The Coast News Group
A view of the home from South Clementine Street. While the home appears to be adding a new second floor, the addition is an illegal third story. Photo by Samantha Nelson
A view of the home from South Clementine Street. While the home appears to be adding a new second floor, the addition is an illegal third story. Photo by Samantha Nelson
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Neighbors push back against illegal third story Oceanside addition

OCEANSIDE — A home on South Clementine Street is causing a stir among neighbors who claim the homeowner’s third-story addition violates city zoning laws and obstructs their ocean views.

Last October, the city issued a building permit for a third-story and rooftop deck at 1027 South Clementine Street. When neighbors started raising concerns about ongoing construction, the city realized the remodel violated the city’s height limits. 

By the time the error was caught, construction workers had already framed the home’s third story.

Since the hillside parcel is sloped, the front of the home appears to be a single-story residence. However, the street level is actually the second floor, while the first story opens into the alleyway at the back of the property.

The city issued a stop-work order after neighbors raised concerns about the project in November, but the order was lifted after city staff reached a compromise with owners Kent and Heidi Borsch. The deal halted the rooftop deck addition but allowed construction of the third story to continue. 

A view of the 1027 South Clementine St. home from the back entrance in the alleyway that shows a third story has been added. Photo by Samantha Nelson
A view of the 1027 South Clementine St. home from the back entrance in the alleyway shows a third story has been added. Photo by Samantha Nelson

However, more recently, the city issued a second stop-work order on Jan. 3 following continued complaints from neighbors regarding the project’s height. According to the city code, homes in the neighborhood cannot exceed two stories or 27 feet, the lesser of the two. Adding the third floor puts the residence at about 31 feet in height.

Michelle Donez, who lives directly across the street, said the third story is an “eyesore” for the whole neighborhood and blocks her home’s ocean view.

“Where I used to look into the horizon, I now look into their house and they look into mine,” Donez said. “I feel like they’re now in my living room with me.”

City Manager Jonathan Borrego emailed The Coast News that the second stop-work order pauses construction so that staff can “further evaluate the height issue and determine a final course of action.”

“In the meantime, the city is instituting changes in the permit review process to ensure this error is not repeated in the future,” Borrego added.

Owners Kent and Heidi Borsch did not respond to The Coast News’ request for comment.

According to Zillow, the home was built in 1942 and is currently valued at $1.5 million. The Borsch couple bought the home in 2014.

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