Schrock said the revised proposal will give city officials a viable
option if they choose not to endorse his three-house plan.
"I really just hope the Planning Commission can get behind this one
and we can get this all over with," Schrock said.
His first alternative calls for one parcel of 10,389 square feet and
the second of 8,500 square feet. The second proposes an
11,097-square-foot front parcel and 7,792-square-foot rear parcel. In
both scenarios, the larger plot would house the existing two-story home,
saving the rear parcel for another owner-occupied house to be built.
A staff report, written by city planners, analyzes the two proposals
but fails to recommend a preferred option. Previous proposals for three
units on the property gained staff and Planning Commission
recommendations but failed to get the endorsement of City Council
Schrock and his business partner Fritz Howser have gone in circles
with planning staff, the Planning Commission, the City Council and
neighbors, altering their proposed project according to various
A rezoning permit was ultimately denied, and the developers chose the
option to subdivide the large lot into three.
At the last Planning Commission meeting, commissioners made it clear
that a three-house proposal would not survive City Council scrutiny and
urged Schrock to consider alternatives. They unanimously postponed the
issue to give Schrock time to submit maps for a two-parcel project.
While both subsequent proposals meet city codes, the concept of a
house behind a house is not consistent with the neighborhood pattern, the
staff report stated. City planners were also concerned that the long
driveway, required to access the rear home, could create disputes between
the two home owners over maintenance responsibilities.
Planners also outlined two alternatives of their own, one of which
calls for the demolition of the existing house to create two, vertical
lots with street frontage.
At the last meeting a handful of neighbors supported that proposal.
Schrock said that is not an option as he has poured about $100,000
into renovating the front house. He feels he has made enough
"You give them an inch, they take a mile. You give them two houses,
they want you to tear down the one that still stands," Schrock said.
* Lolita Harper covers Costa Mesa. She may be reached at (949)
574-4275 or by e-mail at o7 firstname.lastname@example.org .