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Residential construction project in Shell Beach faces major barriers

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In August, the Pismo Beach Planning Commission approved a plan to demolish an existing home on Ocean Boulevard in Shell Beach and replace it with a new residence nearly twice the size, but now it might not happen.

TOO BIG FOR SHELL BEACH? A proposed 3,710-square-foot home and attached 513-square-foot accessory dwelling unit on Ocean Boulevard in Shell Beach would be nearly twice the size of the lot's existing residence. - SCREENSHOT FROM PISMO BEACH CITY COUNCIL STAFF REPORT
  • Screenshot From Pismo Beach City Council Staff Report
  • TOO BIG FOR SHELL BEACH? A proposed 3,710-square-foot home and attached 513-square-foot accessory dwelling unit on Ocean Boulevard in Shell Beach would be nearly twice the size of the lot's existing residence.

Pismo Beach City Council directed staff at a meeting on Nov. 5 to develop an ordinance upholding an appeal of the project's approval, which was submitted on Aug. 22 by Lawrence Silvas.

In his appeal, Silvas said the plan to demolish the existing 1,580-square-foot residence and construct in its place a 3,710-square-foot home and attached 513-square-foot accessory dwelling unit would negatively impact the character of the surrounding neighborhood. Silvas cited policies included in Pismo's 1992 general plan and local coastal plan, which require new developments to be designed to reflect the "small-scale image of the city."

At the meeting, several community and City Council members agreed with the arguments outlined in the appeal.

"I don't believe it fits in with the neighborhood," Councilmember Sheila Blake said at the meeting. "It's too large, it's massive, and there you go."

Blake added that in order to support the project, she'd have to see a significant reduction in size and scale—not simply a removal of the proposed accessory dwelling unit.

Councilmember Erik Howell echoed those sentiments.

"I wish I could vote for approval for this project," Howell said. "But I think it is too large, I think it overshadows the neighborhood and is not compatible with community character."

An official decision from the council on the project is expected at the next meeting. Δ

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