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Please begin with an informative title:

311 Dunemere Drive La Jolla California

   This past weekend, I went down to La Jolla to have my picture taken in front of Pitten's mansion on a hill that he's seeking to kill. Doing so because - as it is written - the enemy of my enemy "is my friend". Thus, I've found a friend (fellow combatant against the great Willard Mitt Romney) - in La Jolla architect Tony Ciani.

    Most of his life, Tony Ciani lived in La Jolla. His family bought the land right beside the place where Romney now lives. Tony is attempting to block Romney from getting approval on Mitt's plans to throw his weight around and toss the California Coastal Commission Standards right out into the sea.

    Mr. Ciani achieved a victory this past week when Romney was forced to postpone the Coastal Commissions purported rubber stamp approval of Mitt's Mansion upon high, with a 3 car elevator garage that makes all his neighbors sadly sigh.

                  Kudos MUCH to Tony Ciana for taking on the POTUS couldn't be!

    To be clear, Tony Ciani spoke to me and said he couldn't care less that it is Mitt Romney. The only thing he is delighted about, in the fact that it is Mitten's; which brings much greater public attention to the issue. Tony alleges that Romney is playing obfuscating games with plan designs that includes grabbing public beach land - as Romney claiming he owns it.

                                      And that ain't right!



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Details of Tony Ciana's beef against Romney's La Jolla dreams

Unless you are getting paid by the ruthless Robber Baron Mitt Romney, chances are you don't like him. Though Mitt's campaign may have played "etch-a-sketch" and "flip flop" obfuscation efforts by his Bain Capital 800 radio stations (owning such tools as Rush Limbaugh); the rest of U.S. know a pathological bull {c}hitter when we hear one. Those who have followed this blogger's battle with Pitten's are also well aware I call Mitt a crook. This is because he is. (Moe on that very soon - I've got a HUGE surprise coming) It is a simple matter of reality that Mitt Romney lives upon a different plane of existence than you or I. Quite frankly, Romney is above the Law. He lives on the planet of money, power & might make right.

But even Al Capone had his comeuppance one day, coincidentally for tax evasion - (apropos don't cha know).

This blogger spoke at length to Tony Ciani on the issues, mainly because it was my fiduciary duty to forewarn Mr. Ciani of the full power, might and evil nature of the Goliath Romney that Tony Ciani was seeking to take on in a full administrative (and possibly court) process. Tony Ciani is now fully aware of the real Romney he is facing and says he doesn't care; he's in this battle because it is the right thing to do. In stating such, Mr. Ciani earned my admiration.

Good for you Tony Ciani!

It is not going to be easy for Ciani v Romney, as Mitt's above the law status, his ability to make "deals" and the amount of money, legal weight and other forces he can thrust upon you - can be overpowering. Be that as it may, Ciani is pushing forward and has already won a partial victory. The Coastal Commission appeared to be well on their way to rubber stamping Mitt Romney's request; but Ciani is much more familiar with that process than Romney and his staff. But Mr. Ciani appealledthe process and that was scheduled to be heard in Eureka, California on September 11, 2013. Ciani's efforts forced Romney to "postpone" the hearing just a few days ago. (See Coastal Commission update items 19 b. (here)

Tony Ciana Simply seeks a FULL {public} Hearing of Romney's Plans

The goal is simply to get the Coastal Commission to have a "full" review of Mitt Romney's requests. Tony Ciani is confident that - once a full debate upon the merits occurs - Mitt Romney is going to be disappointed. As an example of what is to come, the local news is reporting on the story (somewhat) and appears to be more interested in pandering to Romney, than raising the issues of a newbie power monger throwing his weight around in inconsiderate fashion. (See the San Diego Business Daily story "New Romney Mansion Coming to Coastal Commission Soon")

Here, in Tony Ciani's email to me, is the back story and the real issues at hand;

I will be sending you copies of my Appeal Form and supplemental letters supporting the reasons for my appeal. There's a lot of stuff. There are several key issues, but it is complex. Here is a Background:

The project is located on the beach front. It is a 0.25 mile long pocket sandy beach between two rocky points. The sand fluctuates as much as 30 feet annually, summer to winter. Some times all of the sand is transported offshore by back-to-back storms. The largest 20 foot plus waves can "close out" offshore the entire point to point.

The area was first subdivided in 1902. It was romantically called "Neptunia" (an era when the gods appealed to the Bohemian human spirit.) The part of the subdivision Romney's lot is on was NOY subdivided in 1902 and was sand dunes left open, called "Playas de las Arenas." It was sold, then sold again in 1921 to a guy from New York (wouldn't you know.) who immediately built on part of the dunes, not on one of the subdivided numbered lots on the number blocks. His name was Phillip Barber, and he continued to randomly build houses or sell reas of the dunes for others to build on (Folklore has it, that he gambled and when he lost he would trade a piece of the dunes for his debt....he went bankrupt, but left a beautiful house that was eventually bought by Cliff Roberston who as a kid delivering papers there, dreamed of owning it.. The tract of land, now all houses is known as the (exclusive) "Barber Tract."

