Julie Hedman, who lives uphill, noted that everyone in Encinitas has paid a premium for ocean views. "My husband and I would not have bought our home if we had known that homes would be allowed to build up second stories in front of us," she said. "It will block ocean views from homes in our neighborhood."
If it looks like Hedman's gated-community house sits about 30 feet higher than Merchant's, that's because it does.
Zoning in this neighborhood, as in all of Encinitas, has always allowed for two stories.
But if the rich folks on the hill can lawyer the commoners to death, first at the Planning Commission, then at City Council, then at Superior Court....