By Carolyn Weber. Coastal land in California is scarce and fast becoming the exclusive domain of the wealthy. But in one sleepy little town a great looking new home, just two blocks from the beach, is still relatively affordable. Ocean Walk is part of a larger redevelopment program in the renaissance of the former Navy town of Port Hueneme.

From the start, the city made it clear to the builders and architects that they were not interested in just another tract subdivision. "So we did some research into old beach cottages," says Guy Farris, the KTGY Group principal in charge of the project. "We wanted to recapture that look and keep them informal to fit into the coastal climate." The small, simple 1,370-square-foot Plan One was also inspired by the designs of Seaside, Fla.

A hipped roof, stucco, and board and batten siding combine for a fresh take on a traditional bungalow scheme, and louvered shutters hint at a Caribbean influence. "We came up with a beach look without resorting to the overused elevation styles that we're seeing all over California," Ferris remarks. The use of soft color, unique railing details, and a second-floor balcony off the master bedroom complete the nautical theme.

To hit the affordable price point of $215,000, the floor plan had to be small and efficient.

Photo: Eric Figge Photography

An alley-loaded site plan allows the tiny 25-foot-wide homes to have a front porch and plenty of glazing. A reciprocal use easement provides spacious side yards with French doors off the dining room. "It's like a zero lot line, but you get to use half of the other guy's side yard," says Ferris. "It creates one big 10-foot side yard instead of two 5-foot ones." Category: Production Home, less than 2,000 square feet; Entrant/Architect/Land Planner: Ktgy Group, Irvine, Calif.; Builder/Developer: The Olson Co., Seal Beach, Calif.; Landscape Architect: Curtis P. Stiles Landscape, Ventura, Calif.