Additions approved

The home at 544 Dolphin Drive will get a second-story addition with the approval of the city’s Planning Commission. Adam Pardee / Tribune

Neighbors — and staff at the California Coastal Commission — have asked the Pacifica Planning Commission to make sure planned renovations of a home on Dolphin Drive are compatible with the neighborhood.

The home at 544 Dolphin Drive is owned by Jarl and Monica Meagher and is 1,568 square feet, said Jacob Garcia, contract planner. A second-story addition approved by the planning commissioners will add 838 square feet, a stairway and a new master bedroom, bathroom and office.

The Meaghers said they love the neighborhood and have been active in many Pacifica clubs. They said they need more room for their growing family. Developer Brian Brinkman said the addition has a “coastal feel” with lots of windows for natural light and views. The second story is set back as much as possible, he said. The new siding will be blue-gray to match the existing colors and materials.

The commissioners added conditions of approval that two trees, the one on the property and the one next door, be maintained and that an elevation difference be added on the facade to add visual interest. Both must be to the satisfaction of the planning director.

Coastal Commission’s Julia Koppman Norton wrote a comment letter as the project is within the Coastal Zone. That letter asked for a neighborhood compatibility assessment that compares the project with other

buildings with second stories. The design should evaluate the project from vantage points on Palmetto Avenue and elsewhere to see if it would disrupt public coastal views, the letter states. In addition, the letter stated the property is located in a hazardous area and suggested a deed restriction to acknowledge that.

Senior Planner Christian Murdock said Pacifica’s Local Coastal Program addresses those points but does not require a deed restriction nor a view vantage point.

Charlotte Nicolosi, a neighbor who owns one of the big cypress trees, said the addition will affect her privacy because of the number of windows on the remodel.

Cindy Abbott said she wanted the city to follow the Coastal Commission’s comments and favored putting in conditions that protect the city from liability.

“We should be learning what fits in the neighborhood,” she said.

Christine Boles agreed. “The addition is more than 50 percent of the house. I want to make sure you are doing the proper analysis for neighborhood compatibility,” she said.

Commissioner Samantha Hauser asked to add the additional conditions of approval. She thought the roof elevation was nice, and wanted to address the Coastal Commission’s comments.

“It’s inappropriate to do it piecemeal, but how can we do it in the future to be consistent? That’s important. It’s coming up a lot,” she said.

Murdock replied that Pacifica has no ordinance protecting views.

Commissioner Lauren Berman favored a deed restriction so residents are aware of the potential natural hazards.

“This is addressed in the local coastal land use program,” Murdock replied. “This property is not along the shoreline.” 

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