revised their required report which recalculated the math but came to the same conclusion – a 40-ft setback from the edge of the bluff would work and comply with the generally-accepted rate of 30 feet of erosion over the next 75 years.
But then two commissioners from the Coastal Commission filed an appeal, so the homeowners hired a different engineering firm to complete a second geotechnical report. When the appeal was heard, the Coastal Commission rejected the second report and approved the project with a 60 to 62-foot setback from the edge of the bluff.
The Commission explained that the building footprint resulting from a 60 to 62-foot setback from the bluff edge would still allow the Lindstroms to construct a 3500 square foot home, not including a basement, and that if the Lindstroms obtained a variance from the City reducing the frontyard setback, the building footprint would be even larger.
The homeowners took the Coastal Commission decision to the 4th Appealate District Court of Appeal, who rejected their 40-ft argument but approved the project with no seawall, and a 60-62-ft setback.
WC included this review with links to the actual court documents:
P.S. The homeowners also own the house next door.