A few years ago when I was a Planning Commissioner, we approved a complex density bonus project. This project was in an area of Leucadia lacking storm drains and had only old storm well that inadequately managed stormwater run off. The project included a large bioretention basin an pervious pavers that satisfied our City requirement to not make the flooding worse. In fact, it included smaller curb-side bioretention basins that would help the existing situation.

One of the conditions that I insisted be on the project is that any increase in hardscape by new owners would have to be approved by the City. The City would then track the impact on the large bioretention basin to ensure that the project over time did not worsen the existing flooding, as promised. The mechanism for this was putting the requirements in the Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions (CC&Rs), which was approved by the Planning Commission earlier this fall and appealed to Council. 

Originally scheduled for the Nov. 29th meeting, it was delayed to the Dec. 20 meeting due to a clerical error in noticing. In fact on the Dec. 19 an updated red-lined version of the revised CC&Rs was uploaded to our website, a frustrating last minute addition. 

At issue on December 20 was the applicant wanting to move forward with the CC&Rs that he had modified after the Planning Commission to try to accommodate points the residents brought up in the appeal. It was a tough case and finding the right balance was visibly difficult. Ultimately, after much deliberation and discussion with the residents and applicant, my fellow Council Members unanimously approved my motion that denied the appeal, but required the applicant to make changes to the CC&Rs consistent with the requests of the residents, which included more obvious statements about the existing flooding situation, maintenance requirements of the pervious pavers and limited the amount of floor area coverage changes allowed. The applicant stated several times that he had no intention to change any specifications of the project, so the last condition seemed reasonable.