Like Cliff, I also delivered papers in the Barber Tract (from 1956 - 60.) When I graduated from LJHS I became a lifeguard and worked my way through college. I am very familiar with the area and the beaches. To complete the picture: I married, joined the Coast Guard, after which, I came back to apprentice for local architects commencing in 1970, just when the environmental laws were coming on line. I fell in love with the notion of citizen participation to help carry out those laws; one was the California Coastal Act (CA), which was enacted as a statewide initiative in 1972. At that point, I was somewhat put off by what architects were designing, and more interested in protecting the ocean, land and resources, and the public's enjoyment of them. My wife and I were very lucky to buy the last lot (then known as "The Dune." since it was all that was left) The woman who owned it wanted us to have it despite higher all cash offers; we got it. When we realized that it was treasured, I started a petition to create a "Special Assessment District" but we were the only ones willing to contribute to it, so we built our house there. We lived there from 1975 to March 2012, and moved to Pacific Grove.

Tony Ciani Details the Technical issues at hand

Then Tony Ciani gave me a Summary of the technical Issues:

  1. Romney's team is using the sandy beach to inflate the size of his house which would be three to four times bigger than the average size of houses in the neighborhood (you will see my analysis of sizes.)
  2. The beach appears to belong to the City not Romney. The current City Engineering Maps show "Neptune Place" (a paper street" west of his property extending north a couple of blocks. That is supported by the land use plan maps of the beaches.
  3.  Even if 1 and 2 above were not the case, Romney's team used a Mean High Tide Line (MHTL) dating back to the 30s, and according to his surveyor, was certified by the City in 1996. BUT, the law, at least in California, is that the MHTL is where it is on any one day, to be measured based upon data from the most recent 18.5 years. At the least, Romney's MHTL is 17 years out of date, and the State Lands Commission has jurisdiction over the Public Domain and determines where the MHTL is, not Romney.
  4.  1, 2, 3, and 4 are important because they go to the Public's Rights (you know the little guys family who can't afford a front row seat 24/7, 365 days a year, watching the ocean and every sunset. Joe California usually has a drive, traffic and parking not to mention loading the car, to go to the beach; how many folks can stay for sunset dinner on the beach?)
  5.  Then there is a complicated but equally important issue: It is a hazardous location! The Coastal Act (CA) 30235, provides that an existing principal structure (house) may be protected from the sea, if the applicant can prove with a scientific study of the ocean processes that it is in danger from the sea. BUT NOT A NEW HOUSE! For a new house on the waterfront, one must do the same kind of study to prove it is NOT in danger from the sea. Romney's team did not do a study, instead they argue that an unpermitted retaining wall built in the early 50s is good enough; well, except when asked where the study is including an analysis based upon sea level rise, they submitted a letter stating something like, even if the existing retaining was were not there, the ocean would not reach the main floor level el. 30 ASL, until 2055, The law requires a house to be safe for a lifetime of 75 years; that would be 2088, 33 years after the Romney engineer says it could get wet. Oh yes, and what about the lower habitable level that supports the main floor? It is at El. 22.0! If it goes, so does the rest of the house.
  6.  Vertical Public Access. The CA 30212 (and the California constitution) protects the Public Prescriptive Rights to and along the sea. Romney offers a lateral easement along beach for "passive" use. But, the public's historical use has been passive and active. More than that, I submitted evidence of a vertical access located between the houses that the public (including me as a kid, and then as a lifeguard) used. When the street was constructed, the end had/has a concrete walk leading to stairs onto the sandy beach. It also serves as the only storm drainage system for surface urban flow. Not a coincidence, that most street ends have either a storm drain pipe outlet and/or surface runoff. Romney proposes to allow the water, but not the people to continue to use the walk. The CA requires a "finding" the Commission must make: that the project will not interfere with the public's prescriptive rights where acquired through historical use.

What ever the outcome (because the odds are against him) - you have to admire Tony Ciani for taking on the Goliath Mitt Romney. Especially when it concerns a matter that is really not Mr. Ciani's; being that he doesn't live in the neighborhood any more. La Jolla is certainly better off for having had Tony Ciani and his wife as residents; and so is Dunemere home owners who are quite possibly overwhelmed with it all. The Coastal Commission, California citizens and 47% of U.S. (who are looked down upon by the great Williard Mitt Romney) have a friend in Tony Ciani. Who is expending time and effort simply because;

                                        it's the right thing to do!

Romney's Mansion Not a Done Deal

        As reported upon by the San Diego Reader News "MITT ROMNEY'S LA JOLLA MANSION NOT A DONE DEAL- Architect appeals to California Coastal Commission to stop project" - the story states;

An appeal before the California Coastal Commission meeting on September 11 in Eureka against the planned larger home by Mitt and Ann Romney has been postponed. Architect and longtime La Jolla resident Anthony A. Ciani filed his original appeal on July 24, claiming the proposed “McMansion” on the Romneys' .41-acre beachfront lot is illegal under city and state laws and coastal usage policies.

The couple's goal is to demolish their 3009-square-foot house at 311 Dunemere Drive and replace it with an 11,062-square-foot home. Ciani told the Reader that “Romney postponed, not me, which only gives me more time to build my case.” He added that it's not personal. “This is not about Romney; it's about what's right. The issues rule, and I hope Romney's prominence will spotlight the importance of these issues.”

The La Jolla Community Planning Association previously voted to approve the Romney house project. But, Ciani says, “the Romneys claim they own the beach out to the mean high tide line and are using that area to enhance the size of their proposed new house.” Ciani argues that the La Jolla Land Use Plan shows the beach to be “dedicated” or “owned in fee by the City.”

             We wish you well in your battle Mr. Ciani - Pitt's may ultimately win;
                            but give him hell before he gets there!

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Will Romney get his way?

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