The Planning Commission last night voted down a plan to consolidate two lots and build a large new home on the combined site on Ocean Boulevard, where neighbors said the plan violated a 60-year-old agreement among homeowners there and would block views.
The plan was OK’d by a city zoning administrator last month, but was appealed to the Planning Commission, which heard the matter last night.
The parcels in question are along Ocean Boulevard between Goldenrod and Heliotrope. Under a 1951 agreement, three homeowners in the block agreed not to ever build homes higher than one story on the properties, and also granted an access easement to two homeowners up the hill along Ocean Lane.
John and Julie Guida recently bought two of the three lots in question, and filed plans to build to the zoned height limit of 20 feet. Their plan would also have eliminated the access granted the two Ocean Lane properties in 1951.
Owners of the two affected properties objected strenuously, support by a petition signed by 29 other neighbors, arguing that the plan violated deed restrictions put in place by the 1951 deal and would have eliminated their views of the ocean.
When she and her husband bought their Ocean Lane home, Joan Campbell wrote to commission, “we were shown the property at 11:00 in the morning and were so entranced with the location and the view we accepted the asking price and bout it at 4:00 that afternoon.”
They relied on the deed restrictions to preserve their view, she wrote.
The zoning administrator, in OK’ing the plan, noted that the city has no enforcement authority over deed restrictions and no view-preservation ordinance or policy. He also noted that the Ocean Lane properties have alternatives to the access via the easement.
The Planning Commission didn’t see it that way, and voted 6-1 against approving the Guidas’ plan. The Guidas can appeal the commission decision to the City Council.