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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Coastal Commission to Consider Stop Action on Unpermitted Structures

• Order Calls for Removal of Homes

                          BY BILL KOENEKER

The California Coastal Commission, when it meets in Chula Vista this month, will conduct a public hearing and consider action on a proposed consent cease and desist order authorizing and directing the United World of the Universe Foundation and Canyon at Peace Park to cease and desist from engaging in any further unpermitted development and from “maintaining existing unpermitted development including but not limited to removal of vegetation, grading of roads, construction of residences, placement of structures and installation of parking area in a riparian woodland” on properties on several parcels at 2900 Kanan Dume Road, according to a public notice.
“The property owner is in agreement to what is proposed,” said Coastal Commission spokesperson Sarah Christi. “That is why we are calling it a consent. We have cooperated with them. They are not contesting it. They agreed.”
According to a CCC staff report, the violations, which the commission staff were aware for some time since the 1980s include an unpermitted structure erected in 1994. The conversion of the previously permitted pump housing, without permit, into a residential structure, the construction of a large unpermitted residence with garage, guesthouse and landscaping, construction of a residence within a designated Significant Oak Woodland, and installation of a residence without permit northeast of the women’s facility.
Christi said the cease and desist order calls for the removal of three of the unpermitted homes.
“United World of the Universe Foundation and Canyon at Peace Park shall remove materials from areas impacted by subject unpermitted development, including but not limited to concrete, culverts, homes, graded roads and structures, and shall apply for an after-the-fact permit for a 4971- square-foot home. The consent order also resolves civil liability associated with unpermitted development addressed by the consent order,” the public notice states.
The commission staff report describes United World of the Universe Foundation as the property owner. The lessee is the Canyon at Peace Park, a rehabilitation treatment facility.
The proposed consent order was approved and executed by Robert Waggener for the lessee, according to the CCC report, and Michael Segal for the owner, United World of the Universe Foundation.
Various websites describe Fred Segal as the president of the foundation. Segal has talked often about the Peace Park in Ramirez Canyon, its opening when the Dalai Lama visited, and the use of the 240-acre property for a world class treatment facility.
In addition, the commission is also expected to hold a public hearing and take action on a proposed consent restoration order authorizing and directing United World “to remove unpermitted development and restore portions of properties at the Kanan Dume Road address.
“Proposed restoration includes but not limited to restoring areas impacted by unpermitted development, mitigation for loss of habitat by creating or enhancing onsite coast live oak woodland, coastal sage scrub, and chaparral and purchasing acre credit in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority’s mitigation bank. The consent order also resolves civil liability associated with the unpermitted development addressed by the consent order,” the public notice states.
“We are actually very satisfied with the outcome as proposed,” added Christi. “They are to do a lot of restoration activity.”
The CCC staff report indicates enforcement action was addressed by the commission back in 1990.
At that time a permit was issued that outlined how to bring the subject property into compliance and outlining where permitted future development could occur and by requiring restoration of several areas where permitted future development could occur.
The permit allowed the construction of a residence now known as the men’s facility and a guesthouse within two of the prescribed development areas.
“The violations currently on site, and which are the subjects of these consent orders fall within three basic categories; previously undertaken unpermitted development, which was to be restored, but which remains intact, new unpermitted development within areas delineated as open space, and therefore specifically precluding future development and finally new unpermitted development within areas which were previously delineated as potentially appropriate for development, yet lacking the required coastal development permits,” the staff report concludes.
The commission staff report also notes the unpermitted development on the eastern 120 acres will be addressed in a separate forthcoming action.

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