Peotter won't seek 2nd term

Commissioner Scott Peotter plans to instead continue working on his half-finished home and possibly sell it.

June 23, 2010|By Sarah Peters,
  • The Peotter house in Newport Beach.
The Peotter house in Newport Beach. (Don Leach, DAILY…)

A Newport Beach planning commissioner has removed his name from consideration for a second term to resolve some half-finished business: the construction of his home.

Commissioner Scott Peotter notified the city this week that he would not seek a second term when the appointments were brought before the City Council. Fred Ameri was selected to fill the vacant position, the city clerk's office confirmed Wednesday.

For the last three years, Peotter and his neighbors have been at an impasse over his home on Portweybridge Place, which he partially tore down and began rebuilding in 2007.

"Unfortunately, we hit the market at the wrong time," Peotter said about the beginning of start-and-stall efforts.

Construction should begin again in the next few weeks, Peotter said, adding that he is close to closing a loan with a new financial partner.

In a somewhat unusual plan, Peotter decided to construct the home in two phases in which he would first raze the back portion of the property while he and his wife lived in the front.


The plan was to then raze the front and move into the back. That's about when the project ran into trouble, Peotter said. After completing phase one in 2008, the financing he had planned on for the rest of project fell through.

"Since that time, I've been trying to scramble to get alternate financing for the house," Peotter said. "If I could change the situation, I would. I know my neighbors are not happy with me, and I wouldn't be happy either if I were in their situation."

Kathleen Kale, who has lived in the home adjacent to Peotter's property for more than 12 years, said she did not want to say anything negative but did not have any "positive feelings about the project," either.

The constant curiosity the project draws has become something of a nuisance, she said.

City planning department records show approved and subsequently expired permits for Peotter's property over the last few years. Peotter's last permit expired June 16.

Most building permits have a lifetime of six months. Anyone can apply for a new permit, however, but all applicable fees must be paid again, City Manager David Kiff said.

"In theory, you can stay in a constant state of construction indefinitely," Kiff said.

However, the permitting process is designed "assuming you want to get your house built."

Once a permit expires, a homeowner can be issued citations and fined, Kiff said.

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