Despite some neighborhood protests, construction will soon begin on a three-story, five-unit residential project at 410 Arenoso Lane following a unanimous vote of San Clemente City Council Tuesday.
The council supported the project, noting that it complied with all zoning rules and that it was set father back from the street than the existing building on the site, which will be demolished to make way for the planned Reef Point Villas.
Also, though the new building will block some neighbors' views, city staffers said the building would comply with protected public view corridors set up by the California Coastal Commission. The building would also be less dense than allowed by city zoning code, which lets developers build up to four stories and ten units.
Michael Luna, the building's architect, said it would have multiple setbacks; built like a "wedding cake" so the stories wouldn't loom over the street. He compared it to other structures in the neighborhood, which overlooks Linda Lane Park. They are marked by sheer, four-story vertical walls and much less thoughtful design, he asserted.
Some neighbors complained after viewing the story poles set up for a couple weeks ahead of Tuesday's hearing on the project, poles demonstrating how tall the building would be when viewed from street level.
"[The story poles] Clearly confirmed the intense canyonization effect and additional gloomy shadows," said resident Cristina Leon. This is the last window to the sea between the Pier and North Beach."
Resident Liz Yamauchi agreed.
"When driving, walking or riding your bike down Palizada, there's a breathtaking view of the ocean," she said. "This view will be gone forever."