The City Council may wait to consider a controversial lot merger on Ocean Boulevard, an item that was scheduled to be heard at the Council’s Tuesday evening meeting.
In a memo sent Friday from the city’s Community Development Department Planning Division, included in the Tuesday meeting’s online agenda, staff is recommending that the item be continued to May 8’s Council meeting “to allow the applicant sufficient time to prepare and execute a restricted covenant that includes the alternative development standards as voluntarily proposed by the applicant.”
The owners of the lots at 2808 and 2812 Ocean Blvd. have been trying since September 2011 to secure permission from the city to merge the lots and build a single family home.
Neighbors have objected because the two lots are part of a five-lot private agreement that restricts three Ocean Boulevard homes to one story, protecting the views from two rear Ocean Lane homes. The agreement includes an easement that allows the front homes to have alley access to their garages.
The city’s Zoning Administrator in September approved the lot merger, but neighbors appealed the decision, and the city’s Planning Commission voted 6-1 in October to deny the merger.
The homeowners, John and Julie Guida, hired Government Solutions, Inc. to assist them with an appeal to the City Council. In January the Council asked that the Planning Commission reconsider the merger with the Guidas’ self-imposed restrictions on height and setback.
In March, the commissioners voted 3-2 to allow the merged lots with the Guidas’ conditions, but added restrictions that would further reduce the home’s size and reduce the height by another three feet.
Coralee Newman of Government Solutions indicated in an email that the Guidas’ had not changed their plans to incorporate those Planning Commission suggestions.
“Our proposal to the City Council will be what we presented to the Planning Commission along with the increase in sideyard setbacks,” she said in an email.
The City Council has final say on the lot merger.
Some neighbors have testified that the proposed home will be too big for the neighborhood. The Ocean Lane homeowners and their families have complained about the delays in the process, testifying that their health is suffering because of the uncertainty over losing their ocean and park views.
The neighbors also have said they are willing to go to court to prove the validity of the 1951 agreement. That agreement limits the front homes to one-story but didn’t define the height of a single story; the neighbors claim view protection was the intention.