Cheat-Seeking Missles

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hearing Day

Today's the day one of my teams has been working towards for years. We received city approval of this little 170-home project in Dec. 2002 and have been trying ever since to get a hearing before the California Coastal Commission.

Today is that day, so there will be no blogging until it's over.

Yesterday was intense, as the opposition prevailed in getting staff to buy one of their arguments. In a nutshell: Decades ago, before the current owner owned the property, it appears someone put some fill on a portion of the property without a permit. They were cited, and it appears the fill was never properly removed. If it had been removed, a wetland plant in the area might have grown there, so we will have to adjust our plans to avoid the area.

It's all based on interpretation of fuzzy old aerial photos and vegetation maps. They've got a defensible argument, and we had one against it, but if we pose our argument, the Commission is likely to see an unresolved question and delay us until October.

The cost? Four houses, maybe 10.

The decision we made? You can watch the hearing live at here (there's a video link on the left near the top). We'll hopefully come on sometime before lunch. (Here's the Web site for the project.)

The California Coastal Commission staff believes the State has the right to do whatever it wants with private property on the Coast. They push the regs to the max, and many Commissioners think that's just fine. Others hold to reasonable regulation and reasonable property rights.

It's a very odd dynamic and if you are totally lost in your wonkism, you may find it interesting.

Me? I'm a capital T, capital B true believer in the benefits of and need for well planned development and have my heart very much in this one. Plus, I'm paid to be there.

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