Rocker's plans for Kauai home blocked
Joseph Brescia and his neighbor Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis must change plans
LIHUE » Two California residents -- one a rock star -- have slogged through a series of government approvals and denials in an attempt to build new homes on their Kauai north shore land.
The latest action came yesterday when the Kauai Planning Commission announced that Joseph Brescia and Red Hot Chili Peppers lead singer Anthony Kiedis could not build their homes for a while.
The state Supreme Court last week reversed a ruling that granted building design permits to Wainiha landowner Brescia, ruling that his home design is too close to the shoreline.
His would-be neighbor, Kiedis, was not involved in the lawsuit but is also affected, since his house design, approved in June, also violates the shoreline setback guidelines as outlined in the Supreme Court decision.
Planning Director Ian Costa said after a planning commission meeting yesterday that the commission will need to modify the approval of the building designs before any work can go forward.
"We'll be moving forward to comply with the judge's decision," Costa added.
A spokeswoman for the environmental group North Shore Ohana said last week that the confusion could have been avoided, had the planning commission just waited two years until the Supreme Court ruled.
Barbara Robeson, a north shore resident, said numerous community members asked the commission to withhold the decision until the appeal was heard.
Brescia's lawyer, Walton Hong, said yesterday that his client has been trying to build a house on his land since 2001.
Originally, Brescia applied for a variance to a special management area permit because, according to the Supreme Court, he could not fit a minimum-size 2,500-square-foot house and septic system on the lot with the required 60-foot setback from the shoreline.
But the planning commission in 2003 denied his request for a variance, saying the square footage on the lot was sufficient to build on, and that Brescia knew when he bought the property that he would have to abide by the required setback.
Brescia appealed to Circuit Court and won in 2005. He reapplied for his permits late last year.
But the North Shore Ohana stepped in when the planning commission decided not to appeal, requesting reconsideration from the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court agreed with the nonprofit, saying last week that the planning commission had every right to deny the permit and to keep the setback at 60 feet.
The current plans for the homes on Brescia's and Kiedis' land have setbacks of about 40 feet.
Hong said his client has ceased all work on the site as they "explore all other avenues."
Brescia had begun excavating for a foundation, but remains of more than 20 people have been found. Work had been stopped as archaeologists and others examine the property and he prepares for a meeting with the Kauai Burial Council.