Congratulations on deciding to build in Irish Beach. It is a rare opportunity that few will experience, being able to build a home that is uniquely yours in a spectacular coastal setting. Building your ideal full-time, retirement or vacation home is a major commitment, but has its rewards once you are complete. The Irish Beach Architectural Design Committee (IBADC) is here to help navigate the design review and approval process as defined in the subdivision’s Codes, Covenants and Restrictions (CC&Rs). Let’s get started.
The NHC procedure is a multi step review and approval process, consisting of two Phases:
Phase I. Review and approval of the buildable area of the lot, and determination of the ideal location of the proposed structures.
Phase II. Review and approval of the design and materials of the structures as they apply to the CC&Rs.
Each of these Phases is accompanied by a notification to the potentially impacted property owners plus a review meeting open to the public (community). There is a onetime fee of $300 to cover the costs of the review. Additionally, your property is subject to many other agency reviews and approvals, some lots more than others. To help determine where the IBADC review and approvals fit in, below is the typical flow of events to ensure that each design aspect is met sequentially.
- Obtain an Architect or licensed Residential Home Designer. They can also help with cost estimates. Review the CC&Rs.
- Have Surveyor prepare Survey & Topo map.
- Initial consultation with County Planning in Fort Bragg for any restrictions or requirements.
- Obtain proposed septic system design from a certified Septic Designer.
- IBADC Phase I (establishes buildable area and structure location).
- IBADC Phase II (establishes house exterior design and materials).
- Final County Planning submission.
- (if required) Coastal Development Permit, Board of Supervisors approval.
- Building Dept. (Construction Plans) Permit review and approval.
It is never too early to line up a Contractor as most plan out one year in advance. It is also very important not to get too far into the detailed design until after the Phase I review (Step 5), because so many things can occur prior that will affect the overall design (i.e. location, height, size).
How to apply for an IBADC New Home Construction Review and Approval permit
Phase I – Define the Building Site
Send the following as PDF documents to the IBADC (IrishBeachADC@gmail.com) address:
- Filled out NHC Permit Application
- Survey/Topo map prepared by a licensed Surveyor
- Marked up Parcel Map showing the location of the lot
- Prepared Septic Design
- A scaled Site plan showing with contour lines @ 1′ increments in buildable envelope, the proposed driveway access, drainage and onsite storm water dispersal, and the ‘net buildable envelope’, which is defined as the area remaining after subtracting property line setbacks, easements, proposed septic locations, ESHA setbacks, “Eave to Eave” spacing or provisions, terrain constraints, etc. Indicate the initial desired location and size of the house and structure footprint within this remaining buildable area. Use the CC&R Checklist to help ensure CC&R compliance.
- Google Earth view of surrounding neighborhood to demonstrate and reflect the impact on current and future view corridors.
- Completed Confirmation of Site Visit from your Architect or Designer.
- Send a check for $300 made out to ‘IBIC’ to PO Box 237, Manchester CA 95459
The ADC will then review the application for completeness and CC&R compliance, and then working with you or your Architect, will schedule the Phase I pubic review at an upcoming meeting. The ADC will send out the notifications to the affected property owners 3 weeks in advance of the meeting. At the day of the meeting you or your Architect will present the project using the provided NHC Presenters Script..
What happens next?
- The application may be approved as is, and you proceed to Phase II, or
- it may be approved with redlines agreed to by both the applicant and the ADC, and then you proceed to Phase II, or
- it may tentatively approved dependent upon completion of certain actions, and then fully approved by the committee upon validation of completion, and then you proceed to Phase II, or
- it may tentatively approved subject to the satisfactory incorporation and approval of any anticipated variances being requested to the CC&Rs at Phase II.
A word about Variances
Variances are deviations to the requirements of the CC&Rs that are reviewed and granted by the ADC to specific sections of the building requirements of the CC&Rs for cases where the lot will not permit compliance owing to existing conditions, topography or other issues outside the control of the property owner. If there is some part of the building requirements that you or your architect anticipate that your design will not be able to comply with, you must identity the request for variance at the time of application. Failure to do so will result in having to reschedule the Phase I public review meeting to meet the requirement that affected property owners must be notified of any proposed variances.
This also applies to Phase II. If during the course of developing Phase II plans, you come across the potential of not meeting a CC&R requirement, you must include that information in your Phase II submittal. Variances can only be approved in cases of extreme hardship when there is no other sensible way to comply.
Phase II – Design Review and Approval
Once your Architect has developed the proposed exterior elevation, site and roof plans, send them as PDF documents to the IBADC (IrishBeachADC@gmail.com) address. These scaled plans must indicate:
- The point along the foundation perimeter which is considered to be the location of the “mean natural perimeter grade” of the structure (highest contour elevation point – lowest contour elevation point, divided by 2).
- The elevation of this point.
- The vertical distance of all roof ridges from this point. This measurement is what is considered for compliance to the CC&R height regulations.
- The elevations of all the finished floors and plate levels.
- The elevation(s) of all roof ridges.
- All other details and width and height dimensions associated with architectural elevation and site plan drawings.
- Use the CC&R Checklist to help ensure CC&R compliance.
Then once again, working with you or your Architect, the ADC will schedule the Phase II pubic review at an upcoming meeting. The ADC will send out the notifications to the affected property owners 3 weeks in advance of the meeting. 2 weeks prior to the meeting, your contractor will erect story poles on the site that show the beginning and end of the roof ridges and stakes indicating the corners of the structures.
At the day of the meeting you or your Architect will present the project using the provided NHC Presenters Script. At the meeting you are also to provide samples or examples of the materials and/or colors planned for:
- decking & railing
- doors & windows
- garage doors
As then just as with the Phase I,
- The Phase II may be approved as is, and you are issued a permit, or
- it may be approved with redlines agreed to by both the applicant and the ADC, and you are issued a permit, or
- it may be tentatively approved dependent upon completion of certain actions, and then fully approved by the committee upon validation of completion, and you are issued a permit.
There, that’s all there is to it!