“I want the dune walkover on the ground.”
I was working with an architect doing construction management on a beachfront residence. The state had permitted a dune walkover as part of the house package, although the final design and location was pending a field visit from the state representative, following which a county permit was to be obtained prior to construction. The architect wanted the walkway to the beach to be as low to the ground as possible, with no railings. This was against conventional wisdom, as dune walkovers are usually elevated (to protect the sea oats below) with railings. This particular site, however, only had a small margin of sea oats on the beach side of the dune with the dune being covered in dense 8 foot tall sea grapes. I met the state representative on the site and reasoned that the walkway did not need to be elevated, as there were very few sea oats to protect. She agreed. I then e-mailed her a copy of the notes I took during our meeting. I then prepared the permit package for the county with pictures and a copy of the meeting notes with the state. The county usually does a field inspection as part of the application review. In this case, however, they issued the permit without one because the application was so complete. The result was that the architect’s design intent was accomplished. The neighbors wonder how we did it. It is not always best to accept conventional wisdom.
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