An 11th-hour agreement has been reached between Santa Ynez Valley neighbors feuding about a decorative gate, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission heard Wednesday.
The commissioners had been poised on Wednesday to reject the gate after a July 12 public hearing.
The entrance at 2710 Brinkerhoff Ave. in the Santa Ynez Valley stands 21 feet high, 3 feet taller than typically allowed, features bright blue tile on a horizontal cap and includes a decorative wall.
The ranch is owned by Russ Allen of 2905 Roundup Road LLC.
During the public hearing last month, appellants Susan and Rick Weber said that condensation gathers on the wavy, blue-glazed tile with the sun hitting it and glistening like diamonds, reflecting to their hilltop property across the road.
On Wednesday morning, county planner Ben Singer said the two sides agreed to change the tile on the gate’s roof.
The existing roofing material will be replaced with “an unglazed, two-piece, barrel roof tile in a Tuscan-blend color range,” Singer said.
“We have come to a wonderful agreement. We have the tiles, and as long as they use these tiles we are good to go,” Susan Weber said.
“We are happy to have come to an agreement and are OK with the proposed change to the project description,” added the applicant’s representative, Elsa Reader.
The commissioners had been prepared to approve the Webers’ appeal and determine that the project didn’t conform with the Comprehensive Plan.
“The existing gate is not compatible with the character of the surrounding natural environment because of the color and reflectivity of the tile roof on the gate …,” the staff report stated. “Although the applicants applied an acid wash to the tile, the reflectivity of the glaze was not sufficiently reduced.”
However, with the settlement reached among the neighbors, the commission denied the appeal and unanimously approved the revised project.
First District Commissioner C. Michael Cooney applauded the neighbors’ efforts to resolve the dispute among themselves.
“I’m pleased to see that the applicant and the appellant got together and solved this themselves. Just good to see, and I think I’m ready to vote for approval,” Fourth District Larry Ferini added.