|Accurate measurements optional.|
And you do have to ask, what kind of planning staff brings forward a project to the Planning Commission without knowing the square footage of a project accurately? Most peculiar. There wasn't any decision last night, nor will there be, until the numbers are right. It was just a terrible waste of the Planning Commission's time. I am not sure I have seen confusion at quite this level before.
Commissioner Desai first brought up the discrepancies on the measuring square footage. All good catches on his part. Apparently the architect for the project did not know where and how to begin and end taking the measurements. That was a concern as gross floor area is very, very important. Especially when both the size of the project and the lot in question are pretty much the topic for the evening.
In case anyone was wondering, here is the topic and how it was worded.
Commissioner Hinton wanted clarification on why the minor CUP ends up not being required regarding the crawl space. Why don't we already have a definition for crawl space? Just hasn't been a critical thing before was the answer.
So why didn't staff know it was a critical matter before the meeting, and have their crawl space definition ready so that it could be discussed?
It all went south from there. Here are some comments from last night that pretty much describe how the rest of the evening went. Which was not very good.
Anonymous November 5, 2015 at 8:02 PM
The applicant. They currently live in a 1907 Craftsman on Montecito. Emotional signifigance to the town & they are mindful of that. The current owners reviewed all of the bad ideas the previous owners had tried to do. He just lost me - "We were not trying to build a huge house but we had to."
Anonymous November 5, 2015 at 8:10 PM
That was an unfortunate thing he said. Overall, he was ok. If he wants an ginormous house and the land can support it, oh well.
Anonymous November 5, 2015 at 8:09 PM
The architect is arguing to measure from the finished floor - but Desai is educating him that he has to measure from the existing grade. The architect is still arguing. Thank goodness for Desai!
Anonymous November 5, 2015 at 8:24 PM
He is great tonight - telling the applicant that the numbers are way out of whack. They are going to have to modify their plans based on accurate measurements.
Anonymous November 5, 2015 at 8:22 PM
Gina catching the balcony off the bedroom - more square footage not counted.
Anonymous November 5, 2015 at 8:27 PM
"Staff had a difficult time calculating the area." What?!? Director Gonzalez suggested approval for this project and he didn't do the math?
AnonymousNovember 5, 2015 at 8:30 PM
Looks like there was way too much confusion in measuring. Wouldn't ya think that would be the first thing an architect would do? Get the codes, get the rulers….
That is pretty much it, gang. The applicant and Director Gonzalez were sent back to the drawing board to see if they can't get the numbers right for the second go around.
I think in football this would be called a fumble.
Great early morning comment
What a disaster. After what happened the first go around with the Henry A. Darling House, you'd think that everyone would have their i's dotted and t's crossed. Yet, City Staff recommended approving this project without doing their homework. This has been exactly the problem in the past and why people have so much distrust. Developers get cozy with City Staff because they are in there every day trying to get their project approved. And then we end up with projects that violate the General Plan and even violate our detailed Municipal Codes. Thanks god for Planning Commissioners like Desai. Don't forget, he was the same guy who stood his ground against some withering questions from Harabedian and Goss who fought against some the Planning Commission's improvements to the R-1 Code. Desai deserves a medal as far as I'm concerned.