Our Santa Barbara Mesa Beach House received final approval from the City of Santa Barbara Single Family Design Review Board based on the quality of design, details and materials. The Board is made up of 7 qualified members living in Santa Barbara; Architects, Landscape Architects and members of the public. It is a distinguished group with a difficult job.
It wasn’t without some controversy however as a vocal member of the neighborhood presented her negative feelings about the second story of the proposed project. We absolutely understand her concerns for privacy and maintaining views, we are big proponents of these issues ourselves however there must be a balance with property rights. These properties are zoned for 2 story houses up to 25 feet tall! This project is only 17 feet tall! We did reach out to her and all the adjacent neighbors early in the design process however she declined to be involved.
A 2nd floor addition can be a touchy issue but most issues can be hammered out by involving the neighbors early in the process. We like to meet with those who will be most affected, present the design and try to address privacy and view issues. I doubt anyone wants to look thru their neighbors windows and see what they are having for breakfast… it just makes for better neighbors and better neighborhoods if we can work together before going in front of a design board. Several members of the Santa Barbara Single Family Design Review Board applauded our process of working with the neighbors and the client’s willingness to change the project to ease the impact to the neighborhood as well as improve the property in a modest but attractive way. It makes it easier for the Board to approve a project if they see that the neighborhood has been involved and issues have been addressed.
Next stop is the Building Department!