Manhattan Beach City Council on Tuesday upheld the Planning Commission’s unanimous decision to let a resident proceed with demolishing his current residence and building in its place a three-story family home that some neighbors say will block their ocean view.
Leonard Armato’s elderly parents live directly adjacent to the applicant’s home on the northeast corner of Highland Avenue. He has filed two appeals since the resident applied for a California Coastal Commission permit last October. Armato is challenging Community Development Director Richard Thompson’s determination of the proposed building’s maximum height limit and the Planning Commission’s subsequent denial of his appeal.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, council members agreed to hear Armato’s final plea, but Armato spoke during audience participation portion of the meeting after the consent item had already been approved.
Referring to an extensive public hearing on the matter at the March 6 council meeting, Armato told council that “what happened at the last hearing was a mistake.”
According to the resolution, the determined elevation minimizes, to the extent reasonably possible, adverse impacts on adjacent properties and encourages consistency in the maximum height limits of adjacent properties. Armato argued that “nothing has occurred to that effect.”
The proposed height for the new home is nearly 8.5 feet taller than the existing building, a difference he said would completely block the Armato family’s ocean view from their home.
It is not a factual issue, he argued, but a mistake in the application of the law.
“… We’ve got to send it back. We’ve got to go to the Planning Commission and say, let’s create a record you can support because this record must have a minimum adverse impact requirement,” he said.
Councilman Nick Tell, who with Councilman Richard Montgomery termed out later that night, made a motion to reconsider the consent calendar. His motion failed without a second.
In other council news, re-elected City Treasurer Tim Lilligren and council-elects Wayne Powell, Mark Burton and Tony D’Errico were sworn in during Council Reorganization.