May 16, 2007

Coast Lines


Supervisors keep homes in compliance

County supervisors on Tuesday approved new rules that will keep homes built at the toe of cliffs around the county in compliance with county code.

The decision was necessary after the board last year passed new rules prohibiting property owners from counting cliff faces or submerged beach property as developable. As that rule stood, beach homes at the toe of the cliff were out of compliance with county code. That could pose problems for homeowners wanting to build an addition, rebuild after a fire or flood, or sell their home.

The board Tuesday voted unanimously to exclude properties with homes at the bottom of the cliff from the new ordinance.

That rule originally was passed to control development at the top of the cliff, where homeowners were counting cliff faces and submerged land as developable property to increase the size of house allowed on a site.The size of an allowed house is determined by a ratio of house size to developable property size.

Neighbors and supervisors agreed then that developers wereexploiting a loophole to build homes out of place with surrounding residences.