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Santa Barbara Council Blasts Appellants Trying To Block Home Remodel

Council members express frustration with 'spurious' appeal attempt

Fueled by a sense of disrespect and disregard for the public process, the Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday scolded an appellant for attempting to block a home remodel on the Riviera for the second time

"I regret that we have to spend this time doing this," said Councilman Dale Francisco. "I wish that people would take this process seriously for the good of the community."

The council voted 6-0, with Harwood White absent, to deny the appeal for a second time. 

The council in March already voted to turn down an appeal of the project filed filed by Price, Postel & Parma, LLP, on behalf of several of the neighbors, including Rinaldo and Laila Brutoco, who hired forensic architect Trevor Martinson to represent them before the council on Tuesday.

The Brutocos where not attendance at the meeting. They had asked for the appeal to be scheduled on a different day, but the city declined. 

Craig and Jane Morrison already received approval to build a 22-square-foot first floor addition and a 530-square-foot second-floor addition to their existing 2,146-square-foot, one-story home.

Their project also includes one new uncovered parking space, a 194-square-foot covered entry patio, a 158-square-foot, second-story deck, a raised pool and surrounding deck, and a remodel of the interior.

Upset over the approval of the project, Martinson filed the second appeal, in between project design approval and final approval.

The appellants claimed that the foundation detail shown on the project plans is not adequately designed to support the two-story project. They also challenged elements of the site's drainage plan.

City staff members and the council on Tuesday said concerns about structure, proper support of the house, and storm water treatment plans are typically addressed by building inspectors during the building permit process, not during the design phase. 

The council said the appeal was out of line. Councilman Hotchkiss called the appeal "spurious at best."

Councilman Gregg Hart expressed disgust with the appeal.

"This is an abuse of the appeals process," Hart said. 

Martinson during the meeting said that "attorneys know you must exhaust all of your administrative appeals." 

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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