Story Poles ... The Poles Tell The Story

By
Real Estate Broker Owner with Safe Haven Realty CalBRE# 01433049

When new construction projects are in the design review process, story poles may be erected to assist decision-makers and the public in fully understanding what is being proposed. Story Poles are most commonly requested on a case-by-case basis, the installation of story poles will emphasize the proposed scale, neighborhood compatibility and the possibility of obstruction of views.

Story poles usually consist of 2x lumber (sometimes PVC is permitted) and are braced for support. The tops of the poles are spray painted bright orange, and sometimes 12" orange construction netting is spread from pole to pole to accurately depict roof lines and ridge lines. The installation of story poles is certified accurate by a licensed professional such as a surveyor, architect or contractor.

Take for example, the story poles in my photo below. Once completed, the story poles (with possible netting) create a silhouette of the proposed structure with indication of size and mass. This new construction is being proposed in a neighborhood of existing homes on an ocean view lot. As you can see, any obstruction of existing VIEWS will be of major concern.

 

story poles erected on an ocean view lot

 

Once the story poles have been certified, the design review committee will hold a public hearing to take into consideration any concerns or objections from the surrounding property owners. At times, just rotating a proposed new home a few degrees will make a big difference to the neighbor along side or behind you when it comes to that coveted ocean view.

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Cynthia Larsen
Broker/Owner - Safe Haven Realty

Sonoma County, California, USA
(707) 332-2560

www.cynthialarsen.com


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Comments 14 New Comment

Ambassador
1,770,506
Cindy Jones
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
CJ Realty Group, Inc.

Interesting.  We have plenty of survey markers but I don't think I've seen story poles. 

September 27, 2010 06:20 AM
Rainmaker
400,543
Marian Goetzinger
Crystal Coast Real Estate NC
Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000

Cynthia,  I've never seen that here on our coast.  What a wonderful idea.  I wish I had had the chance to ask for a slight move of the house currently being built next to me.  It totally blocks my view from that side and could have been much more neighbor friendly with a little change.  Oh, well.

September 27, 2010 07:08 AM
Rainmaker
447,855
Malcolm Johnston
Trenton Real Estate
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario

Cynthia, I have never heard of them before, but I think it's important to get a good idea of what the structure might get in the way of, and how it will affect the landscape.

September 27, 2010 10:34 AM
Rainmaker
525,466
Cynthia Larsen
Sonoma County Real Estate Broker
Safe Haven Realty

These story poles work really well to help envision the size and orientation of a new structure before final approval.

September 27, 2010 06:27 PM
Rainer
369,654
Tish Lloyd
Broker - Wilmington NC and Surrounding Beaches
BlueCoast Realty Corporation

Cynthia ~ Very informative and especially helpful when doing construction in a waterfront development.

September 27, 2010 11:28 PM
Rainmaker
525,466

Cynthia Larsen

Sonoma County Real Estate Broker
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