Pleasure Point building rules get the go-ahead
Sentinel Staff Report
Article Launched: 02/03/2010 12:00:00 AM PST

By Kurtis Alexander

SANTA CRUZ — Pleasure Point residents looking to keep super-sized homes at bay won the support of the county Tuesday in the form of new design standards for homes and remodels.

The Board of Supervisors, which unanimously approved the regulations, billed the move as a way to make sure houses in the beach neighborhood remain in scale with existing houses while still giving homeowners flexibility with their floor plans.

For years, Pleasure Point residents have complained about new homes blocking views, limiting sunlight and disrupting the character of a community long associated with small surf shacks and a modest, care-free Santa Cruz lifestyle.

“Keeping Pleasure Point interesting will be a great benefit for us,” said resident Charles Paulden, one of several community members who helped lead the push for regulation.

The action approved this week, which must still be signed off by the California Coastal Commission, establishes Pleasure Point as a special zoning district. Within the district, a number of rules guide new homes and additions, some limiting what property owners can do and others providing greater freedoms.

For example, under the regulations, second stories of homes must be set back further, to discourage bland, wall-like facades; but at the same time, first stories can be larger.

A grandfather clause allows most existing homes to be built back to their current specs in the event of damage.

Many residents, however, remain leery of the zoning district.

Phyllis Christensen suggested Tuesday that the new rules are unnecessarily restrictive, limiting people’s ability to build something that accommodates them or their family.