By Linda Sutter
Bill and Dena Garriot decided to purchase a piece of property in Smith River California, and indeed did purchase a piece of property two years ago, to build their retirement home on. Little did they know buying the property was ever so easy, but getting permits to build would prove to be another time consuming event.
Mr. and Mrs. Garriot submitted their plans to build a 2000 square foot home in June 2015. After the foundation is poured and the house built, the top of the roof would exceed the required permitted 25 foot limitation, it would be 30 feet tall instead of the required 25 foot. (actually 29 feet).
The planning commission would not allow this access of 5 feet regardless of the fact that the homes on Pebble Beach drive are 35 feet tall, and that the Smith River neighbors did not have an issue with it since their two story home was not blocking anyone’s view, and despite the fact that the home had to become a two story home because the lot was small.
Today in the Board of Supervisors meeting an over height variance was not allowed due to the fact that the board of supervisors did not want to step on the planning commissions toes and felt if they approved for the variance it would set a precedence.
All in the same breath, the Board of Supervisors are now planning to change the Title 21 ordinance that states the top of your home cannot exceed 25 feet, which will be eventually changed to 35 feet.
I fail to see why they are worried that it will set a precedence when they plan to change the Title 21 requirement.
In the meantime, Bill and Dena Garriot have to drive all the way from Klamath Falls to attend these meetings. They also have to endure their plans to build are on hold with no definite time or if or when a permit will be issued.
Mr. Garriot states, “It is unreal how many laws are black and white in California. It is nearly impossible for a law abiding citizen to build a home.”
Mr. Garriot informed me if he could not get the permits in a timely fashion he would have no alternative but to sell the property, and look for another place to build a retirement home.
Many times you can hear the Board of Supervisors ponder on why no one wants to live in Del Norte County, but they refuse to look at the discrepancies of their own laws. They make it nearly impossible for anyone to get permits thus in the end, losing potential tax money. And if you are allowed a permit, you will pay dearly for it.