A guide for home building in Santa Cruz

A cautionary step-by-step guide for Santa Cruz property owners wishing to build a home within Coastal Commission jurisdiction:

1 use licensed, highly regarded local geologists, engineers and architects;

2 submit plans for local Coastal approval by County Zoning Administrator;

3 Obtain approval recommendation from Planning Staff;

4a get plans on agenda for hearing by Zoning Administrator;

4b have plans mysteriously yanked off agenda three days before hearing;

5 give staff time to completely reverse previous approval;

6 hire attorneys and more experts;

7 obtain staff “reversal of its reversal” and resubmit original plans;

8 obtain local Coastal approval!;

9 wait for a neighbor to appeal your approval to Coastal at no cost to them;

10 wait for Coastal Commission to hear appeal and issue report not based on original appeal;

11 obtain opinion from Coastal Staff Geologist in San Francisco ignoring local geology and bluff retreat rates;

12 pray Coastal Commissioners don’t determine “Substantial Issue”;

13 go back to No. 6 above.

Kelley Trousdale, Aptos