We got our first correspondence back from the coastal commission a few weeks ago and we’ve been officially assigned one of their planners, Lillian Ford. The letter that the Commission sent was in response to reviewing our coastal application and to let us know that we needed to include a bit more information before they could process it.

Some of the additional info that the Coastal Commission required from us was:

  • Alternatives Analysis – discussing any other possible locations for the house or design alternatives that might lessen the impact on the environment
  • Visual Impact Analysis – discussing the visual impacts that the project might have from any surrounding public recreation areas, trails, scenic roadways, etc.
  • Build Pad Area Calculation – detailed breakdown of the building pad that includes all structures and graded areas.
  • Biological Study – discussing the various plants and animal life that exist on my property.
  • Brush clearance: a topographic plan that depicts the required brush clearance.

Because much of the additional info that the Coastal Commission was looking for was analysis of the project…which can be kind of vague and hiring people to do this kind of work can be costly, Steve recommended that we take a trip up to Ventura County to visit the Coastal Commission on a day that Lillian would have counter hours…this way we could meet her face to face and sort out the detail of what would really be required.

I thought that was a great idea…I’m a huge fan meeting all the people that are involved in a project face to face…it becomes a much more personal experience and if any issues do come up, they are much easier to deal with when you actually know who the person is at the other end of the phone or email!

So last Monday Steve and I took a drive up the coast and met with Lillian. We brought her some of the additional info she was looking for and talked for a while about our project. As it turns out, the aerial photographs we brought that day answered a lot of her questions with regard to the “Alternatives Analysis” as well as the “Visual Impact Analysis” and it turns out that our “Landscape Designer / Coastal Resource Specialist” had already done much of the “Biological Study” when she was preparing our Fuel Mod plan.

It was great meeting Lillian and after speaking with her we agreed that we already had most of the information she was looking for. From Lillian’s remarks it seemed as though she thought the project would go quickly and smoothly and that it was in line with the Coastal Commissions guidelines and requirements.

This week Steve is putting the last bits of the additional requested info together that we will hopefully deliver to the coastal commission later this week. After that we could be looking at a few more months for the approval and then it’s building time!!