Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Encinitas ocean-view battle

"The houses up on the hill obstruct my view of the moon rise."

Looking west from neighbor's, existing and proposed views
Looking west from neighbor's, existing and proposed views

Some Encinitas residents are suing their downhill neighbors who won city approval to build a second story onto their Pacific Serena home, saying it will partially block their views.

Existing view-Encinitas Ranch Trail to southwest

The neighbors — known as Friends to Preserve Encinitas Beauty — filed the suit in San Diego Superior Court a week after the March 16th city-council meeting where the council voted unanimously to deny their appeal of the permit granted to Gina Merchant and Derek Bradley to build a 643-square-foot second floor onto their 863-square-foot home.

Proposed view-Encinitas Ranch Trail to southwest

The neighborhood is part of “old Encinitas” — north of Encinitas Boulevard and just east of Quail Gardens. The subdivision was built in the 1970s, a collection of side-by-side duplexes with adjacent garages that were originally restricted to people over the age of 55.

"We're looking to go from a modest, two-bedroom one-bathroom home to a modest three-bedroom, two-bathroom home," Gina Merchant told the city council. "We want to be in full consideration of our neighbors and have gone to only 22 feet of a permissible 26 feet in height."

People in houses up the hill, to the east, believe the addition will affect their view of the ocean. They raised their issues with the Encinitas Planning Commission, where the addition won approval on a 3-2 vote, and appealed the decision to the city council, which also supported the addition.

Julie Hedman, who lives uphill, noted that everyone in Encinitas has paid a premium for ocean views. "My husband and I would not have bought our home if we had known that homes would be allowed to build up second stories in front of us," she said. "It will block ocean views from homes in our neighborhood."

Another neighbor, Rebecca O'Neill, explained that she bought her house for the view and even when her property taxes were increased to market value, she was willing to pay that premium for the view. "I bought this place because I want to live out my life here. I want peace and tranquility. I want this view," she said. Merchant and her husband also want to stay in Encinitas — and raise a family in a neighborhood they love, she said.

The issue seems to come down to the right to a view, which a city staffer says doesn't exist under Encinitas law, according to a city report.

But Everett Delano, who represents the people uphill, says that the city's design-review ordinance requires that people follow a set of guidelines that include protecting public and private views.

"It says you have to take things into consideration and you have to balance the view protection with the allowed structure," Delano said. According to him, the uphill residents don't want to block the expansion, they just want a version that is more sensitive to their homes.

But the city council disagreed with him.

"They are not asking for a variance," councilwoman Catherine Blakespear said. “They are going up 21 or 22 feet and they have the right to do that."

While he voted in favor of the project, councilman Tony Kranz noted that he'd had the experience of a house going up next door that blocked his views.

"I do want to acknowledge that there are impacts from this," he said. "I understand what you're feeling about the impacts."

Not everyone was so kind, however. Pacific Serena neighbor Donna Arnicar blasted the group, saying they are "being quite ugly and unreasonable."

"It’s the people up on the hill with the houses that look alike that are being ugly," she said. "The houses up on the hill obstruct my view of the moon rise."

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Mark Dresser’s musicianship cuts through it all

Long-time UCSD professor’s telematics trials
Next Article

Dress up with cork wedges from Aerosoles and a necklace from Pier 1

“For three months, I existed only on yoga pants and sweatpants.”
Looking west from neighbor's, existing and proposed views
Looking west from neighbor's, existing and proposed views

Some Encinitas residents are suing their downhill neighbors who won city approval to build a second story onto their Pacific Serena home, saying it will partially block their views.

Existing view-Encinitas Ranch Trail to southwest

The neighbors — known as Friends to Preserve Encinitas Beauty — filed the suit in San Diego Superior Court a week after the March 16th city-council meeting where the council voted unanimously to deny their appeal of the permit granted to Gina Merchant and Derek Bradley to build a 643-square-foot second floor onto their 863-square-foot home.

Proposed view-Encinitas Ranch Trail to southwest

The neighborhood is part of “old Encinitas” — north of Encinitas Boulevard and just east of Quail Gardens. The subdivision was built in the 1970s, a collection of side-by-side duplexes with adjacent garages that were originally restricted to people over the age of 55.

"We're looking to go from a modest, two-bedroom one-bathroom home to a modest three-bedroom, two-bathroom home," Gina Merchant told the city council. "We want to be in full consideration of our neighbors and have gone to only 22 feet of a permissible 26 feet in height."

People in houses up the hill, to the east, believe the addition will affect their view of the ocean. They raised their issues with the Encinitas Planning Commission, where the addition won approval on a 3-2 vote, and appealed the decision to the city council, which also supported the addition.

Julie Hedman, who lives uphill, noted that everyone in Encinitas has paid a premium for ocean views. "My husband and I would not have bought our home if we had known that homes would be allowed to build up second stories in front of us," she said. "It will block ocean views from homes in our neighborhood."

Another neighbor, Rebecca O'Neill, explained that she bought her house for the view and even when her property taxes were increased to market value, she was willing to pay that premium for the view. "I bought this place because I want to live out my life here. I want peace and tranquility. I want this view," she said. Merchant and her husband also want to stay in Encinitas — and raise a family in a neighborhood they love, she said.

The issue seems to come down to the right to a view, which a city staffer says doesn't exist under Encinitas law, according to a city report.

But Everett Delano, who represents the people uphill, says that the city's design-review ordinance requires that people follow a set of guidelines that include protecting public and private views.

"It says you have to take things into consideration and you have to balance the view protection with the allowed structure," Delano said. According to him, the uphill residents don't want to block the expansion, they just want a version that is more sensitive to their homes.

But the city council disagreed with him.

"They are not asking for a variance," councilwoman Catherine Blakespear said. “They are going up 21 or 22 feet and they have the right to do that."

While he voted in favor of the project, councilman Tony Kranz noted that he'd had the experience of a house going up next door that blocked his views.

"I do want to acknowledge that there are impacts from this," he said. "I understand what you're feeling about the impacts."

Not everyone was so kind, however. Pacific Serena neighbor Donna Arnicar blasted the group, saying they are "being quite ugly and unreasonable."

"It’s the people up on the hill with the houses that look alike that are being ugly," she said. "The houses up on the hill obstruct my view of the moon rise."

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

All stars rotate around Polaris

Home planet for the obscure and irrelevant
Next Article

Dress up with cork wedges from Aerosoles and a necklace from Pier 1

“For three months, I existed only on yoga pants and sweatpants.”
Comments
2

Interesting case, but I don't see how anyone can believe when they buy a house, they also buy the view. They may like the view, but that's not what they are paying for. If they want to see what they bought they need to look down, not out. They own the house and the land it sits on, but what they see when they look out their door or window belongs to other people who bought that land and/or house. Local ordinance states what the height limit is, and they have a right to build up to that limit. If anyone wanted an unobstructed view of the ocean for the rest of their days, they should have bought the house on the edge of the cliff. Of course, that presents other problems here in southern Cal.

April 8, 2016

It is all about NIMBY's. It falls under the "get what you can, can what you get, sit on the can". Once someone has attained something they want they want to close the door behind them so that others can not attain the same. I am going to sue Mother Nature because when I bought my home I had a view but since then the trees have grown up and I no longer have the view I once had.

April 9, 2016

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close