In response to: Finding a zoning specialist to fight the city/ * Find win-win solution* is advice posted by bmcwilliam on June 21, 2000 at 19:04:02:

I live on Balboa Island, city of Newport Beach, county of Orange in southern California. We are currently battling the city over plans for our tiny little balcony re-model. The problem is that we may have other zoning issues that we are unaware of. How do you find an advocate to give you advice... before you get in trouble.

1. The first step in your process is to develop plans for your project. Contact your architect or builder.

2. Then contact the local municipal building inspections office for appropriate permits. At that stage teh Building official will review your plans and inform you of compliance or any outstanding issues. If a permit is denied ask for detailed information on the reasons. The Building Inspector usually will be helpful in telling how to modify your project to comply with building code and zoning requirements.

3. An issue that could come to bite you is specific covenent issues if your live in a homeowners association type area. The requirements are separate and independent of any municipal requirements and enforced by the association.

I hope this information helps you.

Specifically, is the battle over setback issues or structural concerns ?

My own experience is these matter sis as a City Planner and Zoning Officer and Building Inspector.