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DOB Audits Manhattan Beach Building Sites

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A recently completed Department of Buildings audit of home building sites throughout Manhattan Beach has found many of them are breaking the rules. After looking at a total of 29 homes, inspectors have found 26 of them to be officially “objectiona­ble.” Problems found range from windows not being in the right place to whole buildings exceeding zoning parameters. Members of the Manhattan Beach Community Group, worried about the height of new buildings going up in their neighborhood, called on the DOB to investigate. The 29 sites studied in the audit resulted from a March 3 walking tour representatives from the group took with DOB Borough Commissioner Susan Hinkson According to DOB spokesperson Ken Lazar, most of the buildings identified after the audit were not cited because they were too tall. “They just didn’t fit within that zoning envelope,” he said. Those buildings sites found to be objectionable were issued 10-day letters officially requiring them to respond to the DOB’s findings. Many of them have already met the objections and have been allowed to go back to work. ““There really weren’t that many major objections that are going to be stopping projects dead in their tracks,” said Lazar. Those failing to comply with the DOB’s findings have few options. “A couple of them if they do not want to make the changes are going to be forced to go to BSA [Board of Standards & Appeals],” Lazar said. Hinkson talked about the problem of overdevelopment with the Manhattan Beach Community Group during a meeting with the group last month. “We really want to try to catch people who are doing something they shouldn’t be doing,” said Hinkson. City Councilmember Mike Nelson’s office helped facilitate the DOB audit. “The Manhattan Beach community was concerned about development in Manhattan Beach,” said Nelson’s chief of staff, Charles Kahn. “Their position has always been that they are not against development per se, as long as it’s accordance with law. They recognize that they may have some larger homes to accommodate growing families. But they were concerned that there were certain types of buildings or expansions that appear that they might not be carried out in full compliance with the zoning laws.” Most of the new construction going on in Manhattan Beach is happening around Beaumont and Dover streets. “Right here you have a lot of construction that is concentrated,” said Lazar. DOB inspectors are keeping track of the projects.

Posted 7:04 pm, October 10, 2011
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