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  • Writer's picturePaul Grisanti

How big can I afford to build? And what business is it of the Planning Commission?

This was written on midday on Monday while waiting for the Planning Commission meeting to begin:

The Planning Commission’s favorite boogeyman, “Mansionization”, has yet to appear.

According to the City’s website on July 1, So far 92 Applications for rebuilds have been approved by the Planning Department.

47 of those applied for the same size house in the same location. They left the plus 10% option on the table.

43 applied for the previous house in the same location plus 10% additional floor area.

So far only one owner has received Planning Department approval to build a larger home which may also have been moved on the lot. Applying for a home more than 10% larger than the previous home can trigger added scrutiny as can moving the new house from the historic footprint.

There are currently only 12 Planning Department applications still being processed. By my count that means only 104 rebuild applications have been submitted. That is less than 23% of the homes that burned.

Where are the other 350 plus? Are they still fighting their insurers?

The Planning Commission is apparently incensed that the Fire rebuilds are escaping their scrutiny. They fear that burnout lots will be sold to “Outsiders” who will apply to build homes. If the owners as of Nov. 8th2018 need to sell to move on with their lives, why reduce what they can get to cover their next home or retirement? If the original owner can’t rebuild for whatever reason, the community needs someone to step up and replace these burned lots with homes and families.

I’m hoping that the turnout at the July 1stPlanning Commission meeting on the proposed Neighborhood Standards, Reduction in Total Development Sq. Footage Ordinance will convince the City Council and Planning Commission that this is not the right time to lower the threshold for referral to the Planning Commission. Your neighbors who own small homes and those who cannot afford to rebuild don’t need to have the value of their existing home or rebuild lot reduced by close to 50%.

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