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City Councilto hear appeal of proposed condo

By Kelley Atherton

Triplicate staff writer

A controversial proposal for an oceanside condominium development will reach the Crescent City Council on Tuesday.

Council members will conduct a public hearing on an appeal of Planning Commission approval of the 44-unit Coasta Norte development, which would include ground-floor professional offices.

Since any council action could also be appealed, the issue could ultimately end up before the California Coastal Commission.

Glenn Tiffany, of Ashland, Ore., filed the appeal with the city. Tiffany owns the property across the street from the development site at 200 A Street on the east side. The city has also received numerous letters opposing the project, and a petition in support of it.

In his letter of appeal, Tiffany stated that he was unable to attend a Dec. 13 Planning Commission meeting and said several issues he raised in a prior letter were not addressed.

Among his contentions:

•He said the property is in a "split zone" and the California Coastal Commission should first approve a rezone.

•He said the proposed building height and design are not consistent with nearby residences and exceed zoning standards.

•He said an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was not presented.

In a staff report, City Planner Will Caplinger responded to those concerns:

•Caplinger said the project is consistent with current zoning, which is split between Residential/Professional and Two-Family Residential.

•The building height will not exceed 35 feet above finished ground, which means it conforms with zoning standards, he said.

•An EIS was not required, he said.

In December, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve a coastal development permit, use permit and architectural review for the mixed-use building. It also ruled the development would not have a significant impact on the environment.

While a council decision will be the final local action on Coasta Norte, according to City Planner Will Caplinger, that decision can be appealed up to 10 days after it's made.

The Coastal Commission has already stated some concerns about zoning and land use-issues in a letter to the city. James Baskin, a planner for the coastal commission, stated that the project is "inconsistent with numerous policies and standards of the certified Local Coastal Program."

Baskin noted the development has more than six units per acre and the medical office space is not a significant portion of the project. The Coastal Commission also has concerns about setbacks from the bluff, tsunami hazards, water quality from stormwater runoff and visual obstructions, he wrote.

Randy Baugh, the developer for Coasta Norte, said that the building would cover 49 percent of the property. He said he has spoken with local architects about fine-tuning the design to achieve more of a "coastal feel."

"We're positive about the project—it's a high-end, quality development," Baugh said. "We think the project will generate positive momentum for the city."

Reach Kelley Atherton at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
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