Neighbors get stirred up about
Offices at the Pew
by Chris Wilson
At Wednesday's Planning Commission meeting, neighbors who
live near the Offices at the Pew, also known as Nordhoff Hall,
expressed their unhappiness with the noise and extra parking
generated by public events held there.
Michael McFerrin, who owns and restored the historic building,
had come before the commission to ask for an indefinite extension
on his conditional use permit that would allow him to continue
holding public events with up to 100 people on the property.
He also asked for and got approval from the commission to host
a theater company for 6 weeks per year in the old church. And
he asked to bump his capacity to 125 for those events, which
he didn't get.
Only Julia Taft-Whitman, who was on hand at the meeting to receive
an award for outstanding achievement for her landscaping at the
Emerald Iguana Inn, stood to defend the meeting hall.
On request, the commission approved to extend the CUP for 18
months, with a review after one year. Maximum cpacity will be
100. Weekend events must end by 10 p.m.
In other commission news, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Potter got a welcome
to Ojai that they may not have been expecting. They'd come before
the commission to get recommendations on how they should proceed
with some remodeling they'd like to do on their new home on the
corner of West Eucalyptus and North Signal.
After consulting with an architectural draftsman, the Potters
had come up with a plan that would more than double the square
footage of their home, by adding a second story above the garage
and the main house and having the two rooms connected by an archway.
"We sure hope you'll approve our variance," Potter
told the commission.
Before any of the neighbors shared their concerns, Interim Community
Development Doug Hooper was already recommending denial of the
request, or at the very least, a redesign of the remodeling project.
Simply put, the lot is too small, less than half the size of
other normal lots in the neighborhood, and is already termed
a "non-conforming" lot.
Several neighbors agreed and told the commission that they were
strongly opposed to the project. Ultimately, the commission recommended
the Potters consider redesigning their remodel plans to accommodate
the lot and be more aesthetically pleasing to the neighbors.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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