Knock Down, Drag Out

Crews begin demolishing buildings on the site. “This property has been an eyesore for years,” developer Carl Outzen says.

The way Monterey developer Carl Outzen sees it, he’s followed all the city’s rules to develop the blighted property at 230 Lighthouse in Monterey.

“I asked for no variances [to city code],” he says. “I wanted a smooth project.”

But the New Monterey Neighborhood Association on July 7 appealed the Planning Commission’s approval of Outzen’s project, citing concerns over an incomplete review process and the project’s scale. It marked the second time the commission had approved the project, and the second time the association had appealed to City Council. (The council voted 4-1 in favor of the design plans.)

“This is the largest project that’s ever been proposed on Lighthouse,” says association President Sharon Dwight. “For a project that big, you need a thorough architectural review. To not have one short-changes the public.”

The Architectural Review Committee has already asked Outzen to remove two of the proposed development’s 32 units. Outzen refused, saying the number of units had already been approved. When they reached a stalemate, ARC denied the plans.

“[The ARC] has superseded their boundaries,” says Outzen, who served on the committee for seven years.

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Outzen appealed, and the Planning Commission overturned ARC’s denial. Which brings us to the present appeal from the neighbors.

“It’s unfortunate. [Outzen’s] invested a lot,” Dwight says. “If he’d listened to the [ARC], the neighborhood would support it.”

Demolition of blighted structures on the project site started July 10. City Council will hear the association’s appeal, and vote on the building plans, Aug. 19.

